http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/opinion/brooks-the-role-of-uncle-sam.html?_r=1 From the dawn of the republic, the federal government has played a vital role in American economic life. Government promoted industrial development in the 18th century, transportation in the 19th, communications in the 20th and biotechnology today. This version of economic nationalism meant that he and the people who followed in his path the Whigs, the early Republicans and the early progressives focused on long-term structural development, not on providing jobs right now. They had their sights on the horizon, building the infrastructure, education and research facilities required for future greatness. This nationalism also led generations of leaders to assume that there is a rough harmony of interests between capital and labor. People in this tradition reject efforts to divide the country between haves and have-nots. Finally, this nationalism meant that policy emphasized dynamism, and opportunity more than security, equality and comfort. While European governments in the 19th and early 20th centuries focused on protecting producers and workers, the U.S. government focused more on innovation and education. ***************************** While I am very much for limited government, this is an interesting take. And it certainly is a slap at the liberals of the day. Brooks shows three key things that represent an abandoment of this concept. 1. The Progressive (Regressive) Era 2. The New Deal 3. The Great Society All failed liberal efforts (and yes SS is a fail). Anyway, this seemed thoughtful. Enjoy !