Politicians, Prostitutes, and Rent-Seeking

by Don Boudreaux on August 19, 2005

in Politics

I offer my apologies in advance to Arnold Kling for all those times that I will forget to credit him for this magnificent line that I’m sure I’ll use repeatedly:

Asking a politician to come out against rent-seeking is like asking a prostitute to come out against exchanging money for sex.

Pandering to rent-seekers is among the chief talents and indispensable skills of politicians. Evidence for this proposition is immense – see, for example, the U.S. tax code; the Code of Federal Regulations; the recently passed "Transportation Bill."

I’m amazed that anyone, especially thoughtful people on the left, continue to trust these shameless weasels to ‘regulate’ the market and otherwise attempt various schemes of social engineering. I’m equally amazed that people on the right trust these weasels to declare and oversee the conduct of wars.

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