Tag: William Graham Sumner

An 1883 Memo to Bernie, Hillary, and Donald on How to Help Ordinary People: Leave Them Alone! »

In 1883, William Graham Sumner wrote a series of essays for Harper’s Weekly, which paid him $50 apiece. The excerpted essay below on “The Forgotten Man” is as relevant today as in 1883—even more so. Politicians continue to pile more burdens on ordinary people in the name of this or that professed well-intentioned cause,…
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Democracy Is Dead: What’s So Funny about “Read the Bill”? »

“Lawmakers, read the bills before you vote,” by Jeff Jacoby (Boston Globe) This “Read the Bills” movement has finally cut through political pretensions to reveal that there is no “deliberative democracy” in the USA. Apparently, members of Congress are simply asked to “react” or express “feelings” or channel interest-group concerns about broad notions like…
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The Politics of “Jobbery”: 1883-2009 »

One of the joys of college teaching is leading a seminar on intellectual thought. The students who sign up for this reading-intensive course earn their grade through hard work, vigorous discussion, and writing. They are the better class of student at universities that accept any one with a government-guaranteed student loan. Currently, I am…
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