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  • Worthwhile Reading & Viewing

    Posted by David Foster on February 14th, 2014 (All posts by )

    A Valentine’s Day story from Sheila O’Malley

    Some thoughts on the color green from Gerard Van der Leun

    Germany’s war against homeschooling, and Obama’s complicity therein

    Early industrial capitalism: myths and realities

    Cashing in on connections in Washington

    The crisis of the administrative state

    Is Common Core encouraging a generic and simplistic approach to literature?

    Why does the question “do you like horror movies?” have predictive power when it comes to how long a relationship will last?

    Liberalism and the credentialist conceit

     

     

    2 Responses to “Worthwhile Reading & Viewing”

    1. Grurray Says:

      Much of the blame for those Dickensian nightmares of the early industrial revolution goes to misguided government policies. Technology was far outpacing the social and political frameworks, so their responses were hopelessly too late and counterproductive.

      Most damaging were laws like the Poor Law

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poor_Law_Amendment_Act_1834

      and it was directly a result of wage controls from the previous generation that spiraled out of control, and was meant to alleviate the serious rural poverty, which was worsened by tariffs and agriculture import restrictions (the tragedies of the state seemingly never end).

      Good book on the subject is

      As Time Goes By: From the Industrial Revolutions to the Information Revolution
      http://www.amazon.com/Time-Goes-Industrial-Revolutions-Information/dp/0199251053

      It argues that the boom – bust cycles of the era were mostly caused by the social and political turmoil of the destruction part of the creative destruction process.

    2. Grurray Says:

      It should also be noted that a lot of the rationale behind the Poor Act, left out of Wikipedia, is that relief was being extended to lower wage workers.

      So it was seen as an indirect subsidy to business (shades of the debate over Wal-Mart and McDonalds employees on food stamps). The workhouses were seen as a way to keep tighter government control over the labor force. It was instead a disaster.

      And then there were other state “innovations” like a peacetime income tax

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_Tax_Act_1842

      that poured gasoline on the fire during a worldwide economic downturn.