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Rewriting history

With financial markets in tatters and the housing market in shreds, it is popular to claim that it’s all the fault of Reagan-era deregulation.

Just for the record, deregulation began as a serious public agenda in the Carter administration and credit should go to Alfred Kahn who championed it and defended it.

When things were going well, some people liked to point out that it wasn’t Reagan, but Carter who started the ball rolling. Not if anything bad happens, it’s because of deregulation and we all know that’s Reagan’s fault, right?

If they could blame it on Herbert Hoover, they would.

Of course, government regulation, defined by limits on voluntary exchange has been rising for a long time. Go here (see Table 1) for measures of how much spending and staffing have grown in every decade since 1960.


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