David Stockman was the architect of the Reagan Revolution meant to restore sound money principles to the U.S. government. It failed, derailed by politics, special interests, welfare, and warfare.
Now David Stockman examines how it went wrong - and how it might be set right - in a discussion of his new book The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism In America on Wednesday, May 29, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Stockman describes how the working of free markets and democracy has long been under threat in America, and provides a nonpartisan, surprising catalog of the corrupters and defenders.
He explains how the American state - especially the Federal Reserve - has fallen prey to the politics of crony capitalism and the ideologies of fiscal stimulus, monetary central planning, and financial bailouts. These forces have left the public sector teetering on the edge of political dysfunction and fiscal collapse and have caused private enterprise to morph into a speculative casino that swindles the masses and enriches the few.
Defying right- and left-wing categorization, Stockman names names, criticizing Franklin Roosevelt as the father of crony capitalism, Richard Nixon for destroying national financial discipline and the gold-backed dollar, and Fed chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, who fostered bubble finance and addiction to debt and speculation.
Recent presidents come in for criticism: George W. Bush for ballooning the warfare state via senseless wars and Barack Obama for "borrow and spend" policies that have driven the national debt to perilous heights.
But Stockman also traces a parade of statesmen who championed balanced budgets and financial market discipline including Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Simon, Paul Volcker, Bill Clinton, and Sheila Bair.
Stockman was elected to Congress as a representative from Michigan in 1976 and joined the Reagan White House in 1981. In 1985 he embarked on a career as a private equity investor. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP at kclibrary.org  or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.