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markk

markk

Currently reading

Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle of the American Century
Hendrik Meijer
Progress: 74/448 pages
Harold Brown: Offsetting the Soviet Military Challenge 1977-1981
Edward C. Keefer, Erin R. Mahan
Progress: 61/815 pages
The Paraguayan War, Volume 1: Causes and Early Conduct
Thomas L. Whigham
Progress: 257/520 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 126 out of 880 pages.

The Framers' Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution - Michael J. Klarman

It turns out that unjustified complaining about the poor in America has a history as old as the country itself:

From the perspective of more affluent Americans, people's failure to pay taxes [during the depression of the 1780s] was primarily attributable to their indolence and licentiousness. Governor William Livingston of New Jersey . . complained of the "lazy, lounging, lubberly" fellows who sat around drinking, "working perhaps but two days in the week and receiving for that work double the wages [they] earn and spending the rest of [their] time in squandering those . . . non-earnings in riot and debauch," yet they dared to complain "when the collector calls for his tax of the hardness of the times." The farmer who protested he could not pay taxes was "a man whose three daughters are under the discipline of a French dancing master when they ought every one of them to be at the spinning wheel," and while they should be "dressed in decent homespun, as were their frugal grandmothers, now carry half of their father's crop upon their backs."

Plus ça change . . .