One Thing Carter Got Right

January 16th, 2011 at 10:34 pm | 11 Comments |

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This chart was found courtesy of Scott Sumner’s blog.

A story in the July 22, 2010 Economist discussed America’s freight trains and their unsung role in boosting the American economy. A key component of this was the Staggers Act of 1980, a law which effectively deregulated the railroad industry. The Economist graphed the result of the law. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words:

As an added benefit, this law came about during the reign of history’s greatest monster, Jimmy Carter.

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11 Comments so far ↓

  • baw1064

    He also nominated Volker to the Fed.


    Sorry, but the title is clearly false. Everyone knows that Carter does nothing right and everything wrong, that he’s the worst president ever (except for Obama), the devil incarnate (like Obama) and responsible for all that ails America (except for the stuff Obama does).

    Where did you get a picture of him without his horns?

  • armstp

    I would put Carter above both Reagan and the two Bushes.

    Here is a fact that drives Republicans crazy:

    Average real GDP growth at an annualized rate during period of Presidency:

    5.2% Kennedy
    5.1% Johnson years
    3.6% Clinton
    3.5% Reagan
    3.2% Carter
    3.0% Nixon
    2.3% Bush II
    2.1% Ford
    2.1% Bush I

    So for all the talk about Reaganomics and negative talk on Carter, the economy only very very marginally grew at a faster rate under Reagan 3.5% versus Carter 3.2% and Carter did not have to blow-up the debt like Reagan did to get that growth.

  • think4yourself

    @ Noah K. Green: We’ve had two weeks of talking about the language we use and in article praising a law enacted during the Carter Administration you call him “History’s greatest monster”?

    Is that really necessary? You would place his foul deeds above Hilter, Polpot, Stalin, Idi Amin, Robespierre, the Duvalier’s, etc.?

    Why not just say something like “A President, that Conservatives view as one of the worst in American History”?

    Noah, it’s time to be responsible.

  • baw1064


    Did you click the link? It’s pretty funny actually (a Simpsons clip, and yes, somebody actually refers to Carter that way).

    Satire is a pretty effective response to hyperbolic language, IMO.

  • think4yourself

    Sorry, I didn’t click the link – you’re right about sarcasm, I stand corrected.

  • Noah Kristula-Green

    Every so often, I am warned against using humor in my blog posts because you can never be sure that the audience will get the joke.

    I guess next time I’ll need to embed the actual YouTube video…

  • baw1064

    I loved the “Malaise Forever” written on the base of the statue!

  • jerry ebert

    I couldn’t take you seriously after you called Carter history’s greatest monster. Compared to Hitler or Stalin? It was amateurish, and almost as ridiculously inappropriate as some of Jared Loughner’s rantings. Are you just young and inexperienced? I don’t think I’ll read you again.


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  • Carney

    Carter also pushed through the Fuel Use Act, which, unlike his other energy policies was a success. It was a success because, unlike the rest of his energy efforts, it was not a fuel conservation or reduction strategy, but a fuel SUBSTITUTION strategy. The FUA resulted in oil fired power plants going down from about a fifth of electricity generated in America to 3% or less today. The slack was taken up by coal, nuclear, and natural gas. In effect, we are now almost oil-free in our electric sector today.

    It’s a lesson the left has not yet learned for transportation. Instead of pushing austerity, conservation, and even more draconian fuel economy requirements (see blood, stone), it should embrace replacing oil with other sources of transportation motive power. Electric cars such as the Volt and Leaf are one approach. Even more promising, versatile, and inexpensive is using alcohol fuel (such as methanol or ethanol) in internal combustion engines, rather than gasoline.