The difference between then and now is we were on the gold standard and shifted to a Fiat biased monetary system.
If we treat both parties as identical, the economic reality is we never dealt with the shocks from the early 1980s where they sued the entitlement system to bolster the economic issues. Once that money fixed was exhausted we bumped from the economic crash in the 1990s through the 00's and we know the rest.
That is what most people don't seem to get is we have run deficits every year since the 1980s, and when China entered into the WTO our imbalances went through the roof.
We outsourced it all and lost the ability to manufactuer, and now most of the country is a drift. In the past we would shift out sourcing from expensive parts of the country inward to red and rural areas, but now it went to Asia.
The rest is history.