… is from page 82 of my colleague Tyler Cowen’s new book, Stubborn Attachments (2018):
Past some margin, an overly generous level of wealth transfer harms economic growth. Many people end up working less, or working less hard, and the associated higher tax rates discourage entrepreneurship and can lead to economic stasis. Furthermore, if it is standard procedure to approach government for a handout, that will induce too much rent-seeking, dependency, corruption, and eventually fiscal imbalances and perhaps even insolvency or a financial crisis.
DBx: Surely the most insidious – and probably the largest – of the costs of government’s willingness to intervene into the economy is the shift of people’s energies away from self-responsibility and wealth creation and toward the seeking of special privileges from the state. Of course, state officials love – nay, more: encourage – this shift of people’s energies, for it increases both the power possessed by state officials as well as the ‘value’ of that power to those who possess it. Politics becomes ever-more important as it becomes ever-more potent at controlling and constraining people’s actions. And so ordinary people become ever-more dominated by the state.