Reminding Konczal about Who Deregulated
Mike Konczal explains that Ted Cruz’s claim that the current situation is similar to the 70s is utterly insane. He wrote a brilliant article do click and read. I was sent there from a fun post by Steve Benen following angry bear Mike Kimel, stealing candy from babies and correcting Rand Paul’s arithmetic.
However, he concedes too much to Republican myth makers. He wrote
“in the 1970s there was a bipartisan effort to deregulate markets ranging from transportation to finance to energy, an effort that began under Carter before it took off under President Ronald Reagan.”
Nonsense. Transportation was deregulated by a bill signed into law by Carter. It is true that Reagan didn’e re regulate it, but, for example, airline deregulation had already taken off when he was inaugurated (also interstate trucking deregulation had hit the road and yes I promise no more stupid word play). Energy was deregulated by an executive order signed by Carter. Finance was largely deregulated by bills signed by Bill Clinton* . As to finance I had a NOW interest bearing checking account in September 1978 — regulation Q was for practical purposes repealed December 1980 the month before Reagan was inaugurated.
I am trying to think of what regulations Konczal thinks Reagan took off*. It is true that aggressive enforcement of antitrust regulations transformed the telephone industry while he was President. That’s regulation not deregulation. It is also true that he signed a bill allowing savings and loanses to invest in riskier assets (and we do remember how that turned out don’t we ?).
But aside from that, I draw a blank
*”so I lied” -Dave Barry 1998
I think Reagan kind of gave the push to deregulating labor? Though he did do Harley a favor. What a cowboy.
But that telephone thingy? That was started in ’74 and Reagan just happened to be there when it got completed.
I don’t view the telephone thingy as regulation enforcement (even though it was the anti-trust laws) as much as part of that Milton thinking on getting government out thing. Just like all those municipal electric utilities that were pushed to be private.
It was the reconditions of Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker during the Carter administration that made possible the avalanche of deregulation under Reagan according to the book 13 Bankers.
A lot of people forget all that Carter did. For example, they think that Reagan revived the Cold War against Russia. It was Carter who pulled the US out of the 1980 Olympics and earlier tried to cut wheat imports to Russia. Needless to say, he was horribly vilified by his denunciations of the USSR. (Does anyone else remember the “tractorcade” protest in DC?)
Reagan’s legacy was the elimination of the family wage job for men with only a high school diploma.