Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on December 10, 2011

in Budget Issues, Country Problems, Debt and Deficits, Other People's Money, Politics, Reality Is Not Optional

… is from page 296 of Dwight Lee’s 1987 essay “Deficits, Political Myopia and the Asymmetric Dynamics of Taxing and Spending”; this essay is chapter 16 in James M. Buchanan, Charles K. Rowley, & Robert D. Tollison, eds., Deficits:

Because of the absence of privately owned and transferable claims against the collective value created, or destroyed, by political decisions, citizens will be less sensitive to reductions the long-run wealth of the general political community than to temporary, but individually realized, benefits.  For this reason politicians can pursue with impunity a policy analogous to that of excessive corporate borrowing to finance current benefits.

See, e.g., Greece circa 2011.


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