A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption

(Encounter Books, 2015)

Book Forum
February 12, 2015
12:00PM to 1:30PM
Hayek Auditorium
Featuring the author Jay Cost, Staff Writer, The Weekly Standard; with comments by Mark A. Calabria, Director of Financial Regulations Studies, Cato Institute; and Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy Studies, Cato Institute; moderated by John Samples, Vice President and Publisher, Cato Institute.

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The American Founders planned for a republic and feared its corruption. Jay Cost thinks their fears are coming true. His new book reveals that big government has promoted corruption that favors the privileged over the many, corruption that is both legal and too often accepted.

Cost argues that politicians today have professionalized the pathways of corruption so thoroughly that they can more easily defy detection, and, barring that, retain plausible deniability. From the 18th century to today, Cost traces the history of how America ceased being a republic and became a special-interest democracy.

Will the 2016 elections bring change? Cost’s sweeping history of American political corruption does not spare the age of Obama. He demonstrates that a president who promised to change the system became a willing participant, as did both parties in the U.S. Congress—at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars to taxpayers.

Please join us for a disturbing portrait of a nation fostering and fighting political decline.