Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Bicycle Race as Analogy for Federal Budget-Making (1898)

From the cover of Puck magazine, 1898 (cropped version)

Image of the full cover.

Item record from the Library of Congress
Title: A handicap needed / Dalrymple.
Creator(s): Dalrymple, Louis, 1866-1905, artist
Date Created/Published: N.Y. : Published by Keppler & Schwarzmann, 1898 January 12.
Medium: 1 print : chromolithograph.
Summary: Print shows a bicycle race on the "National Track" with the man in the lead labeled "National Expenses" easily outstripping the second bicyclist labeled "National Revenue"; a man labeled "Dingley" is giving the second bicyclist a push.
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-28769 (digital file from original print)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: Illus. in AP101.P7 1898 (Case X) [P&P]
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Perhaps not surprisingly, I am more of a Krugman-ite in my economic views so I don't actually see that some imbalance in this race is a problem. It seems reasonable to me that some of our economic thinking today could be more advanced than the economic thinking of 1898, right?

I think it is correct that this is an analogy, but like most semi-educated folk (I have two masters degrees but was never able to open the door behind which I would have found a PhD) I am not always right in the simile-metaphor-analogy parsing process.

The illustration shows the Capitol dome off to the left; perhaps this "National Track" is supposed to be on Hains Point?

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