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Politicians, Economists and the Supreme Court at Work
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Politicians, Economists and the Supreme Court at Work

The Founders Betrayed

9781848444539 Edward Elgar Publishing
Timothy P. Roth, A.B. Templeton Professor and Chairman, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Texas, El Paso, US
Publication Date: 2010 ISBN: 978 1 84844 453 9 Extent: 224 pp
Presented as an engaging thought experiment, Politicians, Economists and the Supreme Court at Work examines the metastasizing federal role through two different means: first, as it relates to the increasing concerns of a contemporary nation, and second, the depth to which that nation’s Founders would be appalled by the actions of their successors. Additionally, the book provides a critical appraisal of the burgeoning federal enterprise and the federal government’s ‘on-, off-, and off-off’ budget activities – ultimately answering the question, ‘What would the Founders do?’

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Critical Acclaim
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Thomas Jefferson wrote ‘I wish … never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold at market’. What would Jefferson, Madison and the other Founders write today? Deploying their moral and political philosophy, their political economy and their understanding of the Constitution, Timothy P. Roth contends that the Founders would tell us that most of what the federal government does is either immoral, unconstitutional, or both.

Presented as an engaging thought experiment, Politicians, Economists and the Supreme Court at Work examines the metastasizing federal role through two different means: first, as it relates to the increasing concerns of a contemporary nation, and second, the depth to which that nation’s Founders would be appalled by the actions of their successors. Additionally, the book provides a critical appraisal of the burgeoning federal enterprise and the federal government’s ‘on-, off-, and off-off’ budget activities – ultimately answering the question, ‘What would the Founders do?’

The nature and timeliness of this book will appeal to moral and political philosophers, political scientists, historians, economists, scholars and students. In addition, the accessibility of the text provides for a compelling read that will pique the interest of the general public.
Critical Acclaim
‘A sobering and emphatic reminder of how far we have strayed from the principles on which the republic was established. Diagnostic understanding is a necessary first step. But are we capable, as a body politic, to stop the binge and endure the hangover? Or must we acquiesce in the anarchy of politics beyond constitutional limits?’
– James M. Buchanan, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1986
Contents
Contents: Preface 1. The Federal Enterprise 2. The Founders’ Vision 3. The ‘Old Court’ at Work 4. The ‘New Court’ at Work 5. The Politics and the Economics of Wants and Needs 6. What Would the Founders Do? References Index
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