An Economic Record of Presidential Performance: From Truman to Bush

An Economic Record of Presidential Performance: From Truman to Bush

An Economic Record of Presidential Performance: From Truman to Bush

An Economic Record of Presidential Performance: From Truman to Bush

Synopsis

For the first time, trends in 20 major economic and federal budget indicators, most reported since World War II, are presented in a single source. The economic performances under each presidential administration are ranked for each indicator, as well as for their overall performance. The results are often surprising and counter-intuitive, challenging many popular beliefs. This presentation of averages, trends, and illustrations will allow scholars, students, and others interested in economics, politics, and history, to interpret economic news more effectively.

Excerpt

Almost every day, Americans are exposed to newspaper and television reports on the economy. Sometimes, it may be that they simply cannot avoid the economics report because it is embedded in other, more entertaining news, but more likely it is because they are genuinely concerned about the economy, how it is performing now, and what the outlook is. Unfortunately, economic reporting in the popular media seldom conveys much perspective or context by which to judge the economic news. Longterm exposure to these media naturally leads to an inaccurate or misleading understanding of what has happened economically over time. In the end, although Americans spend a great deal of time thinking about the economy, usually, their understanding is rather diffuse and lacking in awareness of even the most basic economic historical facts. Without these facts, it is impossible to know how the economy has performed during various periods in the past and renders current and prospective evaluations of the U.S. economy much more difficult. Yet, it is very difficult to find the time to assemble the supplementary economic information needed to put news reports into perspective or to develop a systematic approach to verify their historical accuracy and create a picture that better represents the economy. The purpose of this book is to assist in these tasks.

The hard work of putting together the key indicators in a consistent and straightforward way is done here, but the potential for analyzing the indicators is far from realized. The goal of this book is not a thorough analysis of economic events but, rather, a resource with which to assess economic news. Deeper analysis ultimately can be done, but what is needed, especially in the current political-economic environment, is not another highly opinionated or idealogical treatise that sets out to prove some preconceived hypothesis. Recent economic literature and journalism are already replete with efforts of this genre. The biases in such work undermine the reliability of the data and analysis and compromise the public's opportunity to examine issues critically on its . . .

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