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Against the Profit MotiveThe Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780-1940$
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Nicholas R. Parrillo

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300176582

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300176582.001.0001

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The Old Regime

The Old Regime

Lawful Bargaining for Public Services

(p.51) 1 The Old Regime
Against the Profit Motive

Nicholas R. Parrillo

Yale University Press

Part One of this book tells the story of facilitative payments, which were the moneys that public officials received for providing services to “customers’ who wanted them. From the Middle Ages up to the late 1700s and early 1800s, these payments were unregulated. This chapter begins by explaining the doctrines of Anglo-American common law that made such bargaining legal. It shows that, while Parliament and American legislatures often enacted statutes to fix the prices of officers' services, these laws had exceptions and limits that allowed for a lot of lawful negotiation to continue. The chapter ends by examining how all this bargaining imbued government itself with an ethos of customer–seller reciprocity.

Keywords:   facilitative payments, customers, Anglo-American common law, customer–seller reciprocity, government

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