The Economy Now This Idea Is -- Shh! -- O.K.

Pinned down by the economy, Bush embraces a once shunned notion -- industrial policy -- to stem the nation's shrinking technological edge

In Ronald Reagan's White House, there was no greater sin than to suggest that America could improve its competitiveness by stoking private industry with federal money. Reagan's free-market economists launched search-and- destroy missions whenever such "industrial policy" proposals were floated in Washington. Never mind that many strategic industries in Japan and Europe, boosted at crucial moments by government support, were winning market share from their American counterparts. Reagan's opposition to industrial policy was so fierce that the expression itself had become politically incorrect by the decade's end. During the 1988 campaign, George Bush derided such policy as a foolish "Democratic" approach...

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