The New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward
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The New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  10 reviews
As a domestic policy advisor to Ronald Reagan, Bruce Bartlett was one of the originators of Reaganomics, the supply-side economic theory that conservatives have clung to for decades. In The New American Economy, Bartlett goes back to the economic roots that made Impostor a bestseller and abandons the conservative dogma in favor of a policy strongly based on what’s worked i...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Palgrave Macmillan Trade
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First of all the subtitle is misleading. “The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward” isn’t even close to what the book is about. The only way to make sense of this subtitle is to assume he or his publisher wanted a something to catch the eye of progressive readers. That also explains the praises on the book jacket from people like Galbraith and Reich. If a typical progressive picked up this book based on the subtitle and praises they will be sorely disappointed. He actually commends suppl...more
Marvin King
What I liked:
A good, concise review of the problems of the Great Depression and a crash course on the differing macro policies of the post-war presidential administrations. Also, Bartlett provides the pros and cons of Kenynesiam and supply-side theories, why they work and what their limitations. Also, Bartlett provides a surprisingly strong defense of Keynes, reporting that Keynes was right, his disciples and acolytes went too far in implementing his theories. Likewise, Bartlett is correct that...more
Mike Angelillo
Good...not great. The strength of Bartlett’s argument is that whether it is Keynesian or supply side economics the important thing to understand is that these theories were developed to address the challenges of their era and are often misplaced when circumstances change. Much of the book describes the success and failures of these approaches. Keynesian success in the late 30's early 40's and failures in the 70's, supply side success in the 80's and failure in the 2000's are both discussed in de...more
The American Conservative
'Bartlett is a good economic historian and provides a well-documented summary of the last 80 years of American macroeconomics. But Bartlett is not a good macroeconomic analyst, and at various points this undermines his case. His most important mistake—one made by many others—is to accept the Keynesian explanation of the Great Depression: “the Fed’s effort to expand the money supply was like pushing on a string,” he says. “Fiscal stimulus was necessary to compensate for the collapse of private sp...more
Fred Kohn
A short, concise history of Keynesian and Supply Side thought- both their successes and their failures. Like another reviewer, I felt the subtitle is misleading. Bartlett explains how Supply Side thought corrected some of the mistakes of the Keynesians and proved quite successful in the Reagan years. However, it has become distorted into a caricature of its formal self which largely explains the colossal failure of the G. W. Bush administration on economic policy.
Joel Thompson
Supply side and keynesian economics both have their limitations. Keynesian economics reached their limitation in the 1970's, Supply-siders reached theirs in the 2000's. We need to figure out how to pay down debt and pay for entitlements and still maintain growth. The author advocates for a Value-Added Tax. Interesting but how does the VAT affect low income people?
Bartlett was an adviser to Reagan and instrumental in developing supply-side (trickle-down) policies. Now, however, he disagrees with that.
A rare combination: an economist with political and common sense. A great book for people of all political and economic philosophies.
Good discussion of when Keynesian approaches are useful and when they are powerless.

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