[NINE]

1980–1989

Restoring Glory in American Business

Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

—Ronald Reagan

AFTER A DECADE of constant despair and discontentment, the nation longed for a new sense of hope, and more often than not, it found that hope in business. Businesses were seen as vital partners in the rebuilding of America. To this end, they were given immense latitude, which resulted in a host of new opportunities and sometimes immense wealth. Much of the wealth only benefited a small fraction of the population, but the aura that was created through reinvestment in America was seen as priceless. With highprofile business turnarounds (Chrysler), soaring stock prices (the Dow Jones Industrial Average tripled between 1982 and ...

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