Mountains of Debt: Crisis and Change in Renaissance Florence, Victorian Britain, and Postwar America

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Oxford University Press, Nov 29, 1990 - Business & Economics - 256 pages
Like the United States today, Renaissance Florence and Victorian Britain were the richest, most dynamic economic systems of their times. Yet each succumbed to a fiscal crisis brought on by public debt and taxation and eventually fell into long-term economic decline. Now, public debt and taxation dominate the America policy agenda. Must the United States follow the same dismal pattern of fiscal crisis and economic decline? Mountains of Debt argues that it is not too late for the United States to change directions and suggests a comprehensive program for reform of American fiscal institutions that would reduce the deficit problem and at the same time reverse the long-term structural trends that are both the cause and the effect of the fiscal crisis today. Offering proposals for reducing the deficit, this new analysis could alter the current course of the United States economy.
 

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Contents

PROLOGUE
3
1 Structural Change and Fiscal Crisis
7
Death Birth and the Fifth Element
19
3 Mountains of Debt and the Heart of Florence
46
Britain and the Industrial Revolution
75
5 The Odious Tax and the Standing Miracle
103
6 The American Century and the American Crisis
132
7 The Changing Structure of American Government
153
8 The New Mountains of Debt
171
9 Saddle Points
190
10 Changing Directions
212
NOTES
223
BIBLIOGRAPHY
235
INDEX
244
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