Are We Better Off in 2020 Than Hank Williams Jr. Sang About In 1982?
In 1982 Hank Jr. wrote "A Country Boy Can Survive". He painted a very bleak picture of life at that time. Hank's opening stanza set the mood for the tune:
The preacher man says it's the end of time
And the Mississippi River she's a-goin' dry
The interest is up and the Stock Market's down
And you only get mugged if you go downtown
We managed to survive the end of time prediction most famously in 2012 when the Mayan calendar was supposed to run out after it's 5125 years run and the world would end. We survived that one but how about the Mississippi goin' dry?
That one is not supported by hydrologic data. Here a recent photo of the Mississippi in St. Louis:
Nope-not goin' dry. How about the interest and stock market?
In 1982 Hank had reason to worry about the loan interest rate of about 18%! You can find home loans today for as low as 3.5%. And so far as the stock market being down--it was 1024 at its highest in 1982 but recently closed at 28,832. A pretty good rise in 38 years.
Can you still get mugged if you go downtown? The aggravated assault rate for 1980 was 298 incidents per 100,000 people and the latest available report was for 2014 down to 232 per 100,000. You can still get mugged and we would like to rate to be zero but at least it's going down.
If you've been looking for a little good news to start the new year --there you go. Hope you feel a little better. At least we're better off than in 1982 when Hank Jr. was so worried. If you weren't around in 1982--here's the song from Bocephus: