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Friday, January 20, 2006

25th Reaganomics Anniversary

As this opinion journal points out, today is the 25th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's inauguration as president of the United States:
[O]ver this 25-year period prosperity has been the rule, not the exception, for America--in stark contrast to the stagflationary 1970s. Perhaps the greatest tribute to the success of Reaganomics is that, over the course of the past 276 months, the U.S. economy has been in recession for only 15. That is to say, 94% of the time the U.S. economy has been creating jobs (43 million in all) and wealth ($30 trillion). More wealth has been created in the U.S. in the last quarter-century than in the previous 200 years. The policy lessons of this supply-side prosperity need to be constantly relearned, lest we return to the errors that produced the 1970s.
Embarrassingly, at that time I was absolutely convinced that Reagan was incredibly stupid, that he was evil, and that supply side economics was certain to bankrupt the country in short order. By the mid 1990s it was pretty clear that I was wrong on all three counts. Indeed, because I was so completely mistaken about this one person, I reconsidered my information sources and the process that I used to arrive at political conclusions. Unfortunately, that has changed my perspective radically relative to most of my college friends and there's an asymmetry to our perspectives. I usually understand exactly where they're coming from because I was once in the same place, while they can't ever seem to grasp my analysis. Frustrating, but it's a one-way street and there's no going back. Thank heavens for the blogosphere.

1 comment:

Hey Skipper said...


It is a rare person who has that sort of intellectual flexibility.

BTW, speaking of intellectual (and way OT), thanks for your presentation of i over at TDD. For all the math I have taken, I don't think I ever quite took that concept on board until you laid it out; I must have gotten lazy and figured I didn't really have to understand it so long as I got the answer right.