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Boskin Gives the Reagan Administration Too Much Credit for Gains of the 1980s

November 06, 1988

Boskin failed to include some very pertinent factors in forming his analysis. First, two elements that contributed to the recession under the Carter Administration were the energy crisis and the influx of the baby boomers into the job market. Carter's economy did well under these circumstances, even though he was blamed for the inevitable recession. When the economy began to bounce back, Reagan stepped into office and claimed the credit. The enormous deficit that Reagan created was not mentioned in the column. Probably because it is not a problem for Reagan's generation or even Boskin's generation, but it is a tremendous problem for my generation.

Another point in Boskin's article that was annoying was that the rich aren't getting richer, and the poor aren't getting poorer. Maybe the statistics show that the poor aren't dropping into a lower income bracket, but I don't need a Stanford degree to see that there are many more of them. Let me answer Boskin's question, "The percentage of families with incomes in the middle group fell slightly, but since the percentage of families with low incomes fell, where did they go?" No, they didn't go into a higher income bracket, they simply went out on the street. And why? Because Reagan not only curbed federal support for low-income housing, but also for programs for the mentally ill, drug abusers and for those needing health care.

TRINA WYATT

Beverly Hills

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