The American 80's: Disaster or Triumph?
The 80′s are more and more coming to be characterized by journalists, historians, and intellectuals as a costly if not a disastrous decade for America. At home, it is charged, the economic and social policies of the Reagan administration stimulated greed on Wall Street and in the business community, encouraged a general mood of selfishness, and were responsible for an actual increase of poverty (as symbolized in particular by the plight of the homeless). Abroad, the indictment continues, indiscriminate bellicosity on a global scale succeeded mainly in provoking a dangerous arms race, needlessly exacerbating and prolonging conflicts with adversaries, alienating friends, and sowing the seeds of future mistrust of American intentions.
Do you accept these characterizations? If so, how would you account for the worldwide triumph by the end of the decade of the prevailing ideas and policies of the American 80′s? If not, how do you account for the fact that so many people in America itself have been condemning those ideas and policies?
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