A lot of what you read from the right about this is just mythology. For example, you read that that Reagan's passionate belief in the miracle of markets is now under attack, Reagan being assigned the role of high priest of faith in markets. In fact, Reagan was the most protectionist president in postwar American economic history. He increased protectionist barriers more than his predecessors combined.
He called on the Pentagon to develop projects to train backward American managers in advanced Japanese methods of production. He carried out one of the biggest bank bailouts in American history, and formed a government-based conglomerate to try to revitalize the semiconductor industry. In fact, he was a believer in big government, intervening radically in the economy. By "Reagan" I mean his administration; what he believed about all of this, if anything, we don't really know, and it's not very important.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Jun 10 2009 - 4:25am