Government Works: Why Americans Need the Feds

Government Works: Why Americans Need the Feds

  • ISBN-13: 9780801437595
  • $13.67

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What is the proper role of government in American life? This is the principal controversy in contemporary American politics. Milton J. Esman believes that the United States suffers not from too much government but from too little. Most Americans today proclaim pride in their democracy, but they do not trust Washington. Esman shows how American conservatives have, for the last quarter-century, hammered away at the federal government, attacking its size, its inefficiencies, the limits it places on personal freedom, and its intervention in what conservatives believe should be free and untrammeled market transactions. Such commentators have effectively seized the initiative, and their antigovernment viewpoint now dominates the public discourse on politics. "This bias runs contrary to the main thrust of American political experience," Esman writes, "and is detrimental to the well-being of the nation on the brink of the new millennium." His book includes a historical study of public attitudes toward government and an analysis of the functions that only government can perform to ensure a healthy future for the American people and to check the negative effects of economic globalization. He proposes a set of political tactics to address the unchallenged trashing of a central institution of American democracy and restore public confidence in government.Plainspoken, straight-shooting, wide-ranging, Government Works draws on the progressive tradition in American thought to deal with the central predicament in contemporary public affairs.

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