Pragmatism to Dogmatism: The Laissez Faire Myth and the Disabling of the American Fisc
Richard V. Adkisson and
Review of Social Economy, 2012, vol. 70, issue 4, 421-450
The authors argue that the recent upsurge in anti-tax sentiment has its roots evolving social conditions and adherence to the laissez faire myth. Content analysis reveals that political anti-tax rhetoric increased in the late 1970s and early 1980s, a time of social distress in the US. This increased political attention provided a rhetorical punctuation whereby a substantial portion of Americans moved toward a much more dogmatic adherence to the laissez faire myth. The result has been to convert the laissez faire myth into a disabling myth that severely limits open discussion of fiscal issues and reduces the options in public finance decisions.
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