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If, however, you can get another person talking, you will then find them far more open to hearing from you. Once new acquaintances begin to warm to you, invite them to think with you about ways the community can be improved. Invite ideas and suggest some of your own. If you find an opening, share your hopes for the future. It is best to downplay the more serious political or emotional issues until we have built a stronger positive connection. Be friendly and useful; stay in touch. As relationships grow, watch for ways to demonstrate the practical benefits of a supportive community.

Soon we can begin to introduce people to each other. Small social gatherings can get us better acquainted. While remaining informal, we can introduce ideas by floating questions. How can we assist one another? What problems or unmet needs do we know of? Who has skills? What skills would be we like to learn? As we come to know one another better, we can begin to discuss our willingness to rise above our differences when needs are great or the stakes are high. First we are human, then we are neighbors, and, finally, we are Americans who care. As individuals we can be none of these things in isolation.

The future of the United States is of immense importance — but the foundations of our reality are at home. Watch for the next post on or about March An introduction to the forthcoming book and several chapter drafts are posted on this site. Please see especially Chapter One: American Crucible. I wrote recently of the value of teamwork in meeting local needs and making our communities safe January I argued that faced with oncoming crises we would do well to respond in a constructive spirit — yet prepare for frustrations.

Working with neighbors can make a big difference in security and comfort. Agreement about practical needs and a willingness to focus on common purpose will make it easier to make things work. This means rising above our differences to connect as allies and collaborators. But, it will not be necessary to compromise our personal views and beliefs. It is essential that we maintain our personal dignity and self-respect. As we take on local problem-solving the challenge is to be both self-confident within ourselves — and respectful of others. It can certainly be difficult to work with people.

Some difficulties are easier to overcome than others. We can often make interpersonal connections with thoughtfulness and sensitivity, but sometimes it takes great patience and determination. The coming days and years will redefine the meaning of crisis for everyone. Safety will require that we can depend on our neighbors. Learning how to listen well and understand one another will become an important part of learning how to survive and prevail in the face of great challenges. The science fiction writer, Robert A. Coming to understand the personality and perspective of another person can be useful in itself, even if no possibility of agreement exists.

This can be the means for crystallizing our own thinking and beliefs. And, if we approach it as a learning experience we will have much to gain, including knowledge, skills, and perspective. Well, Aristotle did not attend high school, and neither have some of us. But, it is our job to figure out what he meant and learn how to do it. Aggravation aside, we are all capable of respecting the sincerity and intrinsic integrity of every human being, allowing our differences to exist freely in their own space, distinct from the roles of community-member, teammate, or friend.

Suppose we find ourselves dealing with a person who presents us with special challenges — perhaps someone who does not believe effective community is possible, or who values their privacy to an extreme, or is just unreceptive? It is almost always possible to work with someone who we find difficult if we are determined to find a way. It is prudent to remember, however, that in such circumstances we cannot allow ourselves be emotionally needy or easily disheartened. Such an effort calls for backbone as well as a positive attitude and a generous spirit. If, however, we are able to plant the seeds of community in the fertile soil of the human heart, and water them gently with compassion and kindness, we may not have to wait long before the green shoots spring forth.

Often it is impossible to know why someone remains unresponsive despite our best efforts. Pain is often hidden there, whether or not it is conscious. And, caring will always give solace, however silently it is received. When we make ourselves present in the life of another without expectation or demand, healing can take place even without our knowing — until the dam breaks and the words flow. Reuel L. Only through dialogue are we saved from this enmity toward one another. Dialogue is to love what blood is to the body….

When dialogue stops, love dies and resentment and hate are born. A project description and introduction to the coming book can also be found with the links above. Living or working with other people may be the most difficult thing we ever do. Even a marriage can be hard work. And yet, if we choose to rebuild the foundations of the American Republic this is our core mission. To regain the free and fully engaged civil society of the American past, and renew the strength of America that sustains both vision and spirit, we must find common purpose.

Without dependable communities there can be no real safety or security. And, without trust nothing is dependable. These are prizes to be fought for and gained through consistent and determined effort. Where do we start? How can we navigate the inevitable bumps and bruises of working relationships in a time of crisis?

When we are working with someone who is emotionally mature and relatively open-minded it might not be hard to develop an understanding. If, however, we need to work with someone who is anxious or has wounds from the past, or is convinced they already know everything , then building a constructive relationship will take time and patience. Rising above our differences is almost always possible, if we have the patience and will to persist. There are two basic requirements. The first is to get our motives straight — to have a positive attitude and clearly formed intentions.

The second is to gain practical interpersonal skills. Both will be addressed in the coming book. When in any potentially sensitive interpersonal relationship it is wise to look beyond superficial impressions. We need to recognize the free personhood and integrity of other individuals, regardless of their experience or perceptions. Relatively new acquaintances may not seem attractive at first, or might actually seem more attractive than they deserve. We must try patiently to discover who they really are.

Each of us is a complex mystery. We can only come to genuinely know one another if we have the generosity of spirit to inquire and take interest. This takes time, but can be a rich and meaningful experience. These give us the ultimate human freedom…, the power to choose, to respond, to change.

If we seek to build trust, and if we believe in freedom, all of these endowments must be recognized and actualized. Many of us are unaware of our own endowments, our own potential to grow and mature. And the surest way to learn and grow is in the effort to build functional relationships. Many people will not share our personal vision or sense of purpose.

They may not understand what we are inviting them to do, and may be distrustful until we prove ourselves. We need to communicate clearly, making sure we are understood, and find ways to work together. We cannot wait for others to take the lead. The initiative is ours to take. This is how we test our skills and put rubber to the road. Understanding comes through relationship, and the best way to build strong relationships is to team up to meet community needs.

It is in working together to address felt-needs and resolve practical problems that we really come to know one another. Now, suppose we need to join forces with people who are very different from us. Perhaps our politics are at odds, or someone has religious or philosophical views that we find strange or unpleasant.

How can we get along — and actually trust others in difficult or dangerous circumstances? We will touch on this in the next post. Again, I believe the bottom line is this: In every matter our concern must be to preserve and deepen the level of trust, because we can expect to remain under the pressures of disrupted lives and deteriorating social conditions for a long time.

Americans are a resourceful people. We will get through this and come out on the other side as better people. The introduction and several chapter drafts from the forthcoming book are posted at this page; see above. Trustworthiness and dependability are usually thought of as admirable aspects of personal character. But as we witness the continuing deterioration of social order it becomes increasingly clear that these priceless attributes are pillars of civilization.

Fear of crime or violence will cripple any society, but the greatest insecurity comes with the loss of trust between friends or neighbors or fellow workers — those we depend on and thought we understood. Have we found ourselves unexpectedly questioning whether someone we trusted is actually who we thought they were? When such questions arise, how can we be sure? How does one keep body and soul together? It is hard to recover. Businesses are particularly vulnerable to loss of trust. Without dependability in governance and consistency in economic policy businesses are hobbled by unpredictability.

Business owners cannot plan. And a market economy abhors uncertainty. This is not the way any of us wish to live our lives. If constant uncertainty makes things feel out of control, it can get scary. What can we do as responsible people when we live in a society dominated by distrust and a general lack of personal integrity?

The benefits can be great when we choose to be trustworthy ourselves — in spite of everything. We can be consciously determined to demonstrate what moral integrity means. But this is not easy. If America is to turn the corner it will take time and extraordinary patience.

In so doing, it will be important that we not fool ourselves into imagining that we are better than others who are failing to meet our standards. Moral pride can be obvious, and it will push people away. How can we assist others to understand and value integrity? Self-righteousness fails to acknowledge that everyone has the capacity to recognize their mistakes. So, if we would help America move on to a better future we need to be self-disciplined in our contacts and relationships. Kindness attracts; arrogance offends.

Since the self judges itself by its own standards it finds itself good. It judges others by its own standards and finds them evil when their standards fail to conform to its own. This is the secret of the relationship between cruelty and self-righteousness. Readers who profess their belief in the Christian Faith may recall the admonition of St. Those of other faiths, or those who do not consider themselves religious, will never-the-less recognize this compelling logic.

Integrity is a personal choice. We must never assume that others are incapable of cleaning up their act. It is an intrinsic capacity we are given at birth. A word of warning before we finish: When we recognize a consistent pattern of dishonesty and deceptiveness, it can become necessary to distance ourselves from it. Such destructiveness permeates and subverts everything around it. We must be practical, but also ready, if possible, to care for people who are troubled in this way. The greatest forgiveness is the least deserved.

However, forgiveness and trust are two entirely different things. Once trust is lost, it can be very difficult to recover. So it is that the restoration of trust and dependability in all our endeavors must be championed by every American as we enter a new day. The next post is due on or about January However, it will be less predictable than usual as I will be traveling.

Readers are quite right to question how I can expect the intense hostilities and incivility current among the American people to allow any dialog or cooperation at all. I have never said it would be easy. It will be extremely difficult. But I believe we have no choice. Our failure saps our spirit, undermines our strength and impedes governance. It could actually lead to the loss of the American Republic and everything it stands for.

I think it interesting that our young people can commit themselves to discipline, teamwork, and decisive action in the armed forces — while the rest of us appear unwilling to exercise even basic civility, much less the loyalty and generosity that have characterized the American tradition. Faced with an oncoming series of major crises, it will be necessary to renew our spirits and brace ourselves for frustrations. Working with our neighbors to resolve local problems will bring us together.

Collaborating to meet shared needs will steady our course. The success of communities in developing shared purpose and strategies for coping, will be critically important. This can only happen when we rise above our differences and begin to understand and trust one another as friends, neighbors, and allies. It is not necessary to compromise our personal views and beliefs.

The challenge is to be both self-confident within ourselves and respectful of others as we engage in local problem-solving.

Growth, Cities, and Immigration: Crash Course US History #25

This might require that we adjust our attitudes. Can we come to terms with one another as teammates and compatriots committed to the fundamental integrity of the nation? Much of the book is a historical review of these processes, beginning with the colonial era and the early decades of independence. In those days, business structures were not so different from what they had been several centuries earlier, in Renaissance Italy or, later, in the Low Countries and England.

Chandler offers here an overview exceptional for its coverage through time and space, its attention to the variety of economic activity and commercial specialization. One of the most striking features of this presentation is his attention to the precocity of American development: a colonial, frontier area, low in density, handicapped in matters of inland transport, yet rich in human capital and opportunity. One silent evidence of this modernity: the large number of watch and clock dealers and repairers. The economy and its business units were not yet big enough. Here for the first time one had large enterprises dispersed in space, requiring heavy investment and maintenance in road, rails, tunnels, and bridges, tight organization of rolling stock, and all kinds of passenger and freight arrangements including timely service, mobilization of capital and handling of money income and outlays — in short a world of its own.

Chandler noted here the critical contribution of men trained in the military academies, for armies were even earlier enterprises of vast scale, though more improvisational and transitory in character, and with destructive-predatory rather than constructive objectives. The only comparable commercial enterprises to the railroads were the canals, but for topographical reasons, these were less important in the United States than in Europe. The one exception was Erie, but even there the waterway was soon lined with railroads. In that same decade, over 6, rail miles were completed, making the national total 9, Time counted, and railroads were faster and more efficient.

The introduction of such managerial and organizational techniques into industry waited on gains in scale of enterprise. The traditional manufacturing firm, for example, was a personal or familial operation, assisted by outside supply and demand facilities and initiatives — the shop writ large. Past a certain threshold, however, ways had to be found to pull the parts together, to oversee, coordinate, and control.

In the United States, it was the chemical and even more the automobile manufactures that led the way. Chandler is particularly well informed here because of his earlier work on Du Pont, with its subsequent ownership of a controlling share of General Motors. GM itself tells a fascinating story of transition from personal to corporate enterprise.

It started with William C. Durant, a kind of freebooter who pulled together a number of independent manufacturers — Buick, Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Chevrolet et al.

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It then fell into the hands of the bankers and moneymen: J. Morgan and Company and Pierre du Pont rich from wartime earnings. And with the aid of manager Alfred Sloan, Jr. Ford was just the opposite of the Chandler prescription: all manner of organizational improvisation in the face of arbitrary whimsy. What the costs to Ford, no one will ever know: this was a company that estimated income and outgo by the height of piles of paper and had only an approximate idea of its debts and credits. When in money trouble, it taxed its dealers.


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The move to a rational managerial system was bound to encourage professionalization. Here again, his later comparative work filled out the American story along lines already explored by European scholars: the creation and transformation of professional schools to meet the needs of state bureaucracies; the differences in national achievement; the implications for the larger process of economic growth and development. Again, each industry had its own requirements and opportunities, just as each society had its own areas of preference.

The British, who had accomplished much on the basis of apprenticeship and bench learning, were slow to adopt formal class and lab instruction. The Continental countries, especially the Germans, French, and Scandinavians, strained to catch up and learned not only to transform the older branches but to advance in new areas of production.

The growing reliance on professionally trained managers entailed an assault on the structures and habits of personal and familial enterprise. This was particularly true of technologically complex branches of production, which found it easier to hire good people than to tame them.

Inevitably, the people who ran the show nursed aspirations that contradicted family control, the more so as such experts often were remunerated by share options that gave them a piece of ownership. Growth, moreover, entailed mobilization of funds, whether via bank loans or public sales of ownership shares, and this too often countered family interests. By the same token, the success and resources of managerial corporations have made them the arch seducers of the business world.

This is a new, major aspect of the shift away from family control: how can a family firm say no to such generous offers, often exceeding the prospect of immediate gains? The recent sale of Seagram by the Bronfman interests to the French conglomerate Vivendi is an excellent example of money trumping blood, marriage, and personal aspirations.

The chairman and chief executive of LVMH, Bernard Arnault, is known for sparing no expense to gain dominance in luxury brands as diverse as champagne and handbags. They know that to build up a luxury brand you need time and money. The world of enterprise is full of variants, of diverse responses to the tensions and conflicts implicit in entrepreneurial strategy and in the personal circumstances and histories of business endeavor.

The family firm has not disappeared and will not. New ones are created all the time. There is even an international fraternity of family firms that go back more than two hundred years, Les Henokiens, named after the biblical patriarch Enoch. And there are enterprises that somehow seem to blend the personal and managerial with such art that one is hard pressed to classify. A small library has appeared on this subject, and one has only to read the book Chandler edited with Herman Daems, Managerial Hierarchies: Comparative Perspectives on the Rise of Modern Industrial Enterprise Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, , to appreciate the quality and versatility of the collaborators, Leslie Hannah, Jurgen Kocka, Maurice Levy-Leboyer, Morton Keller, Oliver Williamson , the range of the scholarship, and the opportunities for thought and reconsideration.


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  7. The Chandlerian model is a monument to present and future scholarship, and the Visible Hand an example and encouragement to scholars everywhere. David S. He completed it in the U. The task he set himself was to explain the political and economic origins of the collapse of nineteenth-century civilization, and the great transformation that Polanyi had lived through in the twentieth. As he saw it, four institutions were crucial to the economic and political order that had characterized the North Atlantic Community and its periphery in the nineteenth century: a balance of political power, the international gold standard, a self-regulating market system, and the liberal state.

    Markets are places or networks in which goods are bought and sold; they are human interactions organized by price, quality, and quantity of traded goods and services. The SRM was a society-wide system of markets in which all inputs into the substantive processes of production and distribution were for sale and in which output was distributed solely in exchange for earnings from sales of inputs. Society is vital to humans as social animals, and the SRM was inconsistent with a sustainable society. Polanyi developed his argument from the work of many economic historians, historians of thought, anthropologists, and others.

    Up to this point the economies of much of Western Europe, and certainly of most of Britain, had been quite thoroughly commercialized: cottage industries, paid agricultural labor, and thriving trade in towns meant that most people earned money and used that money to buy the material stuff of life.

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    However, as Polanyi also noted, control and regulation of markets by governments and other organizations were also widespread and common. Markets were controlled; they did not control until the beginning of the nineteenth century. In laying out this argument, Polanyi recognized the need to deal directly with the proposition, itself a creation of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century British thought, that market organization of economic activity was the natural state of human affairs. Polanyi was counter to what many of his later critics say quite well aware that markets and careful calculation of prices by buyers and sellers alike had long been important parts of many human societies.

    Polanyi developed his schema for characterizing economies to show that economies could and had been organized in ways other than through an SRM. In much of Western Europe a combination of redistributive and reciprocative systems dominated through the end of the feudal and manorial era, and came to be increasingly supplemented and then replaced by market trading, the control and encouragement of which was a major focus of medieval municipal and mercantilist national governments. Then, toward the end of the eighteenth century, and with full force in the first half of the nineteenth century, two things happened.

    The rapidly expanding factory system altered the relationship between commerce and industry. Production now involved large-scale investment of funds with fixed obligations to pay for those funds. Producers were less and less willing to have either the supply of inputs or the vents for output controlled by governments. Land nature , labor people , and capital power of the purse were not in fact produced for sale.

    Nor did the available quantity of land, labor, and capital disappear inconsequentially when relationships of supply and demand produced low input prices. This issue was, of course, particularly acute in the case of labor and led to the dismal conclusions of classical economics. What is important is that a set of recommendations about public policy was transformed into widespread acceptance as the laws of a natural order.

    The other side was a widely varying, unorganized set of movements, legislative reforms, and administrative actions to limit the effects of self-regulation, from the Chartists through early legislation to limit the hours and places of work of women and children, through the growth of labor unions, and through the emergence of the Bank of England as lender of last resort, to reimposition of tariffs on foodstuffs, and to the first legislation presaging the welfare state. As the SRM was impaired in operation, justifications for international economic cooperation and the liberal state weakened.

    The working class did not rise up to overthrow the system. Rather, land owners and bankers as well as merchants, whose interests were often threatened by fluctuations in trade, joined workers in seeking protection. The struggle to restore the nineteenth century system by reestablishing the gold standard destroyed the international financial system. Dictatorships in some places and more benign management elsewhere emerged in nationally varying responses to the collapse of the SRM system.

    As neo-liberalism founded on faith in secular salvation through the natural emergence of a self-regulating market system has spread in Central and Eastern Europe and in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, so too have calls for protection of man, nature, and national interests. The framework that Polanyi provided for understanding the collapse of nineteenth century civilization and the rise of the troubled twentieth remains powerful. Having said this, however, it must also be said that The Great Transformation contains some major errors of omission and interpretation.

    Most striking to me, as an economic historian of the United States, is his cavalier and quite wrong assertion that a double movement did not develop in the U. This is plainly wrong. In addition, some students of England in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century quarrel with his interpretation of the Speenhamland system of subsidies in aid of wages. However, the strongest and most long lasting criticism of The Great Transformation has been directed at the passages where he argues that reciprocative and redistributive forms of integration have been much more common in human history than self-regulating market systems.

    These criticisms invariably focus, however, not on the forms of integration themselves but on the mistaken proposition that Polanyi assumed the forms to be founded on different human motives: the SRM on self-interest and rational calculation and reciprocative systems on kindness and generosity. The original attack of this kind came, not from economists or economic historians, but from anthropologists whose disciplinary literature Polanyi had used in making his assertion.

    Beginning in the early s, anthropologists, for reasons having to do with changing political structures in the worlds that they studied and because of the evolution of thought in their discipline, began to insist that the primitive and peasant peoples whom they studied were as rational as any westerners. These anthropologists — known as formalists in the debates that ensued — found in Polanyi, and in the work of some of his followers such as George Dalton, a convenient target.

    They accused Polanyi and his followers of romanticism about other peoples. Very similar arguments have been mounted by some economists. Deirdre McCloskey, both in print and in a heated exchange on the FEMECON list serve, faults Polanyi in a way that illustrates precisely the difficulty that many readers, anthropologists and economists alike, have had with the book. McCloskey says that Polanyi asked the right question, but gives the wrong answer in saying that markets played no important role in earlier human societies.

    As proof McCloskey cites evidence that, the further away from their source of obsidian the Mayan blade makers were, the less was the ratio of blade weight to cutting length. Ergo, Polanyi is wrong, presumably about the existence of other forms of integration and their importance. To be more careful with harder to get valuables is certainly rational, but it is not evidence of how blade makers were provisioned with material means for their sustenance or joys.

    It is one thing to note that people for whom shipment of obsidian was difficult treated it with care; another to assume that they used it to produce goods that they sold for profit. Polanyi is in fact careful to note that the range of human motives varies little across systems, with the specific form of action that any motive such as self-interest, generosity, anger, or jealousy may take dependent upon the system. The economic system does not, however, depend upon the presence, or absence of the preponderance of any one motive.

    That this is perhaps the most difficult point that Polanyi makes is itself testament to the success of those who created the justifications for the nineteenth century. In the years after publication of The Great Transformation Polanyi and a number of colleagues and students expanded analysis of the forms of economic integration and produced the collection of essays published as Trade and Markets in Ancient Empires.

    The Great Transformation remains important as a highly original contribution to the understanding of the Western past; it has been and is important in methodological debates in the social sciences. Beyond that, as the double movement continues, the book is likely to remain one of the best guides available to what brought us to where we are.

    Polanyi, Karl. The Beacon Press version remains in print and is the version for which page numbers are given in this essay. Dalton, George. Drucker, Peter. Adventures of a Bystander. Duncan, Colin A. Finley, Moses I. The World of Odysseus. New York: Viking Press. Halperin, Rhoda.

    The Transformation of America: As Government Grows Liberty Yields

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    Employing legal documents to study economic behavior, she focuses particularly on the rise of debt litigation and the decline of jury use in civil trials. These are large claims, and indeed throughout Courts and Commerce sweeping judgments coexist uneasily with detailed research. The result is an uneven book, one that makes its most useful contributions in carefully formed factual building blocks, not in the interpretive mortar that attempts to hold them together. Rosen is unlikely to convince scholars of economic transition and of gender relations that they have built their interpretive structures all wrong and will need to remake them according to her design.

    But her book includes enough interesting research to make it worth consulting. Her intensive study of probate inventories confirms what historians such as Carole Shammas, T. One is definitional. Although half-way through the book p. Moreover, Rosen enters parts of those debates by fencing with straw figures. Although both would reject the argument that their work naturalizes feminine or masculine qualities, it has been read or mis-read that way.

    But surely recent historians of women, who have worked so diligently to demonstrate that gender is a social and cultural category, deserve more nuanced renditions of their arguments. In her discussion of economic history, Rosen is similarly prone to bleach out the vivid complexities of interpretive patterns in favor of monochromatic or dichotomous versions. There is no room for economic behaviors that are both businesslike and familial. Without some discussion of Dutch legal precedent or the economic underpinnings of English common law, that position seems asserted more than demonstrated.

    If the larger claims of Courts and Commerce remain unconvincing, the book nevertheless provides useful legal and economic data on consumption patterns and court practices in eighteenth-century New York. Students of business will find interesting and well-presented information on subjects such as mortgage-lending, debt litigation, and wealth distribution in both the city and Dutchess County. Please read our Copyright Information page for important copyright information.

    Send email to admin eh. Newsletters To join the newsletters or submit a posting go to click here. Published by EH. Reviewed for EH. NET by Janet T. Knoedler, Department of Economics, Bucknell University. Reviewer s : Margo, Robert A. NET December ? NET by Robert A. Margo, Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University. It is sometimes attributed to Thomas Jefferson and Barry Goldwater.

    Variant: A government that is big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take everything you have. Similar assertions have often been attributed to Barry Goldwater. Some of the inspiration for such expressions may lie in "The Criminality of the State" by Albert Jay Nock in American Mercury March where he stated: "You get the same order of criminality from any State to which you give power to exercise it; and whatever power you give the State to do things for you carries with it the equivalent power to do things to you.

    This was a signature phrase of Ronald Reagan — he used it dozens of times in public, although he was not the first person known to use it. When Reagan used this phrase, he was usually discussing relations with the Soviet Union and he almost always presented it as a translation of the Russian proverb "doveriai, no proveriai". See also Trust, but verify at Wikipedia. Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. George [H. Bush] brought his ne'er-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida. The one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless.