Three cheers for Alexander Hamilton

I was happy to see this essay in Jacobin magazine that echoed the sentiments I’ve had since reading Ron Chernow’s amazing book on Alexander Hamilton a few years ago.

Basically the piece was saying that there was more for the left to get out of Hamilton than his rival Thomas Jefferson which I agree with. Personally I would’ve seen myself as a Federalist back then.

I also agree with the economic vision that Hamilton had for America.

This American dirigiste model has had a major impact on global history. As the South Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang has pointed out, every successful case of industrialization has used some version of the Hamiltonian model. A line runs directly from it to the postwar rise of the developmental states of East Asia. During Henry Clay’s heyday as John Quincy Adams’s Secretary of State, the German political economist Fredrich List — who would formulate the developmentalist theory of “infant industry” protection — moved to Pennsylvania where he soaked up the statist ideas of Hamilton and Clay.

We’ve strayed from the Hamiltonian economic model in favor of trickle down economics, neoliberalism and austerity.

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