Looking back to 1992

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 1992.

1992 Big News Story

The LA Riots

Home prices inched up in 1992, although they still remained below 1990 levels. In Minnesota, the largest mall in America, appropriately named the Mall of America, was built. Riots break out over the acquittal of police officers seen on videotape beating motorist Rodney King and Bill Clinton was elected president over incumbent George H.W. Bush.

Per History.com

On March 3, 1991, paroled felon Rodney King led police on a high-speed chase through the streets of Los Angeles County before eventually surrendering. Intoxicated and uncooperative, King resisted arrest and was brutally beaten by police officers Laurence Powell, Theodore Briseno, and Timothy Wind. Unbeknownst to the police, a citizen with a personal video camera was filming the arrest, and the 89-second video caught the police beating King with their batons and kicking him long after he was capable of resistance. The video, released to the press, caused outrage around the country and triggered a national debate on police brutality.

Rodney King was released without charges, and on March 15 Sergeant Stacey Koon and officers Powell, Wind, and Briseno were indicted by a Los Angeles grand jury in connection with the beating. All four were charged with assault with a deadly weapon and excessive use of force. Though Koon did not actively participate in the beating, as the commanding officer present at the scene he was charged with aiding and abetting. Powell and Koon were also charged with filing false reports.

Because of the uproar in Los Angeles surrounding the incident, the judge, Stanley Weisberg, was persuaded to move the trial outside Los Angeles County to Simi Valley in Ventura County. On April 29, 1992, the 12-person jury issued its verdicts: not guilty on all counts, except for one assault charge against Powell that ended in a hung jury. The acquittals touched off the L.A. riots, which grew into the most destructive U.S. civil disturbance of the 20th century.

Violence first erupted at the intersection of Florence Boulevard and Normandie Avenue in south-central Los Angeles. Traffic was blocked, and rioters beat dozens of motorists, including Reginald Denny, a white truck driver who was dragged out of his truck and nearly beaten to death by three African-American men. A news helicopter, hovering over the street, recorded the gruesome event. Los Angeles police were slow to respond, and the violence radiated to areas throughout the city. California Governor Pete Wilson deployed the National Guard at the request of Mayor Tom Bradley, and a curfew was declared. By the morning, hundreds of fires were burning across the city, more than a dozen people had been killed, and hundreds were injured.

Rioting and violence continued during the next 24 hours, and Korean shop owners in African American neighborhoods defended their businesses with rifles. On May 1, President George Bush ordered military troops and riot-trained federal officers to Los Angeles and by the end of the next day the city was under control. The three days of disorder killed more than 60 people, injured almost 2,000, led to 7,000 arrests, and caused nearly $1 billion in property damage, including the burnings of more than 3,000 buildings.

1992 by the Numbers

Economic Data from 1992

Grocery Prices from 1992

Personally, I remember the riot's well while in 1992. While the riots where happing, I was being cross trained by Ernst and Young in information systems to become an integrated auditor using the "New" Computer Assisted Audit Techniques (CAATs). There were no easy to access APIs in those days. If you wanted to move data from one system to another it was a lot of hands on manual effort. There was no JSON it was using tape machines and converting EBCDIC to ASCII just so you could even get the data onto a PC to read it before you work on it.

It also was the year I became a home owner and landlord, purchasing my first rental property in New Brunswick NJ. It was a two family home where I lived in one unit with a roommate and rented the other unit. The math was simple, it was a lot cheaper then what I would pay in rent. I didn't know all that I didn't know but the experience turned out to be great.  

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