Ronald Reagan/Talk

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Shouldn't most of the Iran-Contra stuff be one the Iran-Contra page, not this one? A brief explanation would fit here but in-depth should be on its own page.

He is credited with:

  • defeating the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries
  • rebuilding the military - this caused the Soviet Union to go bankrupt trying to keep up its military
This was done based on CIA numbers for Soviet nuclear weapons that turned out to be drastically overestimated, and many believe that they would have fallen apart anyway.

He should be credited with defeating the Soviet Union.

I don't think that's an uncontroversial opinion. The USSR fell apart during his term, but because it (foolishly) tried to keep up with his arms spending, not because he did anything to it. Probably the best way to put it would be that he "radically increased military spending (and violated a few treaties) to the point where the Soviet Union was unable to keep up, and collapsed soon thereafter."

The main page is very nice, but it tends to focus only on the positive things about Reagan. I think that there is a need on the page for a _non-partisan_ (of course!) presentation of some criticisms. I just added a line about Iran-Contra, which I unfortunately know too little about to say much of value.

The talk page is the place to hash out controversial issues.

For example, many people believe that Reagan did not care for low income people. That is not true. He believed that the individual can take care of himself better than a Washington bureacrat. Evidence for:

  • earned income credit - government subsidy to low income working people (and definitely anti-right wing)
  • derregulation of air fares - opened air travel to many more low income people
  • 1986 tax reduction - greatly lowered the tax desirability of owning real estate - this reduced the value of real estate and led to increased liquidity in the real estate market - this led to a greatly increased availability of lower priced homes and a much higher home ownership rate - no one credits Reagan with this because it has taken 15 years
  • 1986 tax reduction - second major effect - freed up the allocation of money invested in real estate to fund new businesses which created many new jobs and many new middle class people - increased liquidity of capital/business translates into innovation and more jobs - translates into increases in productivity - translates into improvments in the standard of living

Many new media stories portrayed Reagan as one who only helped the rich.

Fundamentaly, it comes to a question of:

  • Did Reagan's actions trigger events that caused an increase in the standard of living?

In another forum, I wrote that Ronald Reagan would be the best president to have a beer with. Bill Clinton would be the best president to go to a strip club with.