Economic principles are based on natural law as other science. However, science such as biology and physics is more conducive to carry out experiments, and work in “hard” sciences tend to get direct results. Because of the high testability of science such as chemistry and physics, there are far greater consensus among experts in those fields about what is right and what is not. Instead, the economy is something that cannot be tested in the laboratory. Laboratories for economic principles are the global economy. To get an understanding of how the economy really works, and how to behave in a fiscal-responsible manner, one must study history, and examine the lives of people and countries that have learned in a difficult way.
In America, economic ideology takes place along conservative / liberal continuum. Physial-free sides generally believe that economic decisions must be controlled centrally by the government. Without national control over most financial problems, people will not behave wisely to keep the economy strong. During the national economic crisis, such as severe depression in the 1930s or recession in the late 2000s, government intervention in the form of a stimulus package was needed to keep the economy stay alive.
The side of fiscal conservatism generally believes that economic decisions must be made by individuals and are not regulated by the government as much as possible. If economic decisions are submitted to the people, the economy will be stable because people have more personal interests in their economic security than those carried out by the government. Fiscal conservatives generally view government intervention during the economic crisis as part of the problem and not part of the solution.
The debate where the school of thought which is more effective is not new. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson are at odds about whether to focus on debt of American countries. Jefferson generally opposed loans against the national deficit, while Hamilton saw it as the key to economic expansion.
The next president has been associated with various schools of fiscal thought. Often certain presidents are credited to improve or hurt the economy, but this might be an unfair and unwise judgment. The economy can only experiment with the actual economy (often at the expense of the people), and the results of certain actions or policies can take more than four or eight years that an American president is in the office. This means that Reagan’s actions may be the reduced cause of the national deficit during the term of Clinton, even though the term Reagan saw an increase in national debt.
Perhaps the wisest way to run the economy is to examine their respective policies and past and present economic success. For example, the relatively Swiss success compared to Iceland’s economic collapse recently can produce valuable information about how to regulate or not regulate the national economy.