Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Laissez-fairist Presidents

FREDERIC SAUTET offers a list of the presidents who have been most supportive of laissez-faire (in order of most supportive): Grover Cleveland, Martin Van Buren, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, Calvin Coolidge, and Ronald Reagan. Only one president makes the cut since 1929.
Taking Leonard Liggio’s list as a benchmark, out of 42 presidents in U.S. history, only six of them can be regarded as true supporters of laissez-faire in one way or another. 1/7 is a pretty small ratio (but it’s probably better than in most other countries in the world). Also, only two of the six were presidents during the 20th century, and they are the least laissez-fairist of the bunch. If the “tendency” were to continue, there shouldn't be any laissez-faire-minded president in the 21st century. Clearly, it appears impossible that any of the current candidates to the U.S. presidency would make it on the list someday . . .

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