A Neo-Calvinist Trapped in Reaganomics

A Neo-Calvinist Trapped in Reaganomics

DAY OF RECKONING, by Benjamin Friedman. New York: Random House, 1988. 323 pp. $19.95.

The polls tell us that worship of laissez-faire is on the wane. Collapsing bridges, the Savings and Loan swindles, rising homelessness, the antics of Leona Helmsley and Ivan Boesky have begun to sour Americans on the exaltation of greed as the guiding inspiration of public policy. Republican strategists—who don’t get out of bed without taking a poll—have been on to this for awhile, as was demonstrated by George Bush’s campaign for a kinder, gentler “education Presidency.” Recently, his OMB director, Richard Darman, one of the architects of Reaganomics, has been speaking out, with a straight face, against selfishness. Even the Heritage Foundation is suddenly worried about the thirty-seven million Americans without health insur- ance. Had it not been for the most inept political campaign in memory, this shift in public mood would probably have put a Democrat in the White House.

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Wurgraft | University of California Press Lima