Chapter 11: The Growth Takeoff of the 1960s

1. Treasury documents preparing the way for a tax cut.

This Treasury study, and collection of documents of entertainment expenses displayed the breadth of tax-avoidance activities in the high-tax era. A quotation from a contemporary study of one aspect of the matter, tax-deductible (to the corporation)  gifts that were untaxable income (to the high-earner recipient):

Respondents to a survey were stark in their expression:

Study on Entertainment Expenses, Treasury Department, April 1961.

2. JFK’s “paradoxical truth”

President John F. Kennedy’s remarkable speech justifying his tax-rate cut, before the Economic Club of New York in December 1962, is here.

One of the themes of this speech was that tax-rate-cut-propelled growth would resolve the growing youth unemployment problem—a problem later addressed by President Lyndon Johnson by the draft. Another was the phenomenal increase in state and local spending and debt since 1950.

3. The Go-Go Years

The “Go-Go Sixties” found their chronicler in John Brooks, not only in Business Adventures, but in another book of his as well, The Go-Go Years: The Drama and Crashing Finale of Wall Street’s Bullish 60s. From the flap: “The 1960s bull market was a wild time of unbridled growth and stellar performance. It remains a pivotal era in American financial history, a time of corporate gunslingers, mutual funds, new-issue stocks, Chinese money, and the conglomerates.” For the book, see here.