Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Rising Tide that Lifted All Boats

The chart below is from an entry on www.fivethirtyeight.com called The Clinton Economic Record and Rising Tides. In that post, Nate Silver breaks down the effects of White House economic policies from Nixon/Ford through Bush 43.

A quick glance shows the obvious:
  • Nixon/Ford policies were favorable to the rich, and oddly favorable to the very poor at the same time (an anomoly Silver suggests may be more to the delayed effect of LBJ's "Great Society" programs)
  • The Carter years were economically tough, but there may have been some upper-income benefits from the period's high inflation
  • Reagan/Bush showed improvements for everyone, but their policies steering wealth towards upper income levels were extremely successful -- for the wealthy, of course
  • During Clinton, a rising tide lifted all boats
  • Bush 43's policies were not successful for ANYONE, and they were simply DISASTROUS for the lowest income levels
Silver provides excellent analysis to these trends, and I don't want to steal any more of his thunder, so read his article for its even-handed breakdown of what was successful, not successful, and what kinds of policies can help everyone going forward.

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