Jimmy Carter's Legacy

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dear Uncle Gus,

What do you admire most about Jimmy Carter?


Mr. Peanut

Dear Mr. Peanut,

I do not admire Jimmy Carter.

That fact out of the way, I must admit that there were several things he did during his administration that I am glad about. I don't agree with everything William Anderson says in this article (nor do I support the libertarian Mises Institute), but Carter did somewhat deregulate parts of the economy.

[I]n 1980 the Interstate Commerce Commission regulated both trucking and the railroads. ...

Airlines had been "deregulated" for only two years. Government controlled the pricing and allocation of oil in the United States. "Regulation Q" and other restrictions on banks and financial institutions kept capital formation in the doldrums. Another way of putting it was that many sectors of this economy were more socialistic then than they are now. [i.e., in 2000 --ed]

Carter's administration played a large part in many of the deregulation efforts. [This also included oil. --ed] Unfortunately, he usually only got it half right, which reflected his core statist philosophy.
In addition to the above, Carter legalized home brewing, paving the way for the vastly improved the beer culture the United States enjoys today.

So far, then, the man who was once my least favorite President stands head and shoulders above the current occupant of the Oval Office, as well as the previous one, for that matter.


-- CAV

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Steve D said...


It’s very hard to escape the impression that presidents are gradually getting worse over time. More worrisome is that if you study various civilizations (e.g. Hellenistic Greece or the Late Roman Period) you get the same impression about their leaders. The comment is often made to the effect that when great leaders are most needed they turn up least frequently.

There’s that thing about historical cycles and why despite free will so far they have held up.

The thing about Carter and Obama is that they are even incompetent leftists. The previous president was just incompetent. In my opinion the last president that regardless of ideology had the ability to actually minimally run an administration was Eisenhower

Gus Van Horn said...



Of course, with someone like a Carter or an Obama with a definite, anti-American agenda, incompetence is a blessing in disguise.