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It’s always been the economy, stupid

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The economy is an issue that’s been at the forefront of nearly everyone’s mind for the past few years, and with the presidential election heating up, it’s grabbing even more of the spotlight than usual. However, while many people are preoccupied with what the American economy is like today and what it will be like tomorrow, perhaps it would do some good to look back at how we’ve gotten to where we are in the first place.

Author Michael Lind does just that in his new book, “Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States.” As modern day lawmakers on both sides of the aisle continue to fight over what role the government should play in the country’s economy, Lind shows how historically the economy and government have been tied to one another through technology.

As technology advances, certain economic industries are affected in such a fundamental way that politicians can no longer competently govern them. Thus, as the economy grows, the government must discard its old order and adapt so as to control it. According to Lind, this is the ultimate impetus for growth, both economic and political, and they serve as each other’s complements.

What inventions does Lind cite in his economic history as being particularly relevant? How did America’s economy prosper for so long before taking a downturn? What is the state of America’s economic health now in comparison to other points in the past? What’s on the horizon for our country’s financial situation?


Michael Lind, author of Land Of Promise: An economic History of the United States