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Forum Post: The Reagan Legacy

Posted 7 years ago on March 11, 2012, 2:26 p.m. EST by WatTyler (263)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

"When Ronald Reagan took power in 1981, Americans lived completely different lives. Health care insurance was a given for nearly all working Americans. Downsizing — the concept of mass layoffs in order to boost a CEO’s bonus — hadn’t entered the vocabulary. Neither had outsourcing. Working parents came home from work before sundown and ate dinners with their families. Unions were strong, and the industrialists felt a social responsibility to ensuring their workers’ well-being. This was all reflected in the income differential: in 1979, the average CEO earned 30 times his average employees’ wage. For some reason no one wants to remember this part of the past — because it’s too depressing, and speaks too obviously to the real decline in America.

Reagan came to office and told the plutocrats to take everything that they wanted. I mean everything. Today, CEOs make 571 times their average employees’ wage. Today’s male white collar workers in America only earn, in real dollars, six cents per hour more today than they earned in 1973. Health care is increasingly hard to come by, no job is ever safe, Americans work far longer hours and suffer from stress-related illnesses once unheard of. As an Economic Policy Institute report noted, “What income growth there was over the 1979-1989 period was driven primarily by more work at lower wages.””

And this was published in 2004, BEFORE the most recent financial collapse. And while it is a part of a larger scurrilous satire, it is also entirely accurate and succinct.


32 years down the road we are left with every media talking head and disingenuous politician genuflecting before St. Ronnie and all he did for America. Most Americans are too young to have been adult participants in our country’s way of life before the corporatists began to tighten their hold on power and rewrite history so that there was not only no longer much authentic opposition, but that there was an inverted reality amongst most Americans concerning the true heritage of Ronald Reagan, and not what he did for America, but rather to it.



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[-] 8 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

Since I am 56, I can clearly remember this guy while he was doing his damage. His hardball stance during the ATC strike inspired the rest of corporate America to follow suit, thus destroying the effectiveness of labor unions. His massive borrowing, instead of taxing, to pay for a huge military build-up was the beginning of the trend that would continue to this day, i.e., deficit spending and tax-cuts for the rich. His widely propagandized Reaganomics (dubbed voodoo economics), a.k.a. "trickle down", didn't trickle anywhere but into the pockets of the 1%.

Oh, and yes. There's the whole Iran-Contra thing. Proof positive that he was pretty much asleep at the switch. A hands-off leader that trusted his people to run the show while he practiced his lines and performed his act in front of a gullible and naive American populace.

Is it no wonder that Conservatives/Republicans hardly go for any period of time without mentioning him in one way or another? They are his disciples and worship him as their Lord and Savior. They wish for a 2nd Coming of him in the form of another conservative who can communicate the propaganda that Liberalism is somehow unAmerican, and that to advocate it is akin to brain damage.

Yes, much evil and damage was done by him and his followers. But all of this has come into the light now. We can see how the deception was perpetrated. We know that Liberals have accomplished much in their history, and conservatives have only desired to preach status quo and sing the tax-cut song. They have been exposed for what they are.

And that is why we have Occupy.

[-] 5 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 7 years ago

Ronnie Rayguns, with his StarWars Initiative against the USSR (who were already on the ropes and signed SALT), massive deregulation gambit- the beginning of unleashing the BANKS, union busting, nonexistent tricky trickle down crap, crippled this country in the name of elitism. Egomaniac of the utmost extreme. I am 58... I too remember.

[-] 5 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

Good points. I'm glad you mentioned his lunacy aka Star Wars, and let's not forget his wife's contribution to sane government via her astrology psychosis and extraction of appropriate government policies via tea leaves and/or who-knows-what-all insane voodoo going on behind the scenes that could have influenced this one-time chimpanzee co-star to do who-knows-what that we never found out about.

You know I couldn't make anything like this up. It is beyond human comprehension.

[-] 4 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 7 years ago

Absolutely, yet it boggles the mind that he is worshiped as the conservative demigod. I'm still pissed that he deregulated the airlines. We haven't had decent service, maintenance or scheduling of flights since then. We get stuffed into more and more densely packed planes like cattle. I mourn the loss of Pan Am, TWA, and Eastern Airlines... one time quality enterprises.

Perfect example of what happens when the market is allowed to run wild.

[-] 4 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

If you create conditions where people/companies have to behave like animals to survive (aka Darwinism), than that is what they will do. The holy dollar is raised to supreme godhood as the focus. As for the people, they suffer, and suffer, and suffer, and suffer, and ....

[-] 0 points by Rael (176) 7 years ago

The airline deregulation act was signed into law in 1978 under Carter. Airline fares declined an average of 30% with much steeper declines in longer routes. This enabled many who could not afford to travel long distances before to be able to for the first time in their lives. I'd gladly trade my before deregulation rubber chicken dinner for a bag of peanuts and 30% off.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 7 years ago

The most money my father ever made in his life was $20,000/ year. Yet every year we took a family vacation by airline to the Virgin Islands, before deregulation.

There was no rubber chicken. We flew Pan Am or Eastern. Flying was elegant and affordable.

[-] 2 points by Rael (176) 7 years ago

Are you denying that flying became much cheaper with deregulation? If so, you are arguing against provable facts on the ground.

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 7 years ago

I am not denying that its cheaper, and the quality has suffered as well. This country is in a race to the bottom because we no longer appreciate quality, we would rather praise what is cheap.

Our relations with China is based on this concept. Our manufacturing was world renown as being the best quality wise. Our manufacturing has now been decimated and untold jobs lost in the pursuit of cheap, poorly made goods.

You want to praise that go right ahead.

[-] 1 points by Rael (176) 7 years ago

Certainly the quality has suffered for a plane ride. However, when it comes to a product or service, I tend to look for the primary purpose of my purchase. Sure, getting a nice meal on a flight is nice but I'd rather be able to save $300 and use it on a nice dinner once I get on vacation. If you believe products were less cheaply made in general back in the old days you weren't paying attention. Sure some were, but look to the cars of the 70's when it was a big deal to get 100000 miles on them. I'd rather have a $9 telephone that might break in 5 years rather than the indestructible $100 phones that took 3 months to be replaced from AT&T back in the day

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 7 years ago

How superficial do you get? You think that the price of the dinner was the only difference between yesterdays airlines and todays? Maintenance, service, pilot fatigue, etc, the list is long.

Your comparisons are of apples and oranges. Many things today, especially electronics and cars are engineered better, thats just progress. Compare early 70's GM or Ford car over anything from Japan of the same time period. Compare almost any product from the late 60's that was American made to European products or Asian.... of the same time period. There is none. American made meant quality. But cheap telephones turn you on.

If you prefer to live in the Age of Consumerism and cheap goods go right ahead. The throw away mentality just adds more trash to the world. More crap that while cheap to the consumer, adds tremendous cost to remediate on the clean up end.... costs that are never added to the consumer price, but as a society we pay for in spades.

[-] 1 points by Rael (176) 7 years ago

So when things get better it is only due to technological progress and not to competition? Do you think the quality of American cars improves as much as it has if the Japanese didn't kick our ass both on quality AND on price for many years? Yes, I prefer to live in an age when I can replace my wall phone for the price of a high end burger rather than being beholden to a monopoly who may or may not show up for a service call.

Competition spurs innovation and efficiency. Do you disagree?

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 7 years ago

"Competition spurs innovation and efficiency. Do you disagree?"

I disagree. Necessity spurs innovation and efficiency. Cars became better designed and more efficient because the Oil Cartels turned the tap off. They also became better designed with computers to regulate engine outputs because the regulatory environment became stricter and the Clean Air Act demanded it. American Car manufacturers dropped the ball because of retooling issues. They had no small cars to fill the change caused by higher fuel costs, while the Japanese had small cars. If you remember correctly, the quality of those early cars sucked. It was just that they were fuel efficient because of size that they sold.

Electronics aren't improved through competition, but by specification demands, usually put out by the military or science community. Very few things are created or invented without a need first. Competition plays a small part in the overall scheme. There is usually not a great difference of features when comparing similar items of the same price range.

Competition is a mirage in a world run by powerful Cartels that set market pricing in almost every field. The Oil Cartel, American Agro-culture, Asian manufacturing, etc....

Maybe you believe that 'Free Trade' is 'Fair Trade' as well.

[-] 0 points by Rael (176) 7 years ago

I was around for the breakup of Ma Bell. Everyone bemoaned it at the time, myself included. It had a tremendous effect on computer and communication innovation. The quality of the early Japanese cars sucked compared to today but they were still a higher quality than what Detroit was putting out at the time. Plus they filled a market need that Detroit didn't really want to fill, but now they do. Hence spurring innovation and improvement in both the designs that people wanted and in the quality they demanded. Not everything in life has a bogeyman in the shadows pulling on the strings of the puppets.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 7 years ago

True monopolies (not Cartels) like utilities have had their day. Centralized planning was logical and worked well for uniform service provision, but does not lend itself to a changing society.

Like the break up of Ma Bell, in the electric utility generation and distribution business, I see in the near future, the break up of Duke Energy and other major regional players as alternative, localized energy generation becomes more practical and economical. Communities and individuals will be looking to get off the grid and should have the freedom to do so without penalty.

"The quality of the early Japanese cars sucked compared to today but they were still a higher quality than what Detroit was putting out at the time. Plus they filled a market need that Detroit didn't really want to fill, but now they do."

I don't believe the early Japanese cars were superior in quality to American cars in just say 1970. Detroit missed the boat because like most Americans when OPEC jacked up the price of oil a few 100% overnight, they believed incorrectly, that the price would not stay that high that long since it was an artificial increase.

I don't see bogeymen in the shadows pulling the strings of the puppets all the time, but I am a realist. Money and power make the world go round and he with the most gold makes the rules.

I guess we are going to just have to agree to disagree.

[-] 3 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 7 years ago

Just a quick side-note on Star Wars: Reagan put together his advisory committee exclusively comprised of - ready for this - science fiction writers. You read that right: science FICTION novelists. The entire multi billion dollar plan had an exclusive basis in fantasy. Arthur C. Clark was invited to be on that committee, and he refused.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

The mind recoils is disbelief...

[-] 3 points by bensdad (8977) 7 years ago

I know a lady - in her 90's who knew ronnie personally - when he was a TV star. Her husband worked with ronnie on the GE show.
After speaking his lines, and staff came up to him after the show to discuss his presentation, he HAD ALREADY FORGOTTEN HIS LINES
One of his favorite evening activities ( pre-pres & pre-gov ) was to float on his back in his pool and look for UFOs

This may sound like an indictment of ronnie as a fool - it is not

In stead of thinking and reasoning - we believed
America elected and re-elected him
Just like Nixon, just like Bush
It is no surprise that one of Powell's cornerstones is taking over the education system
by any means necessary

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

Yes. Who's the bigger fool --the fool himself or those that follow him?

"We have seen the enemy, and he is us."

[-] 4 points by bensdad (8977) 7 years ago

I used to see our current economic disaster starting with ronnie & trickle down.
WRONG! Really - it goes back to the 1971 "Powell Memo"
Written by the soon to be Nixon's Supreme Court Justice, this was the neocon bible for stealing America.
It is a blueprint for enslaving every aspect of America -
to serve the plutocracy - koch, murdoch, cheney ......


[-] 3 points by WatTyler (263) 7 years ago

Thank you for this. Very interesting and helpful information.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

Thanks very much for the Powell memo. Some excerpts below:

But independent and uncoordinated activity by individual corporations, as important as this is, will not be sufficient. **Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action** and national organizations.

Evaluation of Textbooks The staff of scholars (or preferably a panel of independent scholars) **should evaluate social science textbooks**, especially in economics, political science and sociology. This should be a continuing program.

Anyone who reads the entire Powell memo can come to only one inescapable conclusion -- this is an open declaration of class warfare. Anyone who thinks differently is either naive, deluded, or both.

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 7 years ago

Thanks, I had never heard of the Powell Manifesto. Your first link touches on Strategies.


I can't remember who said it, but supposedly our educational institutions like universities have been infiltrated for 30 years or more by Neoliberals or someone else.

[-] 3 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 7 years ago

Having been a toddler during his reign I only know him through the many books I've read about the era. The impression I get is that he was an absentee landlord. People like Greenspan, Laffer, Regan, Poindexter and Mrs. Reagan and her psychic were more instrumental in creating the policies that dominated that era. It is their legacy that we now live with. It's not surprising that those around a president have a lot of influence, but I don't believe there has ever been one-- maybe the Harding Administration-- that has reduced the President to a spokesperson. Or maybe that is all the position really is.

[-] 3 points by Dumpthechump (96) 7 years ago

Absentee landlord huh? I too am 56 and well remember his antics...

REAGAN: My doctor told me that I have a Mr Al Heimer on my head. Do you think that will affect my chances in the coming elections for Governor of California?

SECURITY GUARD: Oh, no! It will have no effect at all Mr President!

[-] 3 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

Trust me. The whole thing was a show. Yes, the economy expanded during the 80s, but that was due to the expansion of computer technology, silicon valley, dot-com explosion, etc. and had little to do with him personally, except for his corporate deregulation policies designed to favor the wealthy class which lead to a "wild west" type of business practice in America and, thus, significant Wall Street investment by the wealthy-class who own a disproportionate share of the country's wealth to begin with.

Economically, he was in the right place at the right time and took the credit for it.

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

Great Post.

We are still paying for Reagan. Still. I don't understand how anyone could hold this clown up and worship him. It makes no sense.

[-] 3 points by richardkentgates (3269) 7 years ago

Good show. No surprise, he was in Hollywood and CIA.


why are we paying to propagandize ourselves?

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 7 years ago

I was only 12 when Reagan was elected but I was old enough to remember the world I grew up in compared to the one he ushered in very well. And it all started because nobody on the left believed that a washed up actor and mediocre governor could really beat an incumbent President. And by all logical rights, he never should have won but the Democratic party was battered not just by the terrible economy and the hostage crisis, but by Teddy Kennedy's hubris.

No matter what Teddy might have done to make up for his transgressions later, to me he will always be the man that helped pave the way for Reagan. You can't say Carter would have lost anyway. The primary challenge was a huge part of it. Like most Americans, I have a love/hate relationship with the Kennedy family. For me, Reagan is one episode that contributes to the hate side of the ledger.

[-] 2 points by dormantideas (6) 7 years ago

He was no more than a puppet that had acting power and could fool the people more than average. We have had puppets since 1773... stop fighting the battles the Rothschilds and Rockefellers want you to waste your energy on and take on the EVIL. that is behind it all. EDUCATE YOURSELVES with that part of the chess game. Most of what I read here is too little too late and missing the big points. I would like to be able to post the true complete story behind these end-game events we are facing. The level of sophistication in arms has reached a point of total control, this is not just a repeat of history. These are orchestrated events that have a dire aim for the free people. Thus do not censor my free speech. I bring to you the information that will put everyone on the same page, and end much of the bickering that is totally unproductive and a mismatch to the current level of these final events. The US has just lost ALL rights with the Patriot and NDAA Acts.
BE smart, EDUCATE yourselves about the pressing issues at w w w d o r m a n t i d e a s c o m instead of bickering with side issues that are way to little way to late: Like the FEDERAL CRIMINAL BANK that prints counterfit money... removing the "...redeemable in silver upon demand..." from the paper money... and so much more... go to the web site mentioned and educate yourself, it is much bigger than the real estate fraud. MOST IMPORTANT, press your State to exercise the 9th and 10th amendments NULLIFICATION of unconstitutional legislation by claiming Sovereignty. 38 States have filed bills to claim Sovereignty. One of the best compilation of the current events is at: w w w d o r m a n t i d e a s c o m. It puts everything that is currently happening in a connect the dots approach that spells it all out. It puts everyone on the same page, ready to answer any questions from the trolls who come to interview you on the streets to debunk you as idiots and post it on the NET to embarrass you.

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 7 years ago

The infamous buzzwords of Reaganomics were "trickle-down economics," which gave government sanction to the new plutocracy.

The truth was the wealth never trickled down; it stayed right at the top.

[-] 2 points by rayl (1007) 7 years ago

i remember this time very well. i was a foreman for a painting company, single and i didn't have a lot of spare cash. there were guys under me with families and i couldn't see how they made ends meet. turns out they or their wives were working 2nd jobs. this was in the mid 80's and i could feel the crunch coming already. when reagan was elected for a second term i had the opportunity to leave the country and i'm glad i did. most people don't realize how much of the news in america is slanted or just plain propaganda. when you're outside for a while it is very obvious.

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 7 years ago

Thank you for this post.

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 7 years ago

I give him credit for pushing the former U.S.S.R. towards dissolution with his rather unique combination of almost-naive idealism and really hard-driving politics but with an escape hatch. At times, I actually thought that he was being senile in office by appointing people such as Edwin Meese but history proved him right about the former Soviet Union. Perhaps the situation then really needed a senile President to do that.

I saw him as being an overreaction to the near chaos that the U.S. experienced in the 1970s stemming from the oil shocks. Anything pushed to an extreme becomes a problem and we have had that same old agenda pushed on for decades and we see the bitter results. It is also a good lesson to keep in mind as we try to push the correction in the opposite direction. It is easy to succumb to overshoots but knowing fully well what has broken means a mandate to fix it and fix it fast. Pushing for tax cuts or continued tax cuts in the face of mounting national debt is crazy but so are continued trillion-dollar deficits. Pledges of politicians of no tax increases dating from the 1990s should just be discarded. The old theory of "starving the beast" just did NOT work.

[-] 2 points by WatTyler (263) 7 years ago

I think what is most important is offering a view of what America once was, and a hopeful view of what it could become.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

This and so much more is the negative truth about Reagan.

Unfortunately, few understand these truths.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 7 years ago

I was a child when Reagan was President, but I'm acutely aware of the history. Yes, he put this country on a terrible trajectory, exploiting the stagflation of the Carter years (caused mostly by "oil" price shocks, embargo's, etc.), winning the Presidency, and essentially lowered unemployment by incurring massive debt and diminishing quality of life for many workers. Union busting was a Reagan trademark (e.g. air traffic controllers), and although he may have expedited the inevitable fall of the Soviet Union, we're still paying the price for the so called Reagan legacy today.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (22853) 7 years ago

The state of the economy today links back to 1981 and his presidency and all that came with it, for sure. Very important post. Thank you.

[-] 2 points by WatTyler (263) 7 years ago

You are very welcome! I'm glad you thought it helpful.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 7 years ago

You could not have recounted this history more accurately, or clearly. I still remember Nixon, a truely pathetic and hideous spectacle of a man, but even he had more basic patriotism than the neo-con-artists who came in with Reagan. That was when a class of anti-social criminals became the leaders of our country.

[-] 0 points by Spade2 (478) 7 years ago

God damn Californians.

[-] -2 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 7 years ago

He stopped runaway inflation. He ended the Soviet Union while keeping us out of war. He cut taxes while increasing revenues. ... He was a good President.

[-] 3 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

He did not end the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union ended the Soviet Union. It imploded under its own massive machinery of unsustainable economic failures. Once the USSR military concluded it could no longer continue (because it could not even afford to pay its soldiers), it collapsed.

Yes he cut taxes... for the rich. What increase in revenues did he bring about? Everything was paid for with deficit spending. This has continued with every Republican president since. The middle-class has shrunk to nothing under the polices he started. The wealthy have become mega-wealthy at the expense of the common man. That is one of the main reasons Occupy got started.

Yes...he was a good President...if you were a Rich Republican like him.

[-] -3 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 7 years ago

The Soviet Union might have lived to see another day had Carter remained in office. Without the aggressive build-up of the military and a naive belief in coexistence for it's own sake, the pressure would have been off. Reagan's tax cuts were across the board and everyone benefited from the resulting recovery. The roots of Occupy (and our current crisis) can be better traced to Clinton and his gutting of banking regulation.

[-] 4 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

You have bought the propaganda. Conservative history slant says that his military build-up was responsible for bankrupting the USSR as they sought to compete in the Cold War.  This is not true. Have you forgotten Gorbachev's Perestroika (literally "Restructuring") and Glasnost (literally "Openness")? Why do you think Gorbachev was made the USSR General Secretary as an economic and political reformer instead of another hardline leader?  The USSR was already completely screwed independent of Reagan and they knew it. They were in deep shit due to the completely flawed/failed Communist economic policies that had slowly accumulated for decades, and were focused primarily on a militaristic economy that left the people in want of basic necessities and barely getting by. They could not even afford to pay their military. Soldiers were selling their guns on the black market just to feed their families. Reagan's military buildup was part of the old tried-and-true "good old boys" Military-Industrial Complex wheeling-and-dealing designed to benefit the power-elite. Such massive borrowing and spending helped pull the economy out of 1970s stagflation, but it was no stroke of genius. It has been done over and over again in the past. Traditionally, going to war is what reenergizes lackluster economies. But there was no political opportunity at the time to go war. So Reagan did the next best thing and borrowed billions to spend on war infrastructure. This, coupled with the sociopathic philosophy of Randism and Laissez-faire Capitalistic practices provided the appearance that he was some kind of Savior of "the American Way". 

As for his "tax cuts across the board", please see the below quote from Wikipedia, which explains the true nature of the situation better than I could (italics are mine for emphasis)

"According to William A. Niskanen, one of the architects of Reaganomics, "Reagan delivered on each of his four major policy objectives, although not to the extent that he and his supporters had hoped," and notes that the most substantial change was in the tax code, where the top marginal individual income tax rate fell from 70.1% to 28.4%, and there was a "major reversal in the tax treatment of business income," with effect of "reducing the tax bias among types of investment but increasing the average effective tax rate on new investment." Roger Porter, another architect of the program, acknowledges that the program was weakened by the many hands that changed the President's calculus, such as Congress.

The primary effect of the tax changes over the course of Reagan's term in office was a change in the composition of tax revenue, towards payroll and new investment, and away from higher earners and capital gains on existing investments. Federal revenue share of GDP declined from 19.6% in fiscal 1981 to 17.3% in 1984, before climbing back to 18.4% by fiscal year 1989. Personal income tax revenues fell during this period relative to GDP, while payroll tax revenues rose relative to GDP. President Ronald Reagan's 1981 cut in the top regular tax rate on unearned income reduced the maximum capital gains rate to only 20%--its lowest level since the Hoover administration. This tax benefits the wealthy, however, in 1986 President Reagan set tax rates on capital gains at the same level as the rates on ordinary income like salaries and wages, with both topping out at 28 percent.

President Reagan, has remained popular as an antitax hero despite raising taxes eleven times over the course of his presidency, all in the name of fiscal responsibility. According to Paul Krugman, "Over all, the 1982 tax increase undid about a third of the 1981 cut; as a share of G.D.P., the increase was substantially larger than Mr. Clinton's 1993 tax increase."

As for your 3rd point, "Clinton and his gutting of banking regulation", I sadly admit that he did the country a great disservice by betraying his party and the American people in signing The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLB), also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. GLB were all congressional Republican leaders at the time. His going along with their scheme to repeal part of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 remains one of the greatest mistakes of his Presidency, perhaps only overshadowed in the collective American mind by "Zippergate" that lead to his Impeachment.

But this post is all about Reagan, not Clinton.

[-] -3 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 7 years ago

Sure, I remember Gorbachev...Do you remember Brezhnev?.. Andopov?.. Chernenko? They were the parade of horribles that preceded Gorbachev. These were the hard line communist, Reagan wisely declined to negotiate with. Remember when Reagan took office, the Evil Empire was in it's assendance. They were in Afghanistan, Angola, Ethiopia, Central America and the Caribbean. Then, Reagan started pushing back. He turned their liberated zones into multiple Vietnams for them. He did this at a critical time for them, as their vasil states in the Eastern block started to crumble - due, in no small part, to Reagan ally, the Pope and the Solidarity movement.

In the end. Reagan forced their hand and made them place a reformer in the Kremlin.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

From Wikipedia:

"He (Chernenko) became the third Soviet leader to die in less than three years, and, upon being informed in the middle of the night of his death, US President Ronald Reagan, who was seven months older than Chernenko and just over three years older than his predecessor Andropov, is reported to have remarked "how am I supposed to get anyplace with the Russians if they keep dying on me?"

If you read the detail on Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko, which is far too much to reproduce here, it becomes evident that the USSR, including its top leadership, was no threat whatsoever to anyone. This had nothing to do with Reagan.

Consider this quote from Wikipedia about Brezhnev era:

While some areas improved during the Brezhnev era, the majority of civilian services deteriorated, with the physical environment for the common Soviet citizen falling apart rapidly. Diseases were on the rise because of the decaying healthcare system. The living space remained rather small by First World standards, with the common Soviet person living on 13.4 square metres. At the same time thousands of Moscow inhabitants were homeless, most of them living in shacks, doorways and parked trams. Nutrition ceased to improve in the late 1970s, while rationing of staple food products returned to Sverdlovsk for instance.

And this about Andropov:

During his rule, Andropov attempted to improve the economy by raising management effectiveness without changing the principles of socialist economy. In contrast to Brezhnev's policy of avoiding conflicts and dismissals, he began to fight violations of party, state and labour discipline, which led to significant personnel changes. During 15 months in office, Andropov dismissed 18 ministers, 37 first secretaries of obkoms, kraikoms and Central Committees of Communist Parties of Soviet Republics; criminal cases on highest party and state officials were started. For the first time, the facts about economic stagnation and obstacles to scientific progress were made available to the public and criticised.

As already stated above, Chernenko accomplished virtually nothing of significance during his brief tenure in power, leading Reagan to quip about Russion leadership always dying on him.

Does all of the above sound like a powerful "Evil Empire" (another Reagan PR catchphrase designed for his benefit to portray him as Savior of the Free World)? The USSR was essentially a third-world country with nukes. It's people suffered terribly due to a failed economic system. Reagan had nothing to do with this.

As far as the Soviets overextending themselves in various countries, this was due to a failed foreign policy on their part and, again, was not due to purposeful counter-strategy on the part of the US. The USSR was already in big trouble economically as far back as the early 70s. They were already doomed to fail, regardless of who the US president might have been. As usual, Reagan knew how the publicity machine worked from his old Hollywood days. He made sure he was in the limelight at the most propitious moment to maximize his publicity in the most favorable ways.

Perhaps his most famous publicity stunt was "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." uttered in Berlin. It was already a forgone conclusion that it was coming down. Reagan knew this and, like any good actor, stood in front of the whole world so as to appear that he could claim responsibility for making it happen.

Yes, he may not have known much about being President, but he sure knew how to look good on TV and how to position himself to appear that he was something that he wasn't.

Isn't that what all good actors do?

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 7 years ago

Good Responses above.

I remember how the military loved reagan, they said he made them proud. But this is sort of an emotional response. Military training is supposed to deal with feeling "Trained and ready for War". And so many things said around the military seem like talking points today.

Remember the Soviet Helicopters the Hip and the Hind. They were supposed to be good weapons systems... It turns out they were so heavy they could not turn. Effectively that would make them slow airplanes.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

I know, I know. Why in the world do you think people just refuse to acknowledge the plain and obvious truth (I am asking sincerely, not rhetorically)?

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 7 years ago

oops I wrote something and looks like I missed the point. But to the point,...Reagan wanted to lead the world and US People voted to lead the world. In the 1970s and 1980s the US people were toying with the idea of leading the world as a super power.

You are asking why did People vote for Reagan. I think in a perverted sense - people bought the idea that the US should intervene in Vietnam just as Korea. I challenge that Idea. I think it is only mental illness that makes us think we need to control politics 3000 or 6000 miles away.

Actually it is partly the military training in morale, and spirit. We want men to know they are fighting for the truth, that they have insight to the truth, that they might be an elite, that they are special people with duty, honor, and are an eleite.

But also it is propaganda. Here is the simple message. Reagan is proud of you. Reagan says "You are the best and should be aknowledged as smart and the best". Reagan says "we are strong, we are the best, we will not allow corruption, the world needs a police force, the world needs guidance, the world is confused, the world is off center on violence and war and we will correct it, the world is dangerous and needs regulation from the USA."

Take your Pick or pick and chose. The bottom line is the US is mistakenly thinking it is the world force that will bring the world to normal civilization or normal society.



[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 7 years ago

Ah. Yes. Now I see your point. Many, many people agree with you that it isn't our job to play world cop. The problem is, war can make some people very, very rich. So, when an opportunity comes along where they can fire up that good old Military-Industrial Complex, they are only too happy to provide. They would love to be producing war product 24/7/365...and they do. But when the balance sheet doesn't look lucrative enough, they'll even invent war or come up with some reason to produce more product. After all, business is business, and if your business just happens to be war, well...

Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines!!!

CIA, Arms Supply.

Korea, Vietnam, Granada, Panama, Nicaragua, Bosnia, El Salvador, Persian Gulf, Columbia-Bolivia-Peru "war on drugs", Saudi Arabia-Kuwait-Iraq "Desert Shield/Storm", Somalia, Afghanistan...just look at this list:


The US has been involved in some type of military operation, either directly or indirectly, practically continuously since its inception. Why?

Couldn't possibly be for profit.

We are too honorable for that. We wouldn't endanger American lives for that. We wouldn't risk being hated all around the world for that. No...no way. There has to be another reason. After all, we're the United States of America.

Manifest Destiny

World Empire

World Economy

Transnational Corporatocracy.

[-] 1 points by minimee (1) 7 years ago

The USA was a penal colony from day one.

It was the first nation on earth where 'free men' could get rich, outside of the crown. Evil and power hungry men who wanted to be rich, migrated to the USA. Where they bought slaves given the convict labor force was not productive.

From 1776 we invaded Libya, ... the US Marine song, .."from the shores of Tripoli" ... was about the US Marine invasion, ... since day-one the USA was robbing the worlds treasures using the convicts that were willing to be mercenary's and not labor on farms.

Today the USA is a kleptocracy, a government ran by common criminals, a government that has robbed the world, you all forget that the Wall-Street didn't just rob the USA it robbed the whole fucking world.

Goldman Sach's has robbed the whole fucking world for 140 years.

GS put Obama in power to keep robbing the world.

This is USA history.


[-] -1 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 7 years ago

Ronald Reagan saved America from Jimmy Carter. We had 20% interest rates, a horrible stagflation, and were getting whipped by Iranian students. Carter couldnt spell dog if you spotted him the d and the g.

[-] 3 points by bensdad (8977) 7 years ago

Who signs your paycheck? David or Charles?
Reagan also raised taxes 11 times
oh- and one itty bitty detail
he committed treason in the Iran Contra crime and in negotiating with Iran, before he was president to get the hostages released as he was sworn in

and now - I have some inside knowlwdge knowledge on this but NO PROOF- the White House wanted Reagan to talk to the Challeger astronauts at a certain date and time and that is why politicians demanded that it was launched when it was so risky.


[-] 3 points by bensdad (8977) 7 years ago

He commited a CRIME by negotiating with a foreign power BEFORE he was president -
nixon paid the price - reagan didn't

[-] -2 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 7 years ago

Reagan was responsible for freeing the hostages?... That doesn't sound plausible, but ok, I'll add that to his long list of accomplishments.

Thanks for your contribution.

[-] 2 points by Chimptastic (67) 7 years ago

He sold weapons to Iran to urge them to have their lackeys release American hostages (in fact, he urged the Iranians NOT to have the hostages released before the election since he would be able to give them a better deal, the weapon trading, if he was elected). He then used the profits of those arms deals to fund terrorists in Nicaragua. He and Brezhnev were complete cowards; the PEOPLE of the Soviet satellites ended the Second Russian Empire, not some conservative leaders that fought AGAINST free elections and democracy every chance they got during the cold war.

[-] -1 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 7 years ago

You're confusing a thing or three. First, the crazy allegation that Reagan conspired with the Ayatollah to keep the hostages ( the infamous, October Surprise plot ) is without a shred of evidence and can be largely attributed to Democratic Party sour grapes. Second, the IranContra gambit came much later during his second term. A "neat idea" that got our hostages out of Lebanon, funded the Contras on Iran's dime, and used weapons from Israel for the Iranians to fight off Saddam Hussain... A trifecta and at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer!

[-] 1 points by Bonobobastic (8) 7 years ago

First (I'm from above, I have to regularly switch accounts in order to actually post, the moderators don't seem to like me) I don't think his desire to arm Iran was entirely related with his desire to win the election, but it was dependent on it. Yes, we armed Iran and Iraq and pitted them against each other, with the Kurds sandwiched in-between. If you count this as a good thing, then that helps me understand why you so easily approve the arming of Nicaraguan terrorists. Tell me why you don't believe the Nicaraguans should have been allowed to elect their own government, and do they have the right to do so today? I don't think the U.S. taxpayer ought to benefit from the slaughter of civillians, by or between governments, so I suppose I wouldn't be too welcome among Reagan's ilk.

[-] 0 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 7 years ago

The Sandanistas were not elected by the Nicaraguan people. They siezed control in post revolution coup, much the same way the Bolsheviks took power in Russia. The first chance at an election the people threw them out in favor of Victoria Chamorro and the Contas.

The Contras were mostly comprised of anti-Somoza guerrillas who liberated their country from dictatorship, only to be betrayed by Soviet bloc stooges.

Later on, a somewhat chastened ex- Sandinista Danial Ortega, after finding God, returned to power in a free and fair election.

He should have done that in the first place.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 7 years ago

what you call win/wins i always thought to be the bottom of the barrel in american diplomacy. The biggest problem I have with our ideology is that we have had to export it with the barrel of the gun. The contras being defeated by american capitalist zealots and Vietnam being subdued for ever voting to be communists are reasons that show our ideology to be lacking merit. If you have to use force to make your ideology the thought of the world, then your ideology is not worth all of its accolades. The 20th century was ripe with capitalistic subjugation and Reagan's war on the Contras was just one more attempt at forcing our will on those who disagreed.

[-] 0 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 7 years ago

Reagan's war on the Contras?... Better do your homework, Jesse. And stop reading Marx, you'll go blind.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 7 years ago

Wow, I'll say the same to you. Iran Contra affair was the American administration, Poindexter, O'niel and clark, cramming capitalism down the throat of El Salvador. And before you come back and try to distort the facts, I have three books right in front of me that will allow me to blow your lies out the water. The Reagan administration was a gaggle of ideologs. But, hey, there were just one in a long line of capitalistic fundamentalists. Un like most people, I read the books of people i disagree with, you should try it. Besides, what the fuck would Marx know about Reagan?

[-] 0 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 7 years ago

Better hit those books instead of me, Jesse.

The Contras were Nicaraguan - not El Salvadorian. And Reagan wasn't making war on them, he was supporting them.

You can look it up.

[+] -4 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 7 years ago

Nobody wants to go back to the decade of the 70's with high unemployment and high inflation. It was a horrible period.

[-] 4 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 7 years ago

In 1971 Nixon closed the Gold window which threw the monetary system into short term chaos, In 1975 the Vietnam War ended... with it many military personnel coming home to non-existent jobs because we were on a war footing for 10 years, then in 1973 OPEC turned the taps off raising fuel prices.... and the debt from our long term war was due.

A triple whammy that would have wrecked any decade in history. Ronnie Raygunz pulls us out by firing up the defense industry again. That's leadership??? How about leading us in a time of peace, not waging war against the USSR which had already started nuclear disarmament and was financially in trouble. Worse President in US History.

We have been in continuous war for as long as I have been alive.

[-] -1 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 7 years ago

There are always economic shocks to the system just like there is now. What matters is how you respond to them. Bush II and Obama have made mistakes thinking they can bail groups out and prime the pump while Bernanke has done the right thing. Ford and Carter made mistakes, while Reagan knew he had to grow out of it.

We achieved monetary stability when Volcker put us back on a rule based system - the price rule. Ironically, it was Carter who first appointed Volcker. If you go back and look. Carter actually changed most of his policies halfway through his term and pushed Kemp Roth through Congress. He ran out of time. Monetary policy is the most crucial element of economic growth and Reagan benefitted by having a very good board - Manny Johnson and Wayne Angell - and chairman. He moved the fiscal side which increased the demand fo rmoney,

More importantly, he pushed the economic allocation decisions back to the people which increased incentives and innovaiton. The amount of change we have seen in the past 30 years has been remarkable. So many of these companies and inventions werern't even around when I was growing up.

The USSR question is debatable as they were in economic chaos, but I don't think they were disarming in 1980.

Personally, I am a fan of keeping a very strong military but pulling most of our troops back behind our borders. Let the other people shoot and kill each other. They are going to do it anyway.

[-] 3 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 7 years ago

"The amount of change we have seen in the past 30 years has been remarkable. So many of these companies and inventions werern't even around when I was growing up."

I could quote the change that I have seen from 1960-1969, where in ten years we went from jet flight to landing on the moon. That had nothing to do with Raygunz or his policies, but just progress. The diversity of companies and inventions increased then also.

"More importantly, he pushed the economic allocation decisions back to the people which increased incentives and innovaiton."

You would have to go a long way to prove that. Even the guys down at Mises.org, who aren't liberally biased, know that this wasn't the truth but a major part of the myth:

"Tax Cuts. One of the few areas where Reaganomists claim success without embarrassment is taxation. Didn't the Reagan administration, after all, slash income taxes in 1981, and provide both tax cuts and "fairness" in its highly touted tax reform law of 1986? Hasn't Ronald Reagan, in the teeth of opposition, heroically held the line against all tax increases?

The answer, unfortunately, is no. In the first place, the famous "tax cut" of 1981 did not cut taxes at all. It's true that tax rates for higher-income brackets were cut; but for the average person, taxes rose, rather than declined. The reason is that, on the whole, the cut in income tax rates was more than offset by two forms of tax increase. One was "bracket creep," a term for inflation quietly but effectively raising one into higher tax brackets, so that you pay more and proportionately higher taxes even though the tax rate schedule has officially remained the same. The second source of higher taxes was Social Security taxation, which kept increasing, and which helped taxes go up overall. Not only that, but soon thereafter; when the Social Security System was generally perceived as on the brink of bankruptcy, President Reagan brought in Alan Greenspan, a leading Reaganomist and now Chairman of the Federal Reserve, to save Social Security as head of a bipartisan commission. The "saving," of course, meant still higher Social Security taxes then and forevermore.

Since the tax cut of 1981 that was not really a cut, furthermore, taxes have gone up every single year since, with the approval of the Reagan administration. But to save the president's rhetorical sensibilities, they weren't called tax increases. Instead, ingenious labels were attached to them; raising of "fees," "plugging loopholes" (and surely everyone wants loopholes plugged), "tightening IRS enforcement," and even revenue enhancements." I am sure that all good Reaganomists slept soundly at night knowing that even though government revenue was being "enhanced," the president had held the line against tax increases." http://mises.org/daily/1544 (The Myths of Reaganomics)

[-] 2 points by WatTyler (263) 7 years ago

“The amount of change we have seen in the past 30 years has been remarkable.”

Boy, you can say that again!

"When Ronald Reagan took power in 1981, Americans lived completely different lives. Health care insurance was a given for nearly all working Americans. Downsizing — the concept of mass layoffs in order to boost a CEO’s bonus — hadn’t entered the vocabulary. Neither had outsourcing. Working parents came home from work before sundown and ate dinners with their families. Unions were strong, and the industrialists felt a social responsibility to ensuring their workers’ well-being.”

But what the heck, we have I-Phones! Who cares if the American middle class has been destroyed and half of America has fallen into the poor, or lower-middle class. It’s a wonderful world!

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 7 years ago

And now you can carry your I-Phones like a leash from your employers to do uncompensated work in your "free time" at your "leisure" which is "24/7 round-the-clock" service -- technological breakthrough at its best!!! Shake off your muzzle or run loose without your leash and we WILL send the animal control officer after you. Come back and become a most-valued team member again like "the core" Togo or become the famous Balto!!! We will throw you a bone to welcome you back! Bring your female friend, too, if you found one while you were loose -- we have space for more to help pull hard.

[-] -1 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 7 years ago

We were in a stagflation environment wiht both high inflation and high unemployment. There was very little innovation going on the 70's.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

Yeah, I remember. Waiting an hour to get some gas, and most of the jobs were 89 days and out. Strange how that all got worse when we left Viet Nam. The war bill came due. Carter got stuck with it.

Seems to happen whenever we end a "war"..........Makes you think about why the ones we're in now seem to keep going and going.

The bill will kill us, and neither side wants to get stuck holding the bag..

[-] 0 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 7 years ago

Like right now, rising gas prices are just a real shock to the system. It will adapt to it by either a new substitute or decreased demand or both. We are in such a better position today than we were then as we have been abe to find new sources of natural gas, oil and coal here in the US. This increase in supply has just happened within the last 10 years. We have enough domestic energy that we could be a major exporter of energy and it will be a major producer of jobs. Go long the plains states.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

They are also exporting gasoline as way to keep our inventory lower and artificially raise prices.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

The problem today is rampant speculation that wasn't possible back then.

Get that under control, and at least the market distortions created by it, will be a thing of the past.

[-] 1 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 7 years ago

The problem today is all the rampent war talk about attacking Iran. That's what's driving the speculation.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

Strangely, it's mostly coming from the (R)epelican'ts.

Beating those drums on their campaign trail.

[-] 0 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 7 years ago

But they're not the ones they listen to... I don't think they pay much attention to the President either.

They know it's Hillary that wears the pants in the Admin. If she declares war - then war it shall be.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

Which "they's" are you talking about?

It's a "conservative" in Israel, up for election, beating the drums over there too.

McCain beat a similar drum 4 years ago.

it's a (R)epelican't thing to do.

I don't hear Hillary beating them that loud, nor for that long.

[-] 0 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 7 years ago

Hillary Clinton has been screeching for war ever since she hectored her husband into attacking Serbia.

She was the driving force behind our Libya adventure.

She is one on stage, dancing to Natenyahu's war drums.

McCain is relagated to the back of the " Amen Corner ".

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

I gather you don't care much for Hillary.

Have you tied her into Desert Storm yet?

You still didn't explain which "they's", you are referring to.

[-] -1 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 7 years ago

They, the Republicans, don't factor into the speculator's decision. They are out of power, you see?

And no, I don't care for Hillary - or for those that do.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 7 years ago

Beware of the law of unintended consequences, plug the hole somewhere and another will open up. Speculation serves its purpose, eliminate and you will reduce liquidity to the maketplace and there will be calls for the government to step in and make the "small farmer" whole.