Mountains of Debt: Crisis and Change in Renaissance Florence, Victorian Britain, and Postwar America
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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The New Mountains of Debt
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baby boom banks Black Death budget capital catasto change and fiscal Ciompi cloth commune’s consumption Corn Laws corporate Cosimo costs created deficit domestic dowry fund economic growth effect entrepreneurs example factors federal fifth element finance financial markets firms fiscal balance fiscal crisis fiscal imbalance flat tax Florence’s Florentine economy florin foreign government’s growing guilds important incentives income tax increase Industrial Revolution innovations institutions interest investment labor living standards longterm manufacturing Medici Medici bank Monte Commune Monte shares Napoleonic Wars national debt needed outlays pattern Peace of Lodi Peel’s percent perhaps period political population postwar private sector problem production profits programs public debt Renaissance Florence rigid rise role saddle point shift shortterm social insurance social security structural change tax burden tax expenditures tax rates tax reform tax system trade trend U.S. economy United Victorian Britain wealth workers world economy