In particular, though, read and understand Charles Peters's Neoliberal Manifesto, which appeared in The Washington Monthly during the beginning of the Reagan Renaissance. (I might still have the paper copy in the Cold Spring Shops archive, which, with the expansion of online archives, might quickly become the Cold Spring Shops recycle box.)
It's encouraging when a Court Intellectual of the Washington Cartel calls out his allies for their errors, which came as four main points.
1. Don't say anything bad about the good guys, meaning the public schools, government employees, and industrial unions, all of which had, as the victory dividend resource curse started to bite, morphed into conservatives, in the Burkean sense. (And thus we find ourselves with Hillary Clinton being the conservative candidate, not for any love of free minds, free markets, or the right to keep and bear arms, but for continuing the policies of the Obama administration.)
2. Pull up the ladder. Once upon a time, serious industrial economists fretted about rising industrial concentration, and tacit collusion (this later became rational cooperation) but that's what made the Treaty of Detroit possible, with the concentrated industries generating monopoly rents and the unions dissipating them. Until the other industrial countries rebuilt their industrial bases, and the unions and the companies kept as much of the treaty intact as they could by favoring workers with higher seniority and screwing the new hires. (That made for some interesting class discussions, recall, dear reader, I was teaching economics at Wayne State in those days.)
3. The more the merrier. Measure the benefits of a Federal Program by how many recipients it creates. Until you run out of other people's money.
4. Politics is bad, and politicians are worse. And we still have Wise Experts and their talking points and at-the-end-of-the-day patter.
But read the essay. There's more than a little anticipation of the Trumpening in it. "The snobbery that is most damaging to liberalism is the liberal intellectuals' contempt for religious, patriotic, and family values." Note: long before Murphy Brown's bastard child, or same-sex marriage, or the Potty Wars. Plus an anticipation of Thomas (Listen, Liberal) Frank. "Liberalism has become a movement of those who have arrived, who care more about preserving their own gains than by helping those in need."
That is, if there's anything permanent for those in need out of the New Deal or the Great Society or Hope 'n Change or whatever.
When government intervenes in the free economy, bureaucrats and politicians spend most of their time undoing their own handiwork. To repair the damage of provision A, they pass provision B. Then they find that to repair provision B, they need provision C, and to undo C, they need D, and so on until the alphabet and our freedoms are exhausted.How long, though, until sufficient voters recognize that they're being played for fools by the political class?
The pass-a-law syndrome is evidence of a misplaced faith in the political process and a reliance on force, which are anathema to a free society.