Sunday, June 21, 2015

Another Vote for Hamilton

Among his many accomplishments Alexander Hamilton has provided common ground for conservative and liberal commentators.

Yesterday, I posted the remarks of conservatives Mona Charen and Richard Brookhiser to the effect that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had erred in choosing to remove the visage of Alexander Hamilton from the ten dollar bill.

This morning, liberal Democrat Steven Rattner, who once served as an Obama administration czar, agrees that “one of the greatest of our founding fathers” ought to retain pride of place on the ten dollar bill.

Like many conservatives, Rattner believes that no one will suffer if Andrew Jackson’s face no longer graces the twenty dollar note.

As for Hamilton, Rattner offers his perspective:

We are taught early on about Hamilton’s central role in the decision by the newly independent United States to assume the debts of its former colonies, a key step in constructing a sound monetary system and a creditworthy nation. That’s just a tiny example of the achievements and the visionary genius of our first — and greatest — Treasury secretary, who built the nation’s financial architecture from scratch.

Over Thomas Jefferson’s fierce opposition, he established the Bank of the United States, which facilitated government transactions and the creation of our national currency. Then there’s his 1791 Report on Manufactures, in which he displayed his understanding of the key role government can play in promoting economic development.

Not content to report, Hamilton acted, turning Paterson, N.J., into our first centrally planned industrial hub. If economic policy had been left to the agrarian-oriented Jefferson, we’d all still be farmers.

Different people have different perspectives on the achievements of Alexander Hamilton. But, from the left and the right there is no real disagreement about the fact that his face should remain on the currency.

[See also Ron Chernow in Politico]

1 comment:

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Since Hillary Rodham Clinton is so "inevitable" and accomplished, perhaps she belongs on the ten dollar bill.