Reaganism—the graying policy of low taxes, light regulation, small government, and “cowboy capitalism”—is over. Worse, Francis Fukuyama writes in Newsweek, it, along with Washington’s ill-advised foreign policy, is tarnishing the American brand. “Restoring our good name and reviving the appeal of our brand is in many ways as great a challenge as stabilizing the financial sector,” Fukuyama says.
Reagan’s policies worked in their time, nursing the growth of the technology and biotech sectors. But the market meltdown calls for a new era. “The ultimate test for the American model will be its capacity to reinvent itself once again,” asserts Fukuyama, adding, “Good branding is not, to quote a presidential candidate, a matter of putting lipstick on a pig.”