Catalogue


The price of progress : public services, taxation, and the American corporate state, 1877 to 1929 /
R. Rudy Higgens-Evenson.
imprint
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.
description
x, 168 p.
ISBN
0801870542 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.
isbn
0801870542 (hardcover : alk. paper)
contents note
Compromise, corruption, and confrontation : tax reform in the 1870s -- Progress, bit by bit : school and insane asylum spending, 1880 to 1900 -- From chartermongering to catching corporate freeloaders : corporation taxes, 1880-1909 -- The second era of internal improvements : transportation spending, 1890 to 1929 -- Consent, control, and centralization : school and hospital spending, 1900 to 1929 -- Giants of history : income and gasoline taxation, 1910 to 1929 -- The test of democracy : controlling spending in the corporate state, 1910 to 1929.
catalogue key
4768631
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
R. Rudy Higgens-Evenson works for the National Park Service at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-01-01:
Higgens-Evenson examines the link between business and government growth from the Civil War era to the Great Depression of the 1930s. During this period, increased demand for government services was restricted by limited government revenue from traditional property tax systems, especially in urban and industrialized states like New York and Massachusetts. The author documents the evolution, often controversial, of state revenue sources and the eventual emergence of state income and wealth taxes as the principal source of revenue for state expenditures. Other topics include tax reform, the nature of early corporate taxation, and the nature and extent of state spending on welfare, schools, transportation, hospitals, and asylums. An unintended consequence of the rapid growth of government services and taxation in the "corporate state" was the increasing tie between the political process and the corporation. The author shows how this created political incentives for corporations to seek the most favorable tax systems and, at the same time, led to reform organizations such as taxpayer associations and municipal research bureaus whose principal objective was to ensure a corporate-like efficiency in the state spending of corporation revenues. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Public and academic library collections, upper-division undergraduates through faculty. F. Petrella emeritus, College of the Holy Cross
Reviews
Review Quotes
A very welcome addition to scholarship on the history of public finance.
"A very welcome addition to scholarship on the history of public finance." -- W. Elliot Brownlee, EH.Net
Joseph Schumpeter observed that taxation offers a way into the drama of history, for those who are willing to make the effort. This short book by Higgens-Evenson bears out the claim, for the issues touched on are of great interest and importance.
"Joseph Schumpeter observed that taxation offers a way into the drama of history, for those who are willing to make the effort. This short book by Higgens-Evenson bears out the claim, for the issues touched on are of great interest and importance."--Martin Daunton, Business History
Should find a place in the libraries of historians, economists, political scientists, and public administrators, and it would be usefully added to the syllabi of graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses.
"Should find a place in the libraries of historians, economists, political scientists, and public administrators, and it would be usefully added to the syllabi of graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses." -- Christopher Grandy, American Historical Review
The author documents the evolution, often controversial, of state revenue sources and the eventual emergence of state income and wealth taxes as the principal source of revenue for state expenditures.
The author documents the evolution, often controversial, of state revenue sources and the eventual emergence of state income and wealth taxes as the principal source of revenue for state expenditures... Recommended.
"The author documents the evolution, often controversial, of state revenue sources and the eventual emergence of state income and wealth taxes as the principal source of revenue for state expenditures... Recommended."-- Choice
"The field of state and local taxation remains virtually unexplored, and Higgens-Evenson's work shows how he used previously unexploited data from annual reports of state treasurers and comptrollers in an empirical study."
The field of state and local taxation remains virtually unexplored, and Higgens-Evenson's work shows how he used previously unexploited data from annual reports of state treasurers and comptrollers in an empirical study.
The nature of Higgens-Evenson's achievement is to set the terms of the scholarly debate on the relationship between tax policy and the construction of the modern administrative state.
"The nature of Higgens-Evenson's achievement is to set the terms of the scholarly debate on the relationship between tax policy and the construction of the modern administrative state."--Thomas R. Pegram, Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
This fine study contributes to our understanding of the growth of centralized authority and government bureaucracy in a nation often described as hostile to such things.
"This fine study contributes to our understanding of the growth of centralized authority and government bureaucracy in a nation often described as hostile to such things."--Jason Scott Smith, Journal of American History
Higgens-Evenson has chosen an excellent, neglected topic -- the rise of modern taxation in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century United States -- and used it to address a critical subject of widespread interest among historians and political scientists -- the rise of the activist, modern state. He offers a clearly written and well-researched explanation of the rise of a tax system favorable to corporations in terms of the unintended consequences of states' attempts to deal with the demands for new social services. The author nicely demonstrates how the increasing demands for such services outstripped states' revenue-raising mechanisms and forced the adoption of the corporate tax.
"Higgens-Evenson has chosen an excellent, neglected topic -- the rise of modern taxation in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century United States -- and used it to address a critical subject of widespread interest among historians and political scientists -- the rise of the activist, modern state. He offers a clearly written and well-researched explanation of the rise of a tax system favorable to corporations in terms of the unintended consequences of states' attempts to deal with the demands for new social services. The author nicely demonstrates how the increasing demands for such services outstripped states' revenue-raising mechanisms and forced the adoption of the corporate tax."--Michael McGerrIndiana University, author of The Decline of Popular Politics: The American North, 1865 -- 1928
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2004
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Between the Civil War and the Great Depression, twin revolutions swept through American business and government. This work seeks to offer a fresh analysis of the relationship between those two revolutions, using data from annual reports of state treasurers and comptrollers.
Main Description
Between the Civil War and the Great Depression, twin revolutions swept through American business and government. In business, large corporations came to dominate entire sectors and markets. In government, new services and agencies, especially at the city and state levels, sprang up to ameliorate a broad spectrum of social problems. In The Price of Progress, R. Rudy Higgens-Evenson offers a fresh analysis of therelationship between those two revolutions. Using previously unexploited data from the annual reports of state treasurers and comptrollers, he provides a detailed, empirical assessment of the goods and services provided to citizens, as well as the resources extracted from them, by state governments during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.Focusing on New York, Massachusetts, California, and Kansas, but including data on 13 other states, his comparative study suggests that the "corporate state" originated in tax policies designed to finance new and innovative government services. Business and government grew together in a surprising and complex fashion. In the late nineteenth century, services such as mental health care for the needy and free elementary education for all children created new strains on the states' old property tax systems. In order to pay for newly constructed state asylums and schools, states experimented for the first time with corporate taxation as a source of revenue, linking state revenues to the profitability of industries such as railroads and utilities. To control their tax bills, big businessesintensified lobbying efforts in state legislatures, captured important positions in state tax bureaus, and sponsored a variety of government-efficiency reform organizations. The unintended result of corporate taxation -- imposed to allow states to fulfill their responsibilities to their citizens -- was the creation of increasingly intimate ties between politicians, bureaucrats, corporate leaders, and progressive citizens. By the 1920s, a variety of "corporate states" had proliferated across the nation, each shaped by a particular mix of taxation and public services, each offering a case study in how the business of America, as President Calvin Coolidge put it, became business.
Main Description
Between the Civil War and the Great Depression, twin revolutions swept through American business and government. In business, large corporations came to dominate entire sectors and markets. In government, new services and agencies, especially at the city and state levels, sprang up to ameliorate a broad spectrum of social problems. In The Price of Progress , R. Rudy Higgens-Evenson offers a fresh analysis of therelationship between those two revolutions. Using previously unexploited data from the annual reports of state treasurers and comptrollers, he provides a detailed, empirical assessment of the goods and services provided to citizens, as well as the resources extracted from them, by state governments during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.Focusing on New York, Massachusetts, California, and Kansas, but including data on 13 other states, his comparative study suggests that the "corporate state" originated in tax policies designed to finance new and innovative government services. Business and government grew together in a surprising and complex fashion. In the late nineteenth century, services such as mental health care for the needy and free elementary education for all children created new strains on the states' old property tax systems. In order to pay for newly constructed state asylums and schools, states experimented for the first time with corporate taxation as a source of revenue, linking state revenues to the profitability of industries such as railroads and utilities. To control their tax bills, big businessesintensified lobbying efforts in state legislatures, captured important positions in state tax bureaus, and sponsored a variety of government-efficiency reform organizations. The unintended result of corporate taxation -- imposed to allow states to fulfill their responsibilities to their citizens -- was the creation of increasingly intimate ties between politicians, bureaucrats, corporate leaders, and progressive citizens. By the 1920s, a variety of "corporate states" had proliferated across the nation, each shaped by a particular mix of taxation and public services, each offering a case study in how the business of America, as President Calvin Coolidge put it, became business.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Corporate States and Jeffersonian Republicsp. 1
Compromise, Corruption, and Confrontation: Tax Reform in the 1870sp. 12
Progress, Bit by Bit: School and Insane Asylum Spending, 1880 to 1900p. 25
From Charter-Mongering to Catching Corporate Freeloaders: Corporation Taxes, 1880 to 1907p. 39
The Second Era of Internal Improvements: Transportation Spending, 1890 to 1929p. 52
Consent, Control, and Centralization: School and Hospital Spending, 1900 to 1929p. 64
Giants of History: Income and Gasoline Taxation, 1907 to 1929p. 77
The Test of Democracy: Controlling Spending in the Corporate State, 1907 to 1929p. 92
Conclusion: The Price of Progressp. 107
Appendixp. 115
Notesp. 135
Essay on Methods and Sourcesp. 155
Indexp. 163
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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