nucklepunch wrote:Reagan's economic policies put down the foundations of a largely prosperous time that lasted from the recovery from the early 80s recession in 1983 to the housing bubble in 2007-2008. There were recessions in the midst but nothing to compare to the 1970s-early 80s stagflation or the 2008-2014 era (it seems recovery is largely taking place now).
Reagan shifted the goalposts on economics to the center-right, so things Obama proposes today, while once within the mainstream of moderate Republicanism, are derided as "socialist" or "Marxist." This being said Reagan could not undo much of what FDR had set in place, so he did not take us back to the pre-FDR era, in fact he didn't even want to. To paraphrase Reagan he often said he wanted to undo Lyndon Johnson's Great Society but thought Roosevelt's New Deal was necessary and should remain in place.
At dinner with a team of industry vets tonight, I had the opportunity to talk with a guy who was at Bell Labs when the divsestiture occurred in 1984. I think it was a good thing, but at the time I remember a lot of people thinking it was bad. My colleague had been to the Bell headquarters in New Jersey and said that there were empty cubicles and people sitting around reading newspapers. The big monopolies were the kind of big fat jobs where managers spent money so they would get fatter allocations in the following year. Pretty much only a few monopolies and government operate that way now. He even spoke of how that mentality meant that Unix ultimately failed in the market after divestiture and Linux replaced it--they had not patented all their code, but secured copyrights instead. The whole open source market really began with GNU and Linux, and now includes MySQL, Apache HTTP server, Tomcat, JBoss, and countless other huge projects--even Android is open source. Even the PHP board we chat on is open source and free. It simply would not exist without the economic revolution of the 1980s. Clinton also played a role, as he opened the internet to commerce. That's what makes Obama's Net Neutrality initiative potentially a great tragedy.
There is so much good that came from divestiture and de-regulation. The entire cell phone industry was built in large part because it wasn't regulated as a utility. Can you imagine a world without voice mail? Where the phone company owns your phone, not you? Where fax machines and email are illegal, because they compete with first class mail from the post office? Forget call-waiting, three-way calling, conference calls, *69, etc. It simply didn't exist before the Reagan years.
nucklepunch wrote:Had Watergate not happened I have always maintained the Cold War could have ended by 1980, we were making real progress with Nixon and Kissinger's realist approach. They might have been able to convince the Soviets not to make the blunder of invading Afghanistan, Reagan meanwhile aided extremists that later morphed into anti-American groups.
I hardly think that Operation Linebacker helped make friends and influence people. Reagan was a lot softer on communism if you see it from the perspective of the VC or NVA on the wrong end of an arc light strike from the Johnson years through Rolling Thunder, Linebacker and Linebacker II. Reagan rebuilt the military, but he didn't use it a lot. By contrast, George H.W. Bush looked at it like an appliance. He invaded Panama to arrest Manuel Noriega on drug charges. Operation Just Cause
. War and Peace in Panama (1991) - PBS Frontline Documentary
. It's hard to believe that anyone would look at Reagan's war on drugs and compare it to Bush I invading Panama and say Reagan was more militant. Bush I also deployed the biggest conventional military since the Vietnam War during Desert Storm. Even George W. Bush didn't put a 500k man army in the Middle East.
nucklepunch wrote:Reagan meanwhile focused on a more aggressive approach and also intervened in Latin America propping up regimes that committed various atrocities. This decision hurt America's reputation in Latin America which led to the later arrival of leftist anti-American regimes like Hugo Chavez.
Seriously? Manuel Noriega got arrested by the US Army. Reagan didn't do that. George H.W. Bush did. Honestly, nucklepunch, are you a college student? Check your primary sources. Listening to professors is a mistake. They will deliberately mislead you. Reagan supported the Contras against the Sandinistas. Somoza had already fallen under Jimmy Carter. Violetta Chamorro wasn't exactly oppressive. Reagan used military support to anti-communist forces pretty much everywhere. George H.W. Bush's kinder and gentler approach was to invade Panama for the purposes of arresting Manuel Noriega. Keep in mind that leaders like Augusto Pinchet came to power because of Nixon and Kissinger, not Reagan. Your professors will not tell you this. You must do your own primary research.
nucklepunch wrote:Had George H.W. Bush won the Republican primary in 1980 he would have had to have done Reaganomics like policies under a different name because the times called for it, but George H.W. Bush was more of a realist than Reagan was in foreign policy, but later on he had to act like he was more hawkish than he actually was in deference to Reagan's legacy.
Do you really believe this? George H.W. Bush, like his sons, speaks sweetly but will kick your ass. Socialists like the Bush family, because they expand on FDR. Reagan opposed Johnson, whose domestic policies were tragic. The idea that George H.W. Bush used the military the way he did just to live up to Reagan is an unbelievable apologia, which undoubtedly Jeb's cronies are floating. It's absurd. I knew when George W. Bush won, we'd go to war. I just didn't think it would be Iraq. I know if Jeb wins, we'll be going to war. That's just how it is.