Peanut and Jelly-bean Futures
From an Altercation contribution, an interesting non-verifiable observation.
Take a look at a graph of crude oil prices from, oh, 1950 to the present. Do you see that huge (and biggest) spike between 1976 and 1979? Oil priced DOUBLED in that period - to about $80/barrel in current dollars. How surprising is it that the economy was sputtering with energy costs like that? Just as suddenly oil prices PLUMMETED during the Reagan years, to sub-Carter levels. By 1990 it was at $33/barrel. I'm willing to give Reagan a bit of credit for a supply-side effect on investment caused by lowering taxes on the rich (something that is not repeatable, despite subsequent attempts). But the drop in oil prices pumped far more money into the economy. Add to that Reagan's deficit spending and the natural turnings of the business cycle. And the myopic media doesn't ask how much better the nation would have been in the long run with Carter's conservation-based energy policy.
Add to that the loss of U.S.-produced oil during the early-to-mid 70's, which caused outflow of dollars.