Sunday, May 03, 2009

Jack Kemp, supply-side economics champion, dies

Former Republican congressman and Housing Secretary in the George H. Bush administration Jack Kemp has died, 73 years old.

A major player in the Republican party, and a pillar of it's broad tent strategy, his greatest, and most damaging, legacy was the fact that he convinced Ronald Reagan to base his economic policies on the Chicago School of economics, and the now-disproved supply-side economics (Reagan's brand of this became known as Reaganomics, and resulted in huge national debt).

Blame for the economics morass caused by Reaganomics, and the later George W. Bush variant, cannot of course be laid entirely, or even mostly, at the feet of Jack Kemp. I cannot, however, help wondering what would have happened if someone with more economical sense had been able to convince Ronald Reagan and the neo-Conservatives about a more sound economical philosophy.

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