Download The Land of Too Much: American Abundance and the Paradox of by Monica Prasad PDF

By Monica Prasad

The Land of Too Much provides an easy yet strong speculation that addresses 3 questions: Why does the us have extra poverty than the other constructed nation? Why did it adventure an assault on country intervention beginning within the Nineteen Eighties, identified this present day because the neoliberal revolution? And why did it lately endure the best monetary meltdown in seventy-five years?

even though the us is frequently thought of a liberal, laissez-faire kingdom, Monica Prasad marshals convincing facts on the contrary. certainly, she argues robust culture of presidency intervention undermined the advance of a European-style welfare nation. The demand-side conception of comparative political financial system she develops the following explains how and why this occurred. Her argument starts off within the past due 19th century, whilst America’s explosive fiscal development beaten international markets, inflicting rate declines in all places. whereas ecu nations followed protectionist regulations in reaction, within the usa reduce costs spurred an agrarian stream that rearranged the political panorama. the government instituted revolutionary taxation and a sequence of strict monetary rules that satirically led to extra freely on hand credits. As eu nations constructed progress versions enthusiastic about funding and exports, the us constructed a progress version in line with consumption.

those large-scale interventions resulted in monetary progress that met citizen wishes via inner most credits instead of via social welfare rules. one of the results were larger poverty, a backlash opposed to taxation and legislation, and a housing bubble fueled via “mortgage Keynesianism.” This booklet will release one thousand debates.

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1 Another version of the argument for the importance of class to American exceptionalism is found in Gøsta Esping-Andersen’s discussion of welfare state regimes. Drawing on the work of Karl Polanyi ([1944] 2001), who warned of capitalism turning human beings into commodities, Esping-Andersen proposes that we analyze states by the degree to which they make it possible for people to live without turning themselves into 28 COMPARING CAPITALISMS commodities: “[t]he outstanding criterion for social rights must be the degree to which they permit people to make their living standards independent of pure market forces” (1990, 3).

Gordon 1994; Block 2008; Berk 2009). Balogh (2009) has documented that the nineteenth century United States featured a stronger national government than scholars have generally assumed. Amenta (2000) and Skocpol (1995) have shown that at times in history the American welfare state has been a leader, not a laggard. Even the American process of industrialization as uniquely driven by mass production has been called into question, and scholars have shown the existence of alternative regional production processes in the late nineteenth century that might have won out (Scranton 1997; Berk 1997), while comparativists have noted the existence of subcultural logics of production in other countries (Piore and Sabel 1984; Herrigel 2000; for a reinterpretation of regulation in America see Novak 1994).

Germany and Sweden both introduced progressive income taxes in the early decades of the twentieth century as part of the attempt by elites to head off socialist sentiment (Steinmo 1994), but our farmers would 16 THE FARMERS’ TOUR have been appalled at these systems’ evolution in the coming decades, as taxes on labor and consumers rose while taxes on capital and corporations were kept low (see Chapter 6). For example, the Swedish value added tax did not even exempt basic necessities like food and clothing (Steinmo 1993), and in Sweden in the 1980s, “the effective net tax rate on personal capital income was actually negative for the top 60 percent of the income ranks” (Lindert 2004, 240).

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