“Countries arrive at the stationary state, as Adam Smith argued, when their ‘laws and institutions’ degenerate to the point that elite rent-seeking dominates the economic and political process. I have tried to suggest that this is the case in important parts of the Western world today. Public debt – stated and implicit – has become a way for the older generation to live at the expense of the young and the unborn. Regulation has become dysfunctional to the point of increasing the fragility of the system. Lawyers, who can be revolutionaries in a dynamic society, become parasites in a stationary one. And civil society withers into a mere no man’s land between corporate interests and big government. Taken together, these are the things I refer to as the Great Degeneration.”

Excerpt From: Ferguson, Niall. “The Great Degeneration.” Penguin Group, USA, 2013-05-15. iBooks.

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