I’ve heard from both sides that Reaganomics worked, and it didn’t. It was a huge economy booster and we are still riding on its effects today. It created more jobs than thought possible. But it lacked educational funding, and spent useless money on the military. So what really DID Reaganomics do?

I assume that this is political, so I put it in GD instead of GQ–i’m pretty sure I got it right.

Well, it put the U.S. economoy into massive debt, among other things. In the largest sense, though, it’s as if the Americans decided to spend oodles of money to force the Soviets to do the same, and the Soviets ran out of money and had to fold.

Absolutely! Thank you very much.

Whoa !! Someone needs to do some defining (IMHO)!

I’ve always considered “Reaganomics” to be Reagans economic programs. As such, it would have nothing to do with military spending or educational funding. Those would be separate issues.

From what I’ve read, the increase in revenue from economic spending helped defense funding. So the money the military had was coming from a boost in the total money coming in from the consumers

If you missed it the first time, just watch the news - its back!

Federal deficit, 1980 - $1 Trillion
Federal deficit, 1988 - $4 Trillion

Pension plans gutted, replaced by 401(k)

Tax cuts for the richest

Wholesale plundering of S&L’s - we will be paying off that debt for decades. Guess where the money went.

Massive spending for useless military programs (Star Wars is back! - now without that pesky ABM treaty!) Remember the battleships being re-commissioned? That was bright.

anyway, just keep your eyes open this time around.

We’ve been down this road before. The fact is that in real dollar terms, the Reagan tax cuts caused a drop in revenues coming in through the personal income tax…I think it took until like 1987 before it had recovered to pre-Reagan budget (fiscal year 1981) levels. [And in general, one expects such revenues to grow over time since the economy in real terms grows over time.]

This is of course why the deficit ballooned so much. The rosy revenue predictions from the White House budget office became a national joke.

Absolutely false. In fact, the massive spending on war was intrinsic to the sytem (and still is).

Essentially, the Reaganites were military Keynesians. (I don’t credit Reagan himself for actually doing anything. His job was to read the scripts the rich folk wrote for him.) They way they wanted to create economic growth was through massive government spending. But, in order to keep most of the benefits from government spending concentrated in narrow sectors, this is done through the Pentagon system. This is an ideal system for the crypto-fascists, since it does help to stimulate the economy. Government spending in general helps to stimulate the economy. But, with the Pentagon system, most of the money that is spent goes into waste production on useless military junk. Therefore, there is very little chance that it will actually benefit the people. You thus get to stimulate the economy while at the same time waging the class war.

In addition, Keynesian military spending is an excellent way to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich. Since the rich are benefit enormously through military spending, while the poor pay for it, it does serve well this sort of inverse Robin Hood role.

One should be fair to the Reaganites, though. This is not something that is unique to them. Rather, it is quite general. The only differences between the straight out fascists (republicans) and the Democrats is that the Democrats are more sophisticated, more attuned to the needs of western hypocrites. They both pursue the same policies, but the Democrats are able to put a better spin on it, to make it more palatable to the people.

Both are true. It worked spectacularly well for the narrow sector of the population that made up the Reaganite constituency. For the vast majority, though, it was a total disaster.


Hmmmmm…….von Mises, Hayek and Friedman were all anti-Keynes. And where do Laffer, Bastiat, Cobden and Bright fit into this? They are all people who Reagan cited when asked who had influenced his economic policies. Were they Keynesians?

Then why did Reagan put such an incredible emphasis on tightening the money supply? Isn’t that anathema to increased government spending?

Why? Doesn’t military spending create jobs? Doesn’t it create a demand for raw materials and services which must be supplied? Wasn’t increased military spending one of the key factors in finally getting the US out of the great depression? Was FDR a crypto-fascist? Exactly who is (or was) not a crypto-fascist (aside from Franco, Mussolini and other such obvious choices)? Michael Bakunin?

Weren’t Reagans economic policies almost exactly the opposite of the corporatism practiced by the fascist states? If not, what do you see as similarities between the two? Do you really believe that Reagan wanted to destroy the middle class?

Median Family income rose by $4,000(adj. For inflation) during the Reagan years after being stagnant for the prior eight years. Did this not benefit “the people”?

Unemployment dropped from 7.6% to 5.5%. Did this not benefit “the people”?

Inflation dropped from 13.5% to 4.1%. Did this not benefit “the people”?

Who are “the people”?

Reagan had only the foggiest idea of what was going on.

He didn’t. Government spending through the Pentagon system went through the roof. That’s why the national debt tripled during the Reagan years.

Yes, as does any government spending. Like I said, government spending does stimulate the economy.

No. Much. Yes, but with the caveat that it wasn’t Reagan, but the rich folk who wrote the scripts he read.

To repeat what seems to be a favorite argument here: cite?

The people who live in the country.

Yes……I’m sure you know better than Dr. Anderson…

Reagan didn’t tighten the money supply? Could you elaborate? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone argue that Reagan didn’t tighten the money supply before. In fact, most sources that I’ve seen claim that Reagan insisted on a tighter money supply despite the objections of Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. But if he had only the foggiest idea of what was going on I guess that must be wrong. Or maybe the “rich folk” just forgot to give Mr Volcker his copy of the script.

Well why doesn’t stimulating the economy benefit “the people”?

Matthew 7:7……

Median Income: Commerce Department, Bureau of the Census
Unemployment: * Economic Report of the President, 1995*
Inflation: * Economic Report of the President, 1996*

The increases in U.S. defense spending during Reagan’s administration cannot account for that much money.

Hey, if it destroyed the commies, maybe it was worth it.

As I just stated elsewhere, the essential proposition of Reaganomics (or “voodoo economics”, as George I so aptly put it) is this: if the economy is sluggish, its because the poor people are hoarding all the money.

I think the idea was that the government was hoarding all the money. But close, elucidator.


I swear on a stack of Wall St. Journals that I thought that was a term people made up and ascribed to whackos descriptions of others as a means of making fun of them (the whackos, that is).

People really say that?


Well, actually, its a term generally applied to persons who are inclined to regard the Wall Street Journal as holy writ. Something one might swear upon, for instance.

Well, they used to say “running-dog jackals” and “establishment pigs” but people kept giggling.