Must-Read: Matthew Yglesias: The Amazing Persistence of Reagan Derp

Must-Read: Robert Hall says somewhere that the MIT guys ret-conned the name of the first computer he programmed–CADET–to “can’t add: doesn’t even try” because decimal arithmetic was beyond it. And the age of Reagan–the seven fat years 1982-1989 of Robert Bartley–were a glorious time for America’s upper class. But the arithmetic needed to recognize that that was not true for the country as a whole is very elementary indeed…

Matthew Yglesias: The Amazing Persistence of Reagan Derp: “The most telling part… is when [John] Cochrane veers off topic…

…and starts singing the praises of the Reagan Revolution under which ‘malaise ended, we won the cold war, and there was an economic boom.’… The economic policy points here are just not true…. There was a severe recession at the start of his term, a rapid recovery from the severe recession that was well-timed for his landslide reelection, and then several years of fine-but-unremarkable growth…. The boom and the supply-side revolution just didn’t happen. There was no turnaround of the mid-seventies decline in Total Factor Productivity. There was no increase in the growth rate of private business investment. And there was no turnaround of the long-term decline in male labor force participation. This is pretty basic stuff. But it’s ignored not just by conservative politicians or popular writers, but by PhD-wielding academic economists. And it’s just wrong.

July 28, 2015

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