The Koch Brothers, The Cato Institute, And Why Nations Fail | The Baseline Scenario

In historical terms, Professors Acemoglu and Robinson see the progressive era at the beginning of the 20th century, including the development of countervailing power for the government against powerful private business interests, as an essential part of what has gone right in the United States of America.

Many libertarians, on the contrary, feel that the country started to go off-track at exactly this moment – for example, some blame the 16th Amendment (introducing the federal income tax in 1913), while others point the finger at the rise of social insurance programs (culminating in Social Security in the 1930s).

Libertarians, such as those who work at the Cato Institute, do not like the state and do not trust the federal government. The Acemoglu-Robinson view is much more nuanced: states are often captured by powerful elites and very much used as a tool of oppression, but it is also possible for liberal democracies to develop in which the government not only helps people but behaves in a way that is conducive to widely shared economic prosperity.

via The Koch Brothers, The Cato Institute, And Why Nations Fail | The Baseline Scenario.

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