According to Robert Parry, it’s not good:
Rather than continuing a half century of policies that made smart investments in research and development – along with maintaining a well-educated work force and a top-notch transportation infrastructure – Reagan declared “government is the problem” and built a political movement for deconstructing it.
This anti-government crusade launched by Reagan bore some bitter fruit:
The hard truth for the Republicans and the Right to swallow is that a three-decade experiment with historically low tax rates on the rich has done little more than concentrate America’s wealth at the very top and leave everyone else either stagnating or falling backwards.
In an era in which government programs had provided electricity to every corner of the nation and our transportation infrastructure began to increase productivity and pump up our economic engine, Reagan went to war with government.
He turned regulatory decision-making over to the leaders of the businesses that were to be regulated, busted unions, and most devastating of all — spawned the hydra-like idea that cutting taxes and shrinking government was the answer to all of our problems.
…the national political framework that Reagan left behind – an intense right-wing media, an interlocking network of think tanks shaping Washington’s “group think,” corporate-funded “grassroots” organizations like the Tea Party, and a Republican Party wedded to the most extreme interpretation of Reagan’s anti-government message – makes it almost impossible to change the country’s direction, short of an electoral revolt.
Parry lays out a compelling case against the cult-like hero-worship Reagan has enjoyed for several decades, but also notes the complicity of Democrats in bringing American to its current state:
While the Right deserves most of the blame for putting the United States into this mess, the Left, the Democrats and the broad public are not without fault. They have either failed to build counter-institutions that can make the case for a return to the pre-Reagan economic policies that worked – or they have let themselves be easily duped into abandoning their own interests.
Read the whole thing by clicking the link below. It’s quite good.
- Kennedy, Reagan, Loved for All the Wrong Reasons: Robert Dallek (businessweek.com)
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