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Conning Americans: How Politicians Create Dependence on Government
Wednesday, February 13, 2002

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Charlotte TwightCharlotte Twight
Professor of Economics, Boise State University. Author, DEPENDENT ON D.C.: The Rise of Federal Control Over the Lives of Ordinary Americans (St. Martin’s Press)

“Dependence” on government has grown at unprecedented rates over the past 70 years. This ominous trend has coincided with the growth of centralized government power, which at its own discretion is used to regulate, manipuate, or prohibit. Driven by bipartisanship, bureaucracies, and interest groups, and accelerated by presidential ambitions, this trend has been so profound that few today can imagine life without government control. Economist and historian Charlotte Twight, one of the leading experts on politics and privacy, showed how special-interest politics created the income tax, Social Security, Medicare, surveillance of ordinary citizens, and other linchpins of the “dependence-state,” which in turn have made opposition to centralized control seemingly futile. She will then offer a strategy to reverse this trend in order to fulfill the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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