Bonus Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on October 31, 2017

in Other People's Money, Reality Is Not Optional, Virginia Political Economy

… is from page 288 of my late Nobel laureate colleague Jim Buchanan‘s 1987 paper “Market Failure and Political Failure,” as this paper is reprinted in James M. Buchanan, Federalism, Liberty, and Law (2001), which is volume 18 of the Collected Works of James M. Buchanan:

Until and unless politics, as it works, and not as it might ideally be imagined to work, can be demonstrated to generate better distributive results than the market, “better” in terms of some reasonably acceptable standard, advisers should be reluctant to encourage distributional politics.

DBx: Yes.  To encourage distributional politics is to encourage people to prey upon each other.  The fact that those who are most enamored with distributional politics imagine its purpose being something far more noble than predation – and imagine its results being the successful outcomes of those (allegedly) high-minded motives – does not change the nature of this social scrum.  A state that is in the habit of taking from some in order to give to others is a state that discourages productive cooperation while it encourages elaborate strategizing to steal each others’ properties.

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