The Global Era, 1970s–2010s

Intel clean room, 2014

Intel clean room, 2014

Used with permission of Intel Corporation

In the Global Era, the United States became a nation of fewer limits, but also fewer guarantees. Consumers and producers adapted to rapid change driven by computers, large amounts of data, and smart devices. Increased global interdependence created efficiencies and opportunities for some, but erased safeguards and employment for others.

Debating Enterprise

Since the founding of the country, opinion makers had debated the role of government in the lives of producers and consumers, the regulation of business, and the issue of opportunity and equality. Now the debate had global ramifications.

Sketch of Ivan Boesky

Ivan Boesky
 
Stock Broker Ivan Boesky believed that accumulating money and goods was no sin.
 
“I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself.”

Sketch of Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman
 
Economist Milton Friedman advocated a limited role for government in the American economy.
 
“I’m not an anarchist, but I am persuaded that the problem of our society today is too much government, not too little.”

Sketch of Robert Reich

Robert Reich
 
Secretary of Labor Robert Reich maintained that access to opportunity was the right of all American citizens.
 
“The liberal idea is that everyone should have fair access and fair opportunity. This is not equality of result. It’s equality of opportunity. There’s a fundamental difference.”