The Financial Crisis and America’s Casino Culture - NYTimes.com:
"“It goes all the way back to George Washington,” said Robert Shiller, the Yale economist who warned of the Internet and real estate bubbles, and whose book, “Irrational Exuberance,” remains a seminal text on Americans’ tendency to believe in good times. “Washington said regulation should be done with a light hand. The word capitalism hadn’t been invented yet, but freedom had. Washington said businesses should be free. There’s this hatred of kings that we really have in our blood.”
In a country inclined to celebrate its frontier roots and rugged individualism, how much shock is required before Americans opt to increase the powers of the sheriff? Fear does have a way of inducing change."