“Better Than Plowing” by James Buchanan (part 1)

Government, or politics, was, to me, always something to seek protection from, not something to exploit, either for my own ends or for those that I might define for the public at large.

(page 97)

[“Democracy in Deficit“] made one central point; politicians enjoy spending and do not enjoy taxing. These natural proclivities must emerge so long as politicians are responsive to constituents. I have often used this example as the simplest possible illustration of public choice logic. The normative implications are clear; ordinary politics contains a procedural flaw that can only be corrected by the imposition of constitutional constraints.

(page 104)

I have come increasing to think that the constitutionalist-contractarian methodological framework is, indeed, the central feature of Virginia Political Economy, a framework that, from the start, I have found to be appropriately described locationally in the commonwealth that produced James Madison and the other Virginia Founders.

(page 106)

I hope that I seem what I think I am: a constitutional political economist who shares an appreciation for the Judeo-Christian heritage that produced the values of Western culture and institutions of civil order, particularly as represented in the Madisonian vision of what the United States might have been and might still become.

(pages 156-157)

“Better Than Plowing,” by James Buchanan (Google Books)

Better Than Plowing, by James Buchanan

“The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy,” by James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock (Google Books)

James Buchanan – Wikipedia

Also see “The Rule of Law and Freedom in Emerging Democracies: A Madisonian Perspective,” by James Dorn


Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. We also need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT) and to prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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