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Archive of posts published in the tag: Amity Shlaes

The Gilded Myth

While the period of industrial expansion did create both economic and political dislocations, the benefits were often overlooked in our history.  The restraint on concentrations of political power in our constitution applied largely to economic power in an agrarian economy but this diverged in the industrial era.  The great dilemma of the progressives was how to address the concentrations of economic power without losing the restraints on the concentration of political power.

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An Alliance of Victims and Experts

“That is, the experts are not always disinterested, and they sometimes use their powerful positions to find ways to avoid the consequences of their own innovations. Court-ordered busing to achieve school integration, for example, involved many children, but few whose parents were the judges, lawyers, and activists who promoted this remedy.”

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The Mutated Rationale of the Administrative State

“Neither the inflation of the 1970s nor the transformation of America’s industrial heartland into its Rust Belt was inevitable, she argues. Both were direct, foreseeable consequences of short-sighted choices: demanding that monetary policy accommodate irresponsible fiscal policy, and labor and management agreeing to enrich one another by fleecing customers and shareholders ever more brazenly.”

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The Forgotten Men

For FDR the ‘Forgotten Man’ was the victim of an unfair society left behind in the capitalist economy. Only a robust central government had the power to right this wrong. For William Sumner the ‘Forgotten Man’ was one who would be required to ultimately pay for it.

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Why Has Inflation Not Followed Our Debt?

But these explanations leave me uneasy. Without the pain of excessive government debt is there ever an end to it? It seems doubtful that scarcity has been erased from economic reality. The absence of short-term firewalls has historically led to large reconciliations, and it just seems immoral to spend more that you can pay for. In 50 years gold has risen from $35 to $1517.99 an ounce (1/1/20), does anybody care? The dollar is strong, and the American economy is performing better than any other in the world, even if that only provides a low bar.

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Public Workers vs the Public

Amity Shlaes reviews “Government Against Itself: Public Union Power and Its Consequences” by Daniel DiSalvo in the Wall Street Journal: Excerpts: The facts: Public-sector unions are not underdogs. Since 2009, membership in unions such as the American Federation of State,

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