Friday, June 20, 2008

Hamilton's Legacy

I think this blog will be slow to start, but I do have some interesting topics in mind. It will probably be a little while until I get a full-fledged post up, but in the meantime I'll ellicit ideas from readers! One of the things I am interested in exploring is the question "what is the role of economic planning and competitiveness policy in a free republic and in the context of the American tradition?"

I think this question ultimately boils down to "do we embrace or repudiate Alexander Hamilton's legacy?" How do we thread a course between self-destructive libertarianism (which I think is a bastardized version of what liberty meant to the founders) and statist socialism? What would a competitiveness policy tailored to American values look like?

I have very specific thoughts of my own, but for now I'll ask for yours...


Evan said...

As you know I'm still on my way toward educating myself on these matters. I wonder if the answer lies not so much in the ideals of the Founding but rather in the decades after it, where the U.S. experienced so much economic, political, and military upheaval. This seems to be more of a time of testing for the nation, when revolutionary spirit was tempered by the realities of a country that could not be fully isolationist according to Washingtonian desire, that could not maintain a strongly federalist structure amidst the national institutions that it had itself set in place, and was forced to deal with the economic crises joined with agriculture (and its institutions... slavery?), westward expansion, and commerce with other nations.

Only after we emerged from all of this- with the building blocks provided by the Founders, to be sure- could we be said to have really dealt with the kinds of issues you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Or successfully dealt with... - Hamilton had some pretty broad ambitions that weren't instituted until later in the century. One interesting "competitiveness" thing that all Americans - federalists or republicans - embraced with a vengence was building transportation infrastructure: roads, and especially canals. Then again a lot of this was privately done, albiet with government sponsorship and funds.

this is daniel - for some reason blogger is nor accepting my password