Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Real Story behind the "Clinton Economy"

Two unique events influenced the United States economy during Bill Clinton's tenure. Many have forgotten these events and the result is a general misunderstanding of the real drivers behind the "Clinton Economy."

1) Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web.

The web was released as a free service by the CERN research facility in 1993. A massive and unprecedented spending boom accompanied the popularization of the web.

2) Another anomalous, technology-related event was the "Year 2000" computer remediation effort (or "Y2K"). An immense repair investment -- estimated at $300 billion -- occurred in the late 1990's as governments and companies rushed to make their legacy computer systems "Y2K-compliant."

* * *

The massive surge in technology spending and productivity associated with these events were coincident with the Clinton Presidency. In fact, they had absolutely nothing to do with any program, initiative or legislation associated with the Clinton administration.

Put simply, Bobo the Chimpanzee could have been President during the late 90's tech boom. Come to think of it, even a philandering, disbarred former attorney who sold missile secrets to the Chinese for campaign donations while allowing terrorists to relentlessly attack U.S. interests could have been President.

And the tech boom -- the so-called "Clinton economy" -- would have happened regardless.

So when Hillary tells us that she'll duplicate Bill's economic track record, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Update: the Anchoress has a must-read take on the 'Clinton Legacy'.

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