Sunday, January 15, 2012

The progressive call for more bureaucracies unaccountable to the people

Bigger and bigger government is the hallmark of progressivism, and so too is making sure that the voters have no say over how the machinery of government affects their life. I wrote about this a short time ago, Progressivism and the origins of the tyrannical administrative state, and this is a continuation of that theme. Woodrow Wilson was not the only one who fancied himself a 'Philip Dru' type of administrative authority, so too did Theodore Roosevelt. In his "The New Nationalism" speech, he said the following:
There is a wide-spread belief among our people that, under the methods of making tariffs which have hitherto obtained, the special interests are too influential. Probably this is true of both the big special interests and the little special interests. These methods have put a premium on selfishness, and, naturally, the selfish big interests have gotten more than their smaller, though equally selfish, brothers. The duty of Congress is to provide a method by which the interest of the whole people shall be all that receives consideration. To this end there must be an expert tariff commission, wholly removed from the possibility of political pressure or of improper business influence. Such a commission can find the real difference between cost of production, which is mainly the difference of labor cost here and abroad. As fast as its recommendations are made, I believe in revising one schedule at a time. A general revision of the tariff almost inevitably leads to logrolling and the subordination of the general public interest to local and special interests.

This is what progressivism is all about, and it doesn't matter what party you're talking about. It's in both parties. It was then, and it is today.

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