Great Experiments In American Economic Policy

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Overview

During the 1980s, dramatic changes in the federal budget, the Federal Reserve, and the U.S. Treasury initiated the most comprehensive series of economic experiments since the 1930s. This book describes the nature of those experiments and compares them to the Keynesian experiment of the 1960s. In the 1980s, monetarists claimed their policies would permanently subdue inflation and unemployment; supply-siders said their tax cuts would give the economy new life with accelerated growth and a balanced budget; and free floaters promised unprecedented stability in international markets. Actual results fell far short of these promises. This book analyzes why the economic events of the 1980s unfolded as they did and what bearing the results have on the future of economics and the U.S. economy.

During the 1980s, dramatic changes in the federal budget, the Federal Reserve, and the U.S. Treasury initiated the most comprehensive series of economic experiments since the 1930s. This book describes the nature of those experiments and compares them to the Keynesian experiment of the 1960s. The promises that the economic experimenters made in the 1980s were bold and confident: monetarists claimed their policies would permanently subdue inflation and unemployment; supply-siders said their tax cuts would give the economy new life with accelerated growth and a balanced budget; and free floaters promised unprecedented stability in international markets. Actual results fell far short of these ambitious promises.

At first the economists denied that their experiments had failed, but when they were faced with overwhelmingly negative results that were impossible to ignore, they blamed each other for the failure. After beginning the decade as a united front against liberalism, the monetarists, suppply-siders, and free floaters ended the decade hopelessly divided. This book sorts out the actual occurrences of the 1980s. It analyzes why events unfolded as they did, what bearing the results have on the future of economics and the U.S. economy, what can be explained, and what mysteries remain.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Looks at the economic experiments of the Kennedy administration, supply-side economics in the Reagan era, the monetarist experiment conducted by the Federal Reserve between 1979 and 1982, and the experiment in free floating conducted by the US Treasury from 1981 to 1985. Examines the impact of the experiments on tax incentives, Federal Reserve policy, and regulation of currency markets. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275959050
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/1997
  • Pages: 246
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

THOMAS KARIER is Associate Dean and Professor of Economics at Eastern Washington University.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Camelot and Trojan Horses 1
2 Origins of Monetarism 19
3 Gambling at the Fed 37
4 A View from the Supply Side 53
5 Budget Busters 75
6 The Free Float 91
7 Global Shock Waves 109
8 The Reckoning: A Decade of Economic Records 127
9 A Falling Out 149
10 Rewriting Economics 165
11 Out of the Ashes 185
Notes 209
Bibliography 223
Index 229
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