The Vietnam war is believed to be one of the critical factors that influenced Stagflation in the U.S. during the 1970s. The war cost the U.S. nearly $1 trillion to fund, meaning economic spending was high. This action led to a period of contraction when the war ended. A stagnating economy combined with high inflation and rising unemployment influenced the U.S. stagflation.
How did the Vietnam war affect the U.S. economy?
The financial impact of the Vietnam War was less expensive to the GDP of the U.S. economy than in World War II. It is estimated by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) that the U.S. spent close to 9.5% of its GDP during the war in 1968 on military funding. History confirms the U.S. went into battle in November 1955, spending close to $168 billion, or $1 trillion in today’s dollars. The nation, however, did not deploy any combat troops until 1965. This war didnt financially jolt the U.S. economy because the country spent nearly a decade building its military. Military spending was consistently high during these years. When the war ended in 1973, the economy almost halved its military spending. During this year, military spending was only 5.9% of GDP. The lasting fiscal legacy of the Vietnam war meant that government expenditure soared. The government had to source funds from the taxpayer through higher levels of taxation from 1968 to 1970. Budget deficits became the norm, and U.S. lawmakers sought an expansionary monetary policy. During the war, inflation rapidly rose in the mid-1970s regardless of the increase in government spending. Consumers were constantly consuming; however, the capital was not invested in the economy.
When President Carter entered office, his government introduced new wage-price guidelines. He inherited a severe inflation problem that began in the mid-1960s, with inflation reaching close to 7.25 percent. The Stagflation experienced in the mid-1970s is often said to have its roots in the Vietnam conflict. The war’s end caused a financial spiral, and the lawmakers refused to raise interest rates. This problem led to a government-forced recession in 1974-75, one of the worst recessions to hit the U.S. in 36 years. Recovering from the war meant the U.S. needed to boost unemployment, tightening credit, and loosen regulations on the business environment.
With the economy reeling, food prices increased due to the government facing unstable agricultural production, which disrupted the market. This problem was exacerbated by the 1972 Soviet grain sale, which almost finished the U.S. reserves.
How did the Vietnam war affect Vietnam’s economy?
On April 30, 1975, all American soldiers had left Vietnam soil, and the war was declared over. The Northern and Southern Vietnam states had become the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. To repair the effects of inflation, the Vietnamese government issued a new currency of Vietnam Dong (VND), in 1978. The financial markets of the previously independent North and the South states merged. The goal was to build a Socialist economy by launching multiple Five-Year Plans in agriculture and industry.
Lawmakers aimed to have the economy recover from the war and promoted a Family economy and collective economy. The nation had experienced severe poverty and sought to discourage a capitalist economy. The Vietnam economy could only trade predominantly with the Soviet Union and its socialist allies. The Vietnam food sector was characterized by small-scale production, low labor productivity, and lacked modern technology. After the war, Vietnam’s economy unexpectedly fell into a stagflation period. The situation was characterized by significant stagnation and hyperinflation. Vietnam’s inflation reached 453.5% just after 1985.
It appeared the economy was rejecting the socialist, centrally planned economy that was formed in the south. Consumers were discouraged or prohibited from owning private property. The nation’s capital was considered “collectively” owned and controlled by the government. This command economics meant lawmakers had control over what to produce and how much to distribute to different groups.
The government cracked down on capitalism by taking away the private property of citizens. It led to a loss of value in the economy as consumers hid their assets. Loss of property rights meant investors diligently avoided the economy as an investment destination. The “nationalized” assets led to failing economic policies, further compounded by the U.S. $2 Billion in losses for investors.
Vietnam war and inflation
The U.S. experienced stimulating inflation in the mid-1960s. GDP was rising in the 1960s because of increased spending for the Vietnam war. This led to increased pressure on prices. The U.S. federal reserve failed to implement institute corrective policies. Over the next decade, it led to an inflationary spiral during the 1970s. The economic consequences of the Vietnam War prompted President Ronald Reagan to reinterpret the history of the war. He sought to spur financial spending by calling the war a “noble cause’.
How much did the Vietnam war cost Vietnam?
It is estimated that Vietnam received close to U.S. $8 Billion in financial support from the Soviet Union to spend on the war against the U.S.
How did the U.S. get out of Stagflation?
The U.S. cleared Stagflation by handling the inflation in the economy. The traditional expansionary policy led by previous regimes led to a permanently increasing inflation rate. President Carter then sought to spur economic spending to stabilize prices. To stimulate consumer faith in expenditures, the government introduced relaxed business regulations. A free market would automatically allocate labor toward its most productive uses.
Many economists argue that Stagflation often self-corrects over time. Keynesian economists suggest the U.S. ended Stagflation by removing the initial supply shocks that caused Stagflation. The faster a government can introduce measures to correct supply shocks, the less likely it is for inflation to remain steady without unemployment rising quickly.