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Alternate History

No Keynes

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John Maynard Keynes neglects to publish General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, and eventually moves on to other (non-economic theory related) things.  There is no "Keynesian Revolution."


1936-1944

Franklin Roosevelt's administration, while continuing with the New Deal, pursues a less heavy-handed approach during the tail-end of the 1930's and during World War II.  For example, the president does not support Congressional capping of wages as an antidote to inflation (which affects the growth of the health care industry in that an employer-based system does not arise).


1944

The Bretton-Woods Conference goes differently, lacking Keynes and his ideas.


1947

The Marshall Plan is influenced by the Röpke Initiative, leading the post-war recovery plan to be more market focused.


1948

In the presidential election, Robert Taft is viewed as closer to the center than in OTL.  Howard Buffett (R) of Nebraska is re-elected Congressman.  As in OTL, Truman defeats Dewey.


1949-1953

Howard Buffett becomes Senator.  Because WWII regulations were milder and lightened upon the war's end, no steel shortage develops, and Truman sees no need to nationalize the steel industry.  The Korean War occurs as in OTL.  Eisenhower (R) is elected President in 1952.  John F. Kennedy (D) defeats Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. to become Senator.


1953-1961

As in OTL, Eisenhower governs from the center and ignores civil rights.  As libertarian democrats are more acceptable to voters in this timeline, William Proxmire wins the Wisconsin gubernatorial election in 1954.  However, the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 is not championed by President Eisenhower and fails to pass.  Instead, the President promotes a user-funded, independent-agency operated, interstate highway system as introduced by Senator Buffett.  James Killian, chairman of the President's Science Advisory Committee, does not recommend to Eisenhower the establishment of a unified government-administered and funded space agency (which in OTL became NASA).  Eisenhower chooses to allow entrepreneurs to lead America into space.  John F. Kennedy, who promotes free markets and lower taxes, wins the Democratic nomination in 1960, selecting governor Proxmire as Vice President.  Kennedy defeats Nixon (though Nixon wins Texas).


1961-1963

As president, Kennedy slashed taxes.  On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy is shot and killed in Dallas.  William Proxmire is sworn in as President.


1963-1968

President Proxmire (1963-1969) leads a period of mourning for JFK.  He uses the assassination to push for support on civil rights.  Not wanting to be forced to compromise, Proxmire decides to lead a constitutional challenge through the Supreme Court on the basis of the 14th Amendment.  He succeeds, more or less.  At the 1964 Democratic convention, Proxmire selects Robert F. Kennedy as the Vice Presidential nominee.  As Proxmire opposed foreign interventions, he does not send American troops to Vietnam.  The French retreat, and Southern Vietnam falls to Ho Chi Minh.


1968

Proxmire, an admirer of Calvin Coolidge, decides to follow the thirtieth President's lead and step down in 1968, despite high approval ratings.  President Proxmire endorses Vice President Robert Kennedy, who faces no opposition for the democratic nomination.  Former Vice President Nixon decides not to run again, as the Democrats are high in the polls and Nixon fears losing to another Kennedy.  The Republicans nominate George Romney, partially due to his emphasis on moral values.  Romney, knowing that Kennedy would be difficult to beat, selects George Wallace as VP, a choice that pundits label either "bold" or "rash."  The Republicans hope to exploit the backlash among Southerners against civil rights.  Despite a Republican sweep of the South, Kennedy defeats Romney.


President Robert F. Kennedy (1969-1973)

  • Market-based War on Poverty
  • No War on Drugs
  • Support for Space Exploration
  • Rapprochement with Russia


Election of 1972

As the New Deal coalition disintegrates, Kennedy faces a tough re-election battle.  In addition to this, the recent Democratic administrations had refused to enforce the Containment strategy of Truman and Eisenhower, leading to a series of morale-damaging defeats for the United States.  Republicans also sensed an opening through labor outsourcing resulting from Democratic free trade policies that had lead to a loss of American jobs among blue-collar workers, while Kennedy focused on helping the urban poor, African-Americans, and the homeless.  As the primary season approaches, Nixon and conservative California Governor Ronald Reagan engage in a quiet war for control of the Republican Party.



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