Laffable Curves 0
Will Bunch considers the legacy of Republican Economic Theory. A nugget:
But earning power for middle-class Americans has barely budged since the dawn of the Reagan era. So in order to take part in the great festival of materialism that Ronald Reagan called “Americanism,” people borrowed. The 40th president tried to make that easier by deregulating the savings-and-loan industry — which proved to be a massive boondoggle that cost taxpayers $160 billion even as policy makers failed to learn the lessons of the S&L debacle. Still, people found many ways to borrow and buy, mainly on credit cards. In 1980, the typical American saved 10 percent of what he or she earned, but by 2004 that plunged to zero. Household and consumer debt went from 100 percent of the U.S. GDP in 1980 to 177 percent today. If you’ve been around for the last 25 years, you saw how this was accomplished through the chasing of bubbles, first on Wall Street and then in the housing mania of the mid-2000s. Now, with falling home prices and record foreclosures, there are no more bubbles to inflate, which is why the Reaganist chickens of our unsupported spending binge are finally coming home to roost.
Read the whole thing.
And buy Will’s new book.