Progressive Bourbons

by Don Boudreaux on February 18, 2011

in History, Man of System, Nanny State, Other People's Money, Regulation

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Charles Krauthammer refers to the president’s proposed budget as “Obama’s Louis XV budget” (Feb. 18).

From Obamacare to financial-market ‘reform’ to its refusal to cut spending on so-called “entitlements,” this administration does indeed reflect an ancien-regime-like attitude toward ordinary people.  As Alexis de Tocqueville explained in Part 2, Chapter 2 of The Old Regime and the French Revolution, France’s pre-revolutionary Bourbon governments regulated, dictated, prohibited, and prescribed citizens’ private affairs in suffocating detail.  “In short,” observed Tocqueville, “the central power had taken to playing the part of an indefatigable mentor and keeping the nation in quasi-paternal tutelage.”

Is Uncle Sam not more and more playing such a lamentable role in Americans’ lives?

Donald J. Boudreaux


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