Fiscal Policy and Business Cycles

By Alvin H. Hansen | Go to book overview

Chapter VI
FISCAL POLICY, NEW AND OLD

THE changing ideas about the nature and use of public credit, from ancient times through the early modern period, constitute a fascinating chapter in the history of thought. Scholastic theologians, like Thomas Aquinas, were bitterly opposed to loans.1 This attitude was due not merely to the official church opposition to the payment of interest, but to a belief that public debt was itself immoral. Political philosophers of the early modern period continued to regard the prior accumulation of treasures as superior to borrowing. Jean Bodin, for example, approved only six sources of state revenue: the public domain, conquest, gifts (which are "rare"), annual contributions of allies, customs, and taxes. Traffic in rights and titles he considered pernicious, and borrowing at high interest rates "the ruin of princes." Emergencies should be met by accumulated hoards, and only war provided justification for extraordinary levies or loans.2

Thomas Hobbes was more realistic in his approach. He recognized the limitations of revenue from the public domain alone. In view of the widening scope of governmental expenditures, the monarch must resort to taxation, and occasionally even to public credit.3 Adam Smith reverted to the

____________________
1
Cf. E. R. A. Seligman, article on "Public Finance," in the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Vol. 12, p. 641.
2
Six livres de la Republique, Book VI. Chapter 2, especially pp. 655-56, 661, 671, 680-83, 690-92.
3
English Works of Thomas Hobbes, ed. Molesworth; Volume VI, Chapter 1. A Dialogue Between a Philosopher and a Student of the Common Laws of England, pp. 10-22.

-109-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Fiscal Policy and Business Cycles
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 466

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.