Sunday, September 26, 2010

Regime Uncertainty, Thomas Jefferson Style

The Washington Post has an article about how Obama's 'attacks on Wall Street" could foreshadow a new populist posture from the White House. This, of course, raises all the usual "regime uncertainty" specters.

I was skimming through Lawrence Goodwyn's The Populist Moment for a small project I'm involved with on populism (I'll provide more detail later this week), and it quoted a Jefferson line that would have driven Bob Higgs crazy:

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country"

Granted, that's 1816 and Jefferson was long out of office, but there are comparable cases when he was in office. We seemed to have muddled through that Jeffersonian regime uncertainty without a major depression.

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