As a rule, I’m pretty for regulation, especially on a governmental scale. Looking back across history, especially recent history of the last hundred years, it seems that more good than bad has come from regulation. Oh, here are exceptions to be sure and a point of diminishing returns as well. But by and large, I support government oversight and national/international regulations.
That’s why, as a student of history, it can be a little hard for me to reconcile my opinions of what I consider to be one of the most troubling times socially and politically, but at the same time one of the most amazing artistically: the 1980s.
While not solely the result of the Reagan Administration, the early 1980s saw sweeping deregulation of federal and state agencies, deregulation which we are still seeing the effects of today. The development of entertainment conglomerates – how five or six companies basically control the media – could never happen prior to this period of deregulation (and no, this isn’t an exaggeration).
But at the same time, much of the art from this era would never have existed either. It’s a good bet that without corporations vying for the next hot sound, rap and hip hop might never have come to the forefront of pop music. Without corporations wanting to move merchandise, children’s cartoons would never have gone through the renaissance of the 1980s (no GI Joe, no Jem, no Transformers, no MASK, no Disney Afternoon, the list goes on).
So much of our world today is traced back to the decisions of the 1980s, and to the world-shaking changes brought during that time. Were these changes good or were they bad? And the answer is a resounding ‘it depends’.