Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on January 5, 2012

in Budget Issues, Debt and Deficits, Economics, Myths and Fallacies, Scientism, Seen and Unseen, State of Macro

… is from page 17 of James Buchanan’s profound but now sadly forgotten 1958 book Public Principles of Public Debt; this quotation speaks to what I call “fiscal sociology” in this post:

But the 1930’s were perilous times, and the Great Depression left deep scars.  The revolution in economic thought stirred men’s souls; the banner of full employment was to be advanced at all costs and against whatever odds.  This became the vital center of attention.  Little time was available for careful examination of the intellectual stumbling blocks which the old-fashioned ideas on public debt seemed to represent.  Out these ideas went, and the “new” ideas were left only to be picked up and carried forward, not by scholars of public debt theory, but by fiscal policy advocates.

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