Looking back to 1978

We look forward not back 

Does your accountant seem obsessed with last year? If you want to legally pay less in taxes, you need a professional who looks forward. Relax Tax helps our clients focus on planning for a better future, and not the past. If we want to look back at anything, we thought it might be fun let our blog look back at what we learned in the last 50 plus years. You can get a FREE COPY of the entire guide at back.relaxtax.com. Now lets take a look at 1978.  

1978 Big News Story

The Jonestown Mass Suicide

Home prices took a dramatic jump upwards in 1978, rising from the previous year median of $39,000 to $44,940. Jimmy Carter orchestrated the Camp David Accords, a step towards Middle East peace between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Karol Jozef Wojtyla was elected John Paul II, the first non-Italian Pope in more than 400 years. 1978 also marked the largest mass suicide in modern history, at the People’s Temple compound in Jonestown, Guyana. Things remained grim after the assassination of America’s first openly gay public official, Harvey Milk.

Per History.com

The “Jonestown Massacre” occurred on November 18, 1978, when more than 900 members of an American cult called the Peoples Temple died in a mass suicide-murder under the direction of their leader Jim Jones (1931-78). It took place at the so-called Jonestown settlement in the South American nation of Guyana. Jones had founded what became the Peoples Temple in Indiana in the 1950s, then relocated his congregation to California in the 1960s.

In the 1970s, following negative media attention, the powerful, controlling preacher moved with some 1,000 of his followers to the Guyanese jungle, where he promised they would establish a utopian community. On November 18, 1978, U.S. Representative Leo Ryan, who had gone to Jonestown to investigate claims of abuse, was murdered along with four members of his delegation. That same day, Jones ordered his followers to ingest poison-laced punch while armed guards stood by.

1978 by the Numbers

Economic Data from 1978

Grocery Prices from 1978

Personally, the further we get back in the 70's the younger I was. The mass suicide in Jamestown was a big enough event that I definitely remember it. It was something that stuck in my memory. but in looking back for this guide I did not realize they had killed congressman Leo Ryan. There is a lot of things from your original memories that lack deeper context. That is what happen when you do taxes in a vacuum. If your tax professional doesn't see the entire picture it is easy for you to end up over paying the government.  

A tax return is just a historical record of what happen financially in the previous year. If you don't think about your taxes until you start receiving your tax forms, then it is already too late. Click Here to schedule your risk free tax planning session. 

If your tax preparer isn't doing tax planning with you, then you have the wrong tax preparer. If you do your taxes yourself with software and just "tweak" the numbers till you get the numbers where you want them then you should read our blog post on what could be in store