Jimmy Carter attempted to stop runaway inflation with a White House press conference in 1978. "Carter implored labor and business leaders to keep wages and prices down, and pressured Congress to cut back spending."
Narrator: In 1978 the first signs of a gathering economic storm were becoming visible. The stock market was at its lowest point in three years, the trade deficit growing, unemployment on the rise.
Jimmy Carter (archival): The most serious problem that our nation has is inflation. And it's getting worse. It's absolutely imperative that Americans commit themselves, all of us, to a common sacrifice to control this rapid increase in prices.
E. Stanly Godbold, Historian: Carter inherited a no-win economic situation. I see him as the last presidential victim of the War in Vietnam. Every war this country has fought once it is over the economy has to readjust to a peacetime economy. And what always happens is runaway inflation.
Narrator: Carter implored labor and business leaders to keep wages and prices down, and pressured Congress to cutback spending. But inflation kept rising, his words falling on deaf ears.
My American Experience
Who was your favorite 20th-century American president? Was it FDR? Kennedy? Reagan? Or one of the other 14 men who helped usher the United Sates through the 1900s? Who do you think was the most influential?