Here in the depths of the bust, it is tempting to feel nostalgia for the boom. Let’s not. The bust has been brutal but the boom wasn’t so great either. The British economy actually grew more in 1979, the year of the “winter of discontent,” than it did in 2006 at the height of the bubble. Most of the western economies did better in the late, unlamented 1970s than they ever have since.