… is from page 244 of the Appendix to the 1991 Liberty Press edition of Bruno Leoni’s utterly brilliant 1961 volume, Freedom and the Law; specifically, it’s from an updated version – entitled “Voting Versus the Market” – of Leoni’s 1960 Il Politico essay, “Political Decisions and Majority Rule”:
A continuous overinvestment through group decisions tends to take place in a political community whenever the decision-making rules are such as to encourage minorities of shrewd maximizers to get something for nothing by letting minorities of less shrewd victims foot the bill.
DBx: Who of any sense doubts the truth and relevance of this observation? Who with eyes not completely blind, and a soul not completely corrupted, can look at what governments do today and not be disgusted at the ever-present sight of interest groups using the state to live parasitically on others?
It’s worth pointing out here that no victims of such sharks are less shrewd than are citizens-taxpayers yet to be born. Deficit financing of government projects enable people today to free-ride on future generations.