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Clintonomics and the Lessons of the 1980s
Wednesday, June 23, 1993

Editor, The Wall Street Journal; Author, The Seven Fat Years: And How To Do It Again

Is the recession of the 1990s retribution for the "excesses" of the 1980s? Are there lessons from the 1980s that can be applied today or is the Clinton administration's pursuit of a new national industrial policy with massive tax increases, re-regulation, and government make-work programs the solution? Based on his personal involvement in the development and analysis of the economic policies since the 1970s, Robert L. Bartley will draw upon his new book, The Seven Fat Years: And How To Do It Again, to offer a deeply informed reassessment of the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations' economic policies.

In his talk, Mr. Bartley will discuss how during the 1980s, the "seven fat years," the American economy grew by nearly a third with eighteen million new jobs created This historic productivity surmounted the grave economic legacy of the 1970s, and laid the base for a record peacetime expansion. He will then pinpoint the current political and economic myopia threatening to propel the United States into a collective crisis of confidence entirely of it's own making -- the myopia condemning the prosperity of the 1980s as a period of "greed" and "excess."

Mr. Bartley will show rather how the recession of the 1990s resulted from an abandonment of the earlier revolution in the "new classic economic" polices of tax reduction, decontrol, and decentralization, plus how the momentous economic changes of the past decades have dramatically undermined the theories of John Maynard Keynes that government can and should control and direct the economy. Mr. Bartley will further present convincing evidence that our prospects for real growth will suffer so long as policymakers fail to grasp the significance of the "new classical" revolution in economic understanding.

Mr. Bartley will describe how the United States can fulfill its destiny by completing the policies that created the seven fat years, including further tax cuts to promote a rebirth of entrepreneurial vigor. By learning the lessons of the policies that produced record wealth in the 1980s, we can lead the world to prosperity for all in the 1990s and beyond.

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