Monday, October 3, 2011

Name That President

A future President once said "Facts are Stubborn Things." So let's describe the facts about another President, because it's important in understanding macroeconomic policies.

This President did not believe in anything like what we would call the free market or spontaneous in order in things like wages and prices. In fact, he used the bully-pulpit of the White House to intervene to keep workers' wages high. Coming into office, Americans recognized him as one of the smartest men ever to hold the office, and he certainly believed in the appropriateness of an activist government managed by the elites of educated society. He approximately doubled the size of the federal government under his tenure, and ran unprecedented peacetime budget deficits, deficits so large that his successor campaigned vigorously against them. He raised taxes, with an especially big hit on what we would probably now call the millionaires and billionaires. He used federal funds in ways that most Americans had never anticipated were the province of the federal government: promoting home ownership, massive public works projects, and bailouts for failing banks. He was not generally a supporter of free trade, and under his watch he helped enact massive new barriers to the free flow of goods and services. Who was this President? Click here to find out.

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