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The Reality of Politics

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Lamenting that Democratic politicians up and down Pennsylvania Avenue have lost their enthusiasm for radical health-care ‘reform,’ Paul Krugman today maintains that “politics is supposed to be about achieving something more than your own re-election [2].”

This notion of politics is absurdly unrealistic.  Public-choice economics [3] – pioneered by my colleagues Jim Buchanan [4] (who boasts his own Nobel Prize) and Gordon Tullock [5] – uncovers overwhelming evidence that politics, in fact, almost exclusively is about achieving election and re-election.  So to insist that politics should be about something other than what it is really about makes as much sense as insisting, say, that snow should be hot or that donkeys should be bipedal.

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