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Freedom to HarmThe Lasting Legacy of the Laissez Faire Revival$
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Thomas O. McGarity

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300141245

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300141245.001.0001

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(p.232) 17 Patch-and-Repair
Freedom to Harm

Thomas O. McGarity

Yale University Press

This chapter examines how historically fundamental change has come about not through the slow process of compromise and accommodation, but through massive public education and legislative campaigns designed to overwhelm the business community's opposition during periods of great crisis. It was critical for advocates of robust institutions of responsibility and accountability to strike while the iron was hot when the 111th Congress convened in January 2009. President Obama underestimated the ability of the business community's influence infrastructure to reframe the action-forcing problem from one of irresponsible conduct on the part of unregulated corporations to one of repressive governmental limitations on economic freedom. The failure of Congress to enact worker safety legislation in the wake of the Upper Big Branch tragedy demonstrated how far the business community's idea and influence infrastructures had come during the Laissez Faire Revival.

Keywords:   public education, legislative campaign, President Obama, business community, influence infrastructure, economic freedom, Congress

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