Economic Liberty and American Manufacturing

William Jefferson Clinton mentioned the domestic auto and steel industries a mere seven times in the first two years of his presidency, according to the subject index of his presidential papers.  After noting that the auto industry accounted for nearly six percent of the Gross National Product (GNP) in May 1993, President Clinton waited another 17 months before mentioning the sector, which employs more than three million Americans, again.  Then he referred to the auto industry five times at the climax of the 1994 campaign.  “I listened to them talking about regenerative brakes and fuel cells and ultra-capacitation,” he said on October 18, 1994, describing a meeting with auto industry officials and Democratic politicians.  

You know, there wasn’t a single one of those things on the three most important cars in my life—my ’67 Mustang, my ’63 Buick LeSabre, and my ’52 Henry J. [Kaiser].  I could fix everything on those cars, except when the hydraulic brakes went out on the Henry J.  Then I just shifted down into first gear and ran into the curb.

Unfortunately, the hydraulic brakes, linings, pads, and even rotors have gone out on the so-called New Economy, the greatest financial bubble in American history.  This leveraged credit structure escaped its day of reckoning in the fall 1998 Long Term Capital Management scandal, but it continues...

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