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James K. Glassman: how did liberal economics manage to lose the argument about the recession?

August 25, 2010 by George W. Bush Presidential Center

How could you misplay this hand? After all, until 2008, “cutting top income tax rates in half, reducing regulatory burdens, and spreading free trade seemed to have produced significant prosperity and remarkable stability. . . Inflation, interest rates, and unemployment were tame. “Then, suddenly, an asset bubble in real estate exploded, the growth and stability vanished, and the United States suffered its worst economic misery in (take your pick) 34, 53, or 71 years. So you would expect that the American public, following President Sarkozy, would see the recession as a severe setback—or even a death blow—to conservative economic policies that were aimed at limiting the power of government and liberating the private sector. “You would have expected that, and you would have been right—but only briefly. Since the beginning of 2010, a surprising reversal has occurred. Rather than supporting and encouraging government intervention to mitigate an economic calamity caused by “profit-oriented thinking,” Americans have come to believe that government has failed to fix the problem and may, in fact, have made it worse. Now it is liberal, not conservative, economic policies that are suddenly in jeopardy.” Jim Glassman’s explains this astonishing turnaround in a new piece published simultaneously in The Wall Street Journal and the September Commentary magazine. –Sam Schulman


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George W. Bush Presidential Center

PRESERVING HISTORY

GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

As the 13th presidential library, the Bush Library and Museum promotes an understanding of the American presidency, examines the specific time in history during which President Bush served, and provides access to official records and artifacts from the Bush Administration.

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THE GEORGE W. BUSH INSTITUTE

The Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization that cultivates leaders, fosters policies to solve today’s most pressing challenges, and takes action to save and change lives. Our work is inspired by the principles that guide President and Mrs. Bush in public life.

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Subsidy As a Way of Life James K. Glassman on August 16, 2010