Remembering Reagan and Privatization

There are a lot of reasons to remember Ronald Reagan. For me there is a very personal element, as 1980 was the year I turned 18 and first got involved in polictics and policy, and the Reagan revolution was very exciting for me in those days. A lot has changed since then in my perspective on Reagan as President. But among his accomplishments was making privatization much more a part of federal policy. My colleage, Bob Poole, was deeply involved in Reagan’s privatization efforts, advising the White House Office of Policy Development on privatization later working with the President’s Commission on Privatization. Reagan’s effort to make privatizaiton a viable federal policy tool paid off during his administration with the privatization of Conrail, and the beginnings of privatization that Reagan created led to the major efforts of the past few decades. After Conrail came the Elk Hills Petroleum Reserve, the Alaska Power Administration, and others. No President since has done as much to get commercial assets out of government and into the private sector where they belong.