Money Machines, The: The Breakdown and Reform of Governmental and Party Finance in the North, 1860-1920

SUNY Press
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Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Jan 1, 1970
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Pages
377
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ISBN
9781438424606
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Language
English
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Recent movements such as the Tea Party and anti-tax "constitutional conservatism" lay claim to the finance and taxation ideas of America's founders, but how much do we really know about the dramatic clashes over finance and economics that marked the founding of America? Dissenting from both right-wing claims and certain liberal preconceptions, Founding Finance brings to life the violent conflicts over economics, class, and finance that played directly, and in many ways ironically, into the hardball politics of forming the nation and ratifying the Constitution—conflicts that still continue to affect our politics, legislation, and debate today.

Mixing lively narrative with fresh views of America's founders, William Hogeland offers a new perspective on America's economic infancy: foreclosure crises that make our current one look mild; investment bubbles in land and securities that drove rich men to high-risk borrowing and mad displays of ostentation before dropping them into debtors' prisons; depressions longer and deeper than the great one of the twentieth century; crony mercantilism, war profiteering, and government corruption that undermine any nostalgia for a virtuous early republic; and predatory lending of scarce cash at exorbitant, unregulated rates, which forced people into bankruptcy, landlessness, and working in the factories and on the commercial farms of their creditors. This story exposes and corrects a perpetual historical denial—by movements across the political spectrum—of America's all-important founding economic clashes, a denial that weakens and cheapens public discourse on American finance just when we need it most.

Aaron Wildavsky was one of the most innovative and prolific scholars in the field of budgeting in our time. His work spanned a period of more than forty years, and its perspectives encompassed not only budgeting in the United States, but also its comparative and historical dimensions. As a leading political scientist, his research also ranged into American political institutions, public policy analysis, leadership, and biblical studies. This book pays tribute to Aaron Wildavsky by explicating his life and work, with emphasis on his contributions to the field of public budgeting and finance.

Larry Jones and Jerry McCaffery place Wildavsky's work within the context of previous work on budgeting. They show how some of the highlights of his immense output responded to and shaped questions in the field. Naomi Caiden reviews the way in which Wildavsky used budgeting as a window into other areas of politics. Richard Rose discusses how an American scholar became an internationally known one. Joseph White goes back to the beginning of Aaron's career and shows that budgeting in agencies and in Congress is still incremental for very powerful reasons. Allen Schick reviews the history of the federal budget process, brilliantly summarizing how much has changed.

The "festschrift" poignantly assesses the significance and influence of Aaron Wildavsky's work. It also includes some excerpts from Wildavsky's own writings in this area, and experiences of those who collaborated with him. In acknowledging Wildavsky's contributions to public budgeting and political science, this book also makes an original contribution to the field. It will be a necessary addition to the libraries of political scientists, economists, policymakers, not to mention all those who admired Aaron Wildavsky and his work.

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