Wagner's Legacy in America: Re-opening Farnam's Inquiry

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Abstract

The continual interaction between economic change and economic policies designed to manage or guide this change seldom finds such dramatic expression as when one type of economy replaces another, e. g., when the industrial economy replaces the agrarian or is in turn supplanted by the “post-industrial” economy.

Thus, when the American economy was in the thick of its industrial revolution during the decades around the turn of this century, it was subjected to a series of government interventions the lowest common denominator of which has been summarized in the title of a book by Morton Keller, Regulating a New Economy (1996). In the United States as in all other countries, these interventions consisted of a glorious jumble of attempts to solve problems as they arose, of “bespoke jobs” in response to diverse economic interests, and of sundry ideologically-motivated efforts to move events in particular directions.

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  • Economic History
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-310
JournalJournal of the History of Economic Thought
Volume21
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes