Tag: public choice
Why the Worst Get on Top: Comparative Advantage

For anyone familiar with F. A. Hayek’s famous 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, the present electoral campaigning to gain the Democratic and Republican nominations as the party’s presidential candidate cannot help but call to mind Hayek’s chapter, “Why the Worst Get on Top.” As matters now stand, the most likely candidates will be,...
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Venezuela’s “New” Government: Don’t Get Too Excited

In their most recent elections, the people of Venezuela voted to oust many of their elected officials. Just hours after the polls closed, the National Electoral Council reported that the opposition party had won 99 seats in the Venezuelan government. These results generated much excitement, not just in Venezuela, but internationally. Many pointed to...
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Trading Votes in Congress to Get Everything Politicians Want

Any causal observer of the U.S. Congress and of state legislatures knows the definition of logrolling or vote trading: members of the House (and Senate) exchange votes with one another to secure passage of a spending program that benefits one of them, but not the other. So, for example, Senator H agrees to support...
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Game Developers Face Final Boss: The FDA

[This piece was later published by Newsweek and the Foundation for Economic Education.] “Absent the FDA, Americans would be healthier and happier.” —Robert Higgs As I drove to work the other day, I heard a very interesting segment on NPR that featured a startup designing video games to improve cognitive skills and relieve symptoms...
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Still Won’t Stand with Rand

Last week I published a piece on Rand Paul. In particular, I argued that Paul or any other “libertarian” political figure would not generate the changes desired by those who value liberty. The responses to this post have been numerous. Many people agree with me. For others, it’s as though I backhanded their mothers...
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Standing with Rand? Maybe Take a Seat.

On April 7, Senator Rand Paul declared he is officially running for President in 2016. Since this time, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding his candidacy. In particular, many are pointing to Rand as a champion of liberty. I recently heard a talk in which the speaker was encouraged by Paul and several...
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Katniss Everdeen and the Paradox of Revolution

“Historically, the common form of revolution has been a not-too-efficient despotism which is overthrown by another not-too-efficient despotism with little or no effect on the public good. Indeed, except for the change in the names of the ruling circles, it would be hard to distinguish one from the other.” —Gordon Tullock For the past...
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The Anachronistic 1979 Oil Export Ban

Political pressure is building to repeal the 1979 ban on U.S. exports of crude oil to the rest of the world. I blogged on that issue recently in Inside Sources, which was picked up by Orangeburg, South Carolina’s Times and Democrat. Other blogs on that policy issue are forthcoming. Several reasons for lifting the...
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The Worst (Still) Get on Top

How often when discussing politics, listening to the news, or hearing about the latest government debacle do you hear something like, “If only John Doe was in office” or “If we could just get the right people in there, things would be better?” How often are issues like corruption, waste, and other perverse outcomes...
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Are Students Afraid To Be Free?

Class is back in session for most colleges and universities across the country. Last year, I had the privilege of teaching college economics courses for the first time. We discussed many issues, from the economics of War on Drugs and the War on Terror, to the minimum wage, to why airlines offer discounts to...
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