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Pragmatism to Dogmatism: The Laissez Faire Myth and the Disabling of the American Fisc

Richard V. Adkisson and Mikidadu Mohammed

Review of Social Economy, 2012, vol. 70, issue 4, 421-450

Abstract: 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.

Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1080/00346764.2012.690606

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Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:70:y:2012:i:4:p:421-450