Book Talk - Against the Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780-1940

Event time: 
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Location: 
Room 128 Yale Law School See map
Event description: 

Meet the author, Nicholas R. Parrillo and listen to a conversation about his new book, Against the Profit Motive:  The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780-1940,  with commentary by Jerry L. Mashaw.  In America today, a public official’s lawful income consists of a salary. But until a century ago, the law frequently authorized officials to make money on a profit-seeking basis. Prosecutors won a fee for each defendant convicted. Tax collectors received a cut of each evasion uncovered. Naval officers took a reward for each ship sunk. The list goes on. This book is the first to document American government’s “for-profit” past, to discover how profit-seeking defined officials’ relationship to the citizenry, and to explain how lawmakers—by banishing the profit motive in favor of the salary—transformed that relationship forever.