Excerpts

From Chapter 11
Lifetime Consumption
We now turn our attention to how people pay for necessities when they do have financial resources. If we go to the grocery store for a loaf of bread, we can pay by cash, check, or debit card. These are immediate payments, at least compared to paying by a credit card, a delayed payment that may incur finance charges. Unlike bread, expensive purchases cannot typically be paid for immediately. Continue reading...



From Chapter 18
The Age of Denial
It seems somehow fitting that the 1970s would end with the Iranian hostage crisis. On November 4, 1979, students and militants in support of the Iranian revolution took over the US Embassy in Tehran. They held fifty-three Americans captive for 444 days. In the larger scheme of world history, this was a non-event. Any nation’s embassy in a hostile country could be taken over by a large mob if the host country didn’t provide adequate security. But this crisis became a big issue because it occurred during the 1980 presidential election. A rescue attempt in April, 1980, was aborted due to mechanical problems with several helicopters. Then, eight servicemen were killed and several injured in a refueling accident when the helicopters were preparing to leave. Continue reading...



From Chapter 20
When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the United States under President George H. W. Bush (1924–) formed a coalition of thirty-nine countries to repel the invaders. Kuwait and nearby Saudi Arabia were leading sources of oil for the Western world and had to be protected. The Bush administration recognized this as a territorial war. The enemy was pushed back with a loss of as many as 100,000 Iraqi troops. A cease-fire agreement was signed on April 6, 1991. Continue reading...