Sunday, February 06, 2011

Believing in the "Magic of the Marketplace"

President Reagan’s visit to the NYSE in 1985 marked the first time a sitting president had visited the Exchange.
On its website, the NYSE has "A Tribute to President Ronald Reagan," highlighting President Reagan's two visits to the"nerve center of entrepreneurial capitalism," and featuring Reagan's core beliefs  as communicated to members of the IMF and the World Bank in September 1981 during Reagan's first administration:

"We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and, ultimately, human fulfillment are created from the bottom up, not the government down. Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefiting from their success – only then can societies remain alive, dynamic, prosperous, progressive and free.

Trust the people. This is the one irrefutable lesson of the entire post-war period, contradicting the notion that rigid government controls are essential to economic development. The societies that have achieved the most spectacular, broad-based progress are neither the most tightly controlled, nor the biggest in size, nor the wealthiest in natural resources. No, what unites them all is their willingness to believe in the magic of the marketplace."


At 2/06/2011 10:59 AM, Blogger morganovich said...


At 2/06/2011 11:45 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

This is going to rub all kinds of people all kinds of wrong, but read it if you've the slightest ability to be honest with yourself.

At 2/06/2011 12:04 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

"During his eight years in office, Reagan increased federal spending by 53 percent, added a quarter of a million new civilian government employees, escalated the War on Drugs, created the "drug czar's office," and lowered the value of your 1980 dollar to 73 cents."

-Jeff Riggenbach

At 2/06/2011 12:22 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

David, what about the steep rises in U.S. living standards, the greatest period of economic prosperity in history from 1982-07 (with only two mild recessions), the U.S. leading the rest of the world combined in the Information and Biotech revolutions (in both revenues and profits), winning the Cold War, more countries becoming democracies, etc.

At 2/06/2011 12:24 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

The NYSE traces its origins to 1792 which means thirty nine presidents, including Washington, could have visited the exchange. If Washington visited the NYSE it probably would have been literally on Wall Street. In 1836 members were prohibited from trading outside on the street.

Ronald Reagan deserves much credit for re-orienting public thinking away from government solutions to market solutions. The Reagan presidency drove aggressive communism into oblivion and helped guarantee freedom of criticism for most of the world.

At 2/06/2011 12:32 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"This is going to rub all kinds of people all kinds of wrong ..."

That's probably because so much of it is wrong.

I particularly liked this little gem:

The GOP is the conservative party in American politics, the party that since Lincoln (and Henry Clay and Alexander Hamilton before him) has stood for mercantilism, welfare statism, and war.

Let's see,

WWI - Wilson, Democrat
WWII - Roosevelt, Democrat
Korean War - Truman, Democrat
Vietnam - Johnson, Democrat

Or, this one:

"He proceeded to raise the national deficit by $2 trillion with tax cuts and spending on the military in the face of a collapsing Soviet Union."

The tax cuts led to increased revenue, so they could not have added to the deficit. As for the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Soviets admitted themselves that the cost of trying to keep up with U.S. military expansion ultimately led to their downfall. So, the increase in military spending and the fall of the Soviet empire are not unrelated.

Reagan brings about one of the greatest expansions of human liberty in history without firing a shot and all the left can do is whine.

All you have to do is look at the writers bio to see that this guy is a loon, but hey he's convinced you. Birds of a feather.

At 2/06/2011 12:45 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

" ... the cut in income tax rates was more than offset by two forms of tax increase. One was "bracket creep," a term for inflation quietly but effectively raising one into higher tax brackets, so that you pay more and proportionately higher taxes even though the tax rate schedule has officially remained the same. The second source of higher taxes was Social Security taxation ..."

So, Reagan is somehow responsible for "bracket creep" inflation even though inflation went down almost every year of his presidency from the double digit inflation that he inherited from Jimmy Carter (D) and he must shoulder responsibility for the rise in taxation associated with a Ponzi scheme enacted under FDR (D).

All of the programs responsible for the major growth in government spending - Social Security, Medicare, Medicare - were all enacted under Democrat presidents and Democrat congresses. And all of them are Ponzi schemes.

One thing we can agree on, Libertarians who buy this bullshit "are not conservatives; they are not on the Right."

At 2/06/2011 1:12 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

The effect of Reagan's tax cuts:

Total federal revenues doubled from just over $517 billion in 1980 to more than $1 trillion in 1990. In constant inflation-adjusted dollars, this was a 28 percent increase in revenue.

As a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP), federal revenues declined only slightly from 18.9 percent in 1980 to 18 percent in 1990.

Spending under Reagan:

Federal spending more than doubled, growing from almost $591 billion in 1980 to $1.25 trillion in 1990. In constant inflation-adjusted dollars, this was an increase of 35.8 percent.

As a percentage of GDP, federal expenditures grew slightly from 21.6 percent in 1980 to 21.8 percent in 1990.

Contrary to popular myth, while inflation-adjusted defense spending increased by 50 percent between 1980 and 1989, it was curtailed when the Cold War ended and fell by 15 percent between 1989 and 1993. However, means-tested entitlements, which do not include Social Security or Medicare, rose by over 102 percent between 1980 and 1993, and they have continued climbing ever since.

The economic effects of Reagan's policies:

This economic boom lasted 92 months without a recession, from November 1982 to July 1990, the longest period of sustained growth during peacetime and the second-longest period of sustained growth in U.S. history. The growth in the economy lasted more than twice as long as the average period of expansions since World War II.

The American economy grew by about one-third in real inflation-adjusted terms. This was the equivalent of adding the entire economy of East and West Germany or two-thirds of Japan's economy to the U.S. economy.

The Real Reagan Economic Record

At 2/06/2011 1:18 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Can anyone imagine Obama at the NYSE?:

President Reagan—amid a roaring ovation—addressed the Exchange community from the bell podium...“We’re bullish on the American Economy. The American Economy is like a race horse that’s begun to gallop in front of the field.” Aiming to drive “the bears back into hibernation,” he said, “that’s our economic program for the next four years—we’re going to turn the bull loose.”

Palin received a lot of criticism just for using the phrase "drill, baby, drill."

At 2/06/2011 1:30 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


that is a bit disingenuous. reagan proposed budgets with significant cuts in them, but it was a democratic congress that did away with most of them and then, as che has pointed out, the legacy of massive social programs whose spending was already built in did the rest. how could reagan have stopped that? only the congress could do so and they opposed his every attempt to rein them in even moderately.

to blame his for the actions of congress seems unreasonable.

further, in light of the truly dire situation he inherited when entering office (brutal stagflation and a foreign policy nightmare from carter's idiocy) the accomplishements under his leadership are even more impressive. it was his ideas (and volckers) that turned the ruinous 70's into the prosperous 80's (and carried over into the 90's).

that turn around and the turn around in american attitudes as we escaped the "grand malaise" of the carter years is a significant achievement.

At 2/06/2011 4:26 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Peak Trader,

No one can dispute America's progress during the "Regan era." This is a great country with phenomenal people who, without charismatic political figures and government interference, can perform and accomplish at full potential.

I'm simply pointing out the empirical history that Regan claimed to favor limited government but made it larger and more a part of our lives.

At 2/06/2011 5:43 PM, Blogger juandos said...

che you're da man!

I personally had a bone to pick regarding Reagan, his apparent public lack of desire to shut down any part of LBJ's Great Society program...

Then again I didn't know what the backroom politics of attempting that were...

Still che nails it!

At 2/06/2011 5:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I'm simply pointing out the empirical history that Regan claimed to favor limited government but made it larger and more a part of our lives."

Empirical history? You are citing an opinion piece by a journalist whose writing may resonate with your political beliefs. Did you read morganovich's comment at all?

As was pointed out, Reagan most likely favored shrinking government, and might have done so with a supportive Congress.

The fact that you misspell Reagan as Regan when you aren't pasting, tells me you probably aren't really familiar with the subject.

Perhaps you are confused because the names Reagan and Regan are often seen together, as Donald Regan was Secretary of the Treasury and then Chief of Staff in the Reagan administration.

At 2/06/2011 6:44 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

David, your "empirical history" ignores the elephant in the room (pun intended :)).

You're confusing "Tip" O'Neill, who was Speaker of the House from 1977-87, with Reagan.

"O'Neill was a leading opponent of the Reagan administration's domestic and defense policies."

At 2/06/2011 7:30 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Well, "Peak" the reality that Regan exponentially grew the size of government isn't my history but the world's to see.

At 2/07/2011 10:12 AM, Blogger morganovich said...


are you familiar with the concept of branches of government and separation of powers?

if so, you hide it well.

At 2/07/2011 8:39 PM, Blogger Mr. Econotarian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2/07/2011 8:40 PM, Blogger Mr. Econotarian said...

At least Reagan was willing to TALK about economic freedom, even if his acts left something to be desired.

Right now, we can't even get a politician to TALK this way.


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