The Seven Fat Years: And How to Do It Again

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9780028740225: The Seven Fat Years: And How to Do It Again

While the 1980s clearly represented a decade of waste and greed during which the poor were heartlessly abandoned, many people continue to view those years as a time of growth and prosperity that ultimately benefitted all Americans. Bartley's book defines the conservative view on this still-contentious issue, maintaining that only a return to the greedy policies of the Reagan years will guarantee America's prosperity in the future.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

From the editor of The Wall Street Journal--an ebullient and persuasive argument that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the 1990's could prove a belle ‚poque for industrial powers like the US. To Bartley, the best way to ensure a bountiful future is to understand the forces responsible for the so-called seven fat years--the period from 1983-90 when America's GNP grew by almost one third in inflation-adjusted terms. Monetary and fiscal policy apart, the author attributes the long-lived recovery/expansion to, among other factors, the breakup of a domestic political stasis, the emergence of neoclassical economic theory, and a world-class communicator in the White House. (While the author doesn't dwell on it, his newspaper also played an influential role, cheering the business community in its efforts to overcome the stagflation of the 1970's.) By Bartley's account, the US could secure another boom by resuming the policies and practices that produced prosperity during the Reagan era. Not too surprisingly, he puts further tax cuts (to promote a renaissance of entrepreneurial enterprise) and spending curbs at the top of his agenda. As for perceived problems such as the federal budget deficit and the S&L debacle, the author views them through a conservative's eyes, meaning he dismisses the one as irrelevant and attributes the other to venal lawmakers who kept regulatory authorities from doing their jobs in timely fashion. Bartley goes on to caution that if elitist opinion-makers insist on seeking atonement for putative excesses of the past in renewed intervention or other self-defeating courses, the country could well face seven lean years. He also warns that even the US can no longer isolate itself behind protectionist trade barriers from the Global Village's economy. Shrewd, informed commentary on the socioeconomic and political state of the union. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Wall Street Journal editor Bartley here extols economic policies of the Reagan years and calls for more of the same. Tracing the pre-Reagan "stagflation" produced by Nixon's price controls, Ford's WIN campaign and Carter's "voluntary" price guidelines, the author tracks how 1980s tax cuts and deregulation, combined with Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker's inflation-curbing money controls, unleashed American enterprise and boosted national production 30% with a 20% rise in per capita income. In extraordinary detail, and with frequent ironical jabs at the "unenlightened," Bartley analyzes (among other things) congressional economic attitudes (mostly awful), foreign trade debits (complex but necessary), the federal deficit (not to worry), the savings-and-loan debacle (the New Deal started it), mergers, acquisitions and junk bonds (not so bad, really) and the fallacy of "fairly" taxing the rich. He puts in a good word, too, for Jay Gould and other maligned 19th-century "robber barons" for their roles in our economic expansion.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Robert L. Bartley
Editore: The Free Press (1995)
ISBN 10: 002874022X ISBN 13: 9780028740225
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Robert L. Bartley
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