In the US, the average annual inflation rate from 1900 to 1970 was approximately %. From 1970–1979, however, the average rate was %, and topped out at % in December 1979.  This period is also known for " stagflation ", a phenomenon in which inflation and unemployment steadily increased. It led to double-digit interest rates that rose to unprecedented levels (above 12% per year). The prime rate hit in December 1980, the highest in history.  By the time of 1980, when . President Jimmy Carter was running for re-election against Ronald Reagan , the misery index (the sum of the unemployment rate and the inflation rate) had reached an all-time high of %.  The economic problems of the 1970s would result in a sluggish cynicism replacing the optimistic attitudes of the 1950s and 1960s and a distrust of government and technology. Faith in government was at an all-time low in the aftermath of Vietnam and Watergate, as exemplified by the low voter turnout in the 1976 United States presidential election.
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Crenshaw, Martha (ed.) Terrorism in context (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995)