There At The Beginning

Jude Wanniski, a Wall Street Journal associate editor in the 1970s, who coined the phrase “Supply-Side Economics”, and then wrote an eminently readable (and modestly-titled) book on the subject, The Way The World Works, died of a heart attack yesterday at age 69.


As the late Robert Bartley of the Journal (who released a very good book of his own on the subject) wrote in 1989:

In 1970 Keynesianism ruled, and we faced a decade of stagflation. But we’re all supply-siders now, thanks in part to dinners at Michael I, and even George Bush has embraced voodoo economics.

The policy that came to be known as “Reaganomics” started more than two years before the election of Ronald Reagan. At least for me, the new era dawned on April 20, 1978. On that morning, a Wall Street Journal article on the House Ways and Means Committee’s doubts about the Carter Administration tax proposals included the following paragraphs:

A major cause for worry on the part of liberals and the Administration is a proposal by Representative William Steiger (R., Wis.) to reduce the tax on capital gains. Representative Steiger claims to be close to the 19 votes he needs to win approval for his amendment from the 37-member committee


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