What Would Ronald Reagan Do?

Bill Brown, a visiting professor of the practice of law at Duke University, says the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 is the best model for getting America out of it's economic mess. According to Duke, Brown thinks it "offers a blueprint for fiscal stimulus that would be far more effective than the stimulus package currently before Congress."


Brown reflects on a similar time, when America was "plagued by slow economic growth, high interest rates and high inflation." ERTA, he says, not only reduced tax rates, but established a powerful set of incentives to promote investment in income-producing 'capital assets' — plant, property, and equipment—but it also "resuscitated the Kennedy-era investment tax credit, which gave business partial reimbursement for the purchase of every new income-producing asset they acquired. And it added to this subsidy by allowing all those assets to be depreciated extremely rapidly under the new Accelerated Cost Recovery System."

The effect was almost immediate, says Brown.

Related Articles

Why Japan's hikikomori isolate themselves from others for years

These modern-day hermits can sometimes spend decades without ever leaving their apartments.

700,000 Japanese people are thought to be hikikomori, modern-day hermits who never leave their apartments (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images).
Mind & Brain
  • A hikikomori is a type of person in Japan who locks themselves away in their bedrooms, sometimes for years.
  • This is a relatively new phenomenon in Japan, likely due to rigid social customs and high expectations for academic and business success.
  • Many believe hikikomori to be a result of how Japan interprets and handles mental health issues.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists discover what caused the worst mass extinction ever

How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.

Credit: Ron Miller
Surprising Science

While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.

Keep reading Show less

Why we're so self-critical of ourselves after meeting someone new

A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.

New acquaintances probably like you more than you think. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Surprising Science

We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.

Keep reading Show less