David Stockman’s new book is a brilliant, penetrating analysis of the present state of the US economy and the US political system, and a detailed account of how the nation got into this mess. The book will upset Democrats and Republicans alike, and quite a few other constituencies as well, which can, in this case, be safely accepted as proof that Stockman’s narrative is spot on.
Here are the main myths that Stockman exposes:
- Myth one: The 2008 financial crisis was the result of unregulated markets. TARP and the Fed saved the country from Great Depression 2.0
- Myth two: There was such a thing as the ‘Reagan Revolution’ and it revitalized American capitalism.
- Myth three: The Great Depression was caused by the gold standard and was ended by Roosevelt’s Keynesian policies.
- Myth four: Free floating paper monies are a sign of free market capitalism
- Myth five: Modern financial markets represent free market capitalism.
.. He closes the book with a few pages of policy recommendations, all of them sensible, I guess, and naturally following from the preceding extensive analysis. But Stockman is under no illusion – he knows that his policy ideas do not stand a snowball’s chance in hell of being implemented. In any case, the book is not really, first and foremost, about a new policy program but about shifting the parameters of the debate by providing a thorough and accurate description of America’s economic and political problems. And here the book succeeds with flying colors.