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The New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward Hardcover – October 13, 2009
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“Bruce Bartlett is a rarity in Washington, an honest man. In The New American Economy, Bartlett combines an informed insider's knowledge and an economic historian's perspective to create a compelling explanation of where supply side economics came from and what went wrong with Reaganomics.” ―David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Free Lunch and Perfectly Legal
“Bruce Bartlett is right. The welfare state isn't disappearing. And if Republicans continue to try to roll it back the by using tax cuts to "starve the beast" or trying to privatize Social Security and Medicare, they're history. Wise thoughts from one of the creators of Reaganomics who has seen the light.” ―Robert Reich, Former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley
“Among today's conservatives, only Bruce Bartlett would have the courage and unconventionality to embrace John Maynard Keynes, much less to champion a big new tax. But here's the thing: he's right. Anyone seeking a new way forward for conservatism or the economy needs to start here.” ―Jonathan Rauch, National Journal
“Bruce Bartlett, who took the measure of President Bush in his New York Times bestseller, Impostor, has written another highly useful winner: The New American Economy. In this short, tough-minded and often amusing book, he lays out what the Obama Administration is doing to the economy and tells why it will work.” ―Richard Whalen, Senior policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and author of The Founding Father: The Story of Joseph P. Kennedy
“Bartlett is the rarest of all creatures: an honest conservative economist. He was one of the original supply-siders in the Reagan administration. However, he pursued it as economic policy, not religion, which meant that he changed his views when things did not turn out exactly as planned. Readers of all political perspectives will find this book valuable. It is a serious account of the economic history of the post-World War II era and provides thoughtful prescriptions on the way forward.” ―Dean Baker, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
“Bruce Bartlett is something rare and admirable: a brave and intellectually honest man. He understands that the truth is rarely pure and never simple. An erstwhile protagonist of supply-side economics, supporter of Ronald Reagan and darling of the conservatives, he explains here why the economics of Keynes is, yet again, relevant and why the US will need extra tax revenue if it is to finance the rapidly growing burden of entitlement spending. Whether US conservatives like it or not, what the American people resolutely defend will have to be financed, . The answer, he argues, is a value added tax. He is right. Every serious analyst must know it.” ―Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times
“In this remarkable book Bruce Bartlett attempts two daunting, even heroic tasks. The first is to persuade conservatives that John Maynard Keynes was actually one of them - a true conservative who saw that to manage the capitalist system was the price of protecting it, against the socialist challenge. The second is to persuade Republicans that their future lies with finally accepting the welfare state, financed, in keeping with supply- side principles, through a consumption tax. Bartlett here injects fresh thought into Reagan's legacy, and American politics will be much more civilized, and possibly also more competitive, if he succeeds.” ―James K. Galbraith, professor economics, University of Texas at Austin and author, The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too
“Bartlett offers the valuable perspective of a real inside witness . . . he is, moreover, a good economic historian and provides a well documented summary of the last 80 years of American macroeconomics.” ―The American Conservative
“Bartlett has had to concede the unpopular view that higher taxes will be inevitable, and makes the case that a value added tax (VAT), something like a national sales tax, may be the only way to generate the revenue that will be required to keep this ship afloat.” ―Booklist
“Do yourself a favor and read Bruce's new book. And know that Bruce is one of those conservatives who actually put principle over access to power. If you're a liberal looking for a real conservative to debate and read, you won't go far wrong with Bruce.” ―Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic
“It is a significant work for any serious student of economics and perhaps the best general reference for anyone wanting a sober retrospective on the Keynesian phenomenon.” ―Library Journal
About the Author
Bruce Bartlett is an economic historian who has spent the last 30 years working in politics and public policy. He has served in numerous governmental positions, including as a domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan and a treasury official under President George H.W. Bush. He is a weekly columnist for Forbes.com. and has written for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Review, Commentary, and Fortune. He is also a frequent guest on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Lou Dobbs' Moneyline, NBC Nightly News, Nightline, Crossfire, Wall Street Week, CNN, CNBC, and Fox News Channel, among others.
Top Customer Reviews
In his new book, The New American Economy, he tells us that supply-side economics has outlived its usefulness, at least for now. In the late 70's we had high taxes and high demand which caused inflation; today we have relvatively low taxes and also low demand, which causes deflation. Supply-side economics no longer needs to be advocated, for it has already become part of everyone's way of thinking. Even the Obama Administration has its share of supply-siders. The stimulus package called for tax cuts for the vast majority and a small increase for the top percentile, still low historically.
According to Bartlett, Keynesian economics or fiscal policy is the best response to the current crisis. This is an apostasy to his conservative friends, where Keynesian is always a pejorative for a big government spending program. However, with interest rates at the bottom, it is obvious that government spending is the only way out of the current liquidity trap. If business and the consumer are not spending the government must.Read more ›
Mr Bartlett starts out with a retrospective on the Great Depression and John Maynard Keynes. He confesses that he grew up professionally as a Keynes detractor, only to come around later in his career to realize that Keynes wasn't the one-dimensional figure he'd spoken out against - his policies had merit for their day, and his later writings calling for a return to fiscal conservatism, had gone largely unnoticed by Keynes' followers as well as detractors, including himself. Mr Bartlett does an admirable job of resurrecting Keynes as a conservative who sought only to save liberal democracy in the most expedient way. Here we get the most poignant lesson of the book.
The key theme in The New American Economy is that one size does not fit all. Mr Bartlett uses the person of Keynes as a teaching point. Keynes recommended a policy of government spending to lift the economy out of depression based on the need at the time, with the expectation that policy would change as the crisis du jour subsided; Keynes had no intention or expectation that policy makers would blindly apply one prescription to all ills. Through the rest of the book up to the concluding chapter, Mr Bartlett provides examples ad nauseum of the fact that blind prescription is what happened in fact. The parade of personalities and examples creates a muddle for the reader in the middle of the book, but the key themes are clear.Read more ›
(a)Keynes was opposed to deficit finance and budget deficits ,in general.Keynes favored "deficits" only for the provision and maintenance of public infrastructure, such as transportation ,seaports,airports,dam -hydroelectric systems,aquifers,reservoirs,etc. All of these projects would pay for themselves in the long run.Constantly updating and modernizing such infrastructure would go a long way towards minimizing the problem of involuntary unemployment.
(b)Keynes was a lifelong opponent of inflation and inflationary finance.However,he never mistook reflation for inflation .
(c)Keynes was opposed to discretionary expansionary and contractionary fiscal(tax cuts) and monetary (open market operations) policies to fine tune the economy over the short run.These policies would simply add to the uncertainty of the future.
(d)Keynes was a follower of conservatives like Adam Smith and Edmund Burke.Burke was one of the first to recognize the systematic and comprehensive nature of Smith's Wealth of Nations(1776). Keynes's last published article ,in the Economic Journal of April,1946,correctly emphasizes the fundamental importance of Smith's entire conservative moral,economic,political,social,and legal system of thought.
(e)Keynes believed in policy rules.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If it is written by Bruce Bartlett, it is worth the time to read.Published 16 months ago by Jerry L Marsh
I did not read the book and generally would not: purchased as noted above as a gift. If the friend reads it I am hoping it will help to migitage his outlook somewhat -- possibly... Read morePublished on January 28, 2013 by dogmaz1
Here is a Republican going against the grain declaring the additional spending is indeed part of the solution. What does he know what the other Republican's don't? Read morePublished on October 15, 2011 by G. Laws
Bartlett's claim to fame is that he called out Bush II for his irresponsible combination of stimulative spending and 'starve-the-beast' tax cuts, Reagan for his following... Read morePublished on December 31, 2010 by Loyd Eskildson
I had seen Bruce Bartlett on some talk shows promoting this book and there wasn't much more in the book than what he said on the talk shows, other than a bit of a history lesson on... Read morePublished on July 29, 2010 by hecklervtec
When I picked up this book I was aware the author is closely aligned with conservative supply side economics of the Reagan era. A theory I find dubious at best. Read morePublished on July 28, 2010 by Donald S. Waller
Bruce Bartlett is a history major who did his masters thesis on the Pearl Harbor attack. Along with the likes of Lawrence Kudlow, Neil Cavuto and Jerry Bowyers, he is a... Read morePublished on July 2, 2010 by D. MILLS
The author provides a concise yet comprehensive review of American economic and fiscal policy from the 1920s to present, tracing the trajectory of Keynesian thinking, and the... Read morePublished on March 26, 2010 by D. Brodsky