Merle Haggard Gets His Wish — A Buck is Silver Again
In 1982 Merle Haggard recorded one of his biggest hits, "Are The Good Times Really Over ( I Wish A Buck Was Still Silver)". The Hag had a lot to complain about in 1982. The unemployment rate was about 9%,
Before The Beatles and 'Yesterday'--When a man could still work, and still would
Fords and Chevys lasted less than ten years,
I Wish a Ford and a Chevy Would still last ten years like they should
and the mortgage rate for buying a home was 18.45%!
Is the best of the free life behind us now
Are the good times really over for good?
It was in the opening line of his tune that Merle voiced his concern that the American silver dollar had disappeared.
I wish a buck was still silver
It was back when the country was strong
Hag was right about all his fears. Maybe it was because of his big country hit, but everything on the list improved. Fords and Chevys can last 200,000 miles if taken care of (especially Ford F-250 and Chevy Silverado 2500 trucks), The 30 year mortgage rate is 3.5% and the unemployment rate is about 3.6%. And the buck is silver! Four years after his song, the US mint began producing a true silver dollar--the American Silver Eagle Dollar coin. It is still being made today and is 99.9 % pure silver unlike the Eisenhower and Susan B Anthony dollars of the 1980's that contained NO silver.
I'd like to think Merle Haggard was responsible for the changes. Thank you Hag. Let's enjoy his 1982 song that made it all possible....