Because economics both poses as a hard science and fails to generate reliable predictions, establishing economic facts is an elusive exercise. Battling statistical analyses come to opposite conclusions on the impact of fiscal stimulus, changes in tax rates, wage mandates, regulations, and so on. Into this void steps money and power, such that today we find ourselves with think tanks staffed by economists who provide their clients with the answers they seek. And since those with the deepest pockets can buy the results that best serve their goals, it is increasingly difficult to generate the wealth of evidence needed to offset market failures, inequities, and even existential threats.
Thanks to generations of hagiographic Republican politicians, and the press's lazy confusion of partisan mythmaking with historical facts, the retroactive meaning of Reaganism has come to include the triumph of religious faith over secular humanism, family values over hippie hedonism, the market over the state.