Inflation — Fighting the Last War

pat-toomey-wide

Steven Conn: For thirty years inflation has not been a serious threat to the American economy, yet politicians and pundits continually fret about it. The never-ending worry about inflation is like fighting the last war rather than the current one. What’s needed today is a war on unemployment and wage stagnation, not inflation.

The Civil War: Losing the War, Winning the History

civil war reenactment

Steven Conn: The Civil War began 150 years ago, and after four blood-soaked years, the North won the war. But though winners usually write the histories of wars, in the case of the Civil War much of the history was written from the South’s point of view.

Party Like It’s 1892!

Steven Conn: The great historian Richard Hofstadter, writing about the Populists, described third party political movements in this country as bees: They sting one of the two major parties. Then they die.

Smile, You’re a Liberal After All!

child miners

Steven Conn: As midterm elections approach, conservatives seek to return America to the way things used to be. Not so fast, argues historian Steven Conn, unless you really want racial segregation, child labor, voting discrimination, and all the other things that old-time conservatives once supported.

Exit Gen. Grant – Enter St. Ronald?

ulysses s grant fifty

Steven Conn: A Republican member of Congress wants to remove the visage of Ulysses S. Grant from the $50 bill and substitute Ronald Reagan. But why? Historian Steven Conn speculates that the party wants to make its past match its present orthodoxy.

Brooks to Thurmond to Wilson: Is There Something in the Water in South Carolina?

Senator Strom Thurmond

Rep. Joe Wilson’s rude outburst during President Obama’s health address follows, faintly, in a long tradition of South Carolinian legislative indecorum. Historian Steven Conn reviews the record.

Guess What? The New Deal Worked!

wpa

Since the economic crisis we’re now in is being compared to the Great Depression, the solutions being offered are being routinely compared to the New Deal. Republicans in particular have been quick to pronounce the New Deal a failure as a way of justifying their opposition to the new stimulus package and any other federal [...]

Bicentennial for Two Great Emancipators: Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln

darwin_lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, The Great Emancipator, has been much on our minds recently as Barack Obama moved into the White House. Exactly 200 years after Lincoln’s birth, Obama’s presidency is one fulfillment of the work Lincoln started. Lincoln shares his birthday with Charles Darwin, the other Great Emancipator of the 19th century. Though in different ways, [...]

Laissez-Faire Economics? It’s a Code Word for One-Sided Interventions

Milton Friedman

As he refines his economic message on the campaign trail this summer, Republican John McCain has made it clear that, previous positions notwithstanding, he has now embraced the Republican economic orthodoxy: eliminate regulation, cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and the free and unfettered market will take care of everything. This economic formula was [...]

McCain Gets Economics Backwards. Too.

Economy

by Steven Conn – As he refines his economic message on the campaign trail this summer, Republican John McCain has made it clear that, previous positions notwithstanding, he has now embraced the Republican economic orthodoxy: eliminate regulation, cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and the free and unfettered market will take care of everything.

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