Historian Arthur Herman summarizes.
How did the Great American Transformation take place? Not by government intervention or investment or fine-tuning—or through other modalities Keynesian-minded economic advisers have tried to reproduce, most recently in the Obama $800 billion stimulus.
It was, instead, a threefold combination of renewing economic productivity, imposing tax cuts, and encouraging business savings capitalized as investment—together with the bias toward entrepreneurship and innovation that has always characterized the American economy. It needed its Milton Reynoldses and Ray Krocs, as well as its GMs and U.S. Steels, and in the end the forces that fueled the former have proved more durable than the ones that undergirded the latter.