According to George Melloan, the erosion of supply-side economic principles began shortly after Ronald Reagan left office, when his successor, George H.W. Bush, caved in to pressures from Congress and reneged on his campaign promise to not raise taxes. Bush, who once called supply-side “voodoo economics,” seemed to forget that during his eight years as Reagan’s Vice President that Reaganomics was transforming America into a dynamic entrepreneurial society. The prosperous 1990s saw a gradual return of Keynesian ideas and policies that were the catalyst for the credit bubble and the current economic downturn.
The genuine prosperity of the preceding two decades slowly morphed into a false sense of wealth, brought about by excessive dependence on credit by both the public and private sector. When the credit bubble burst, the economy collapsed. In short, policy makers dismissed sound classical economics and instead relied on the false promise of Keynesianism, the theory that the government itself can generate prosperity through easy credit and heavy government spending.
Offering enlightening answers in an uncertain time, The Great Money Binge not only traces the failures of Keynesian policies and past administrations, but outlines a clear, authoritative solution: a return to supply-side economics and a rejection of the trendy but ultimately disastrous stimulus packages, which only lead to a new era of inflation and global depression.
George Melloan retired in after a 54-year writing and editing career at The Wall Street Journal. In his last assignment he was Deputy Editor, International, of the editorial page and author of a weekly op-ed column titled Global View. He moved to New York in 1962 to join the Journal’s Page One department as an editor and rewrite specialist. From 1966 to 1970 he was a foreign correspondent based in London, covering such major stories as the Six-Day War in the Middle East, the Biafran War in Nigeria and an attempted economic reform in the Soviet Union.
After joining the editorial page in New York in 1970, Mr. Melloan became deputy editor in 1973. In 1990, he took responsibility for the Journal’s overseas editorial pages, writing editorials and columns for the Journal’s foreign and domestic editions about such momentous events as the collapse of the Soviet Union and the open door policy that brought billions of foreign investment into China, fueling its enormous economic growth over a period of 25 years.
Mr Melloan was winner of the Gerald Loeb award for distinguished business and financial journalism in 1982 and twice in the 1980s won the Daily Gleaner award of the Inter-American Press Association for his writings about the rising Soviet influence in Central America. In 2005, he received the Barbara Olson Award for excellence and independence in journalism from The American Spectator.
Mr. Melloan lives in Westfield, N.J. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Dutch Treat Club.