Chapter 4: Industrial policy in America’s recent history
We turn now to the years of the five presidents immediately preceding President Obama: Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. Though it is commonplace for presidents (and especially presidential candidates) to claim that their current situation is “unprecedented” and “choices have never been more dramatic and critical,” this appears to be more political “spin” than reality. Of course no two time periods can ever be described as replicas of one another, but looking at the industrial policy actions of these five presidents, who have held office in relatively recent times, enables us to make comparisons that are perhaps more relevant to the current times because circumstances are less different than are the experiences of the presidential administrations we have heretofore discussed.
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