Posts tagged ‘Russ Roberts’

Public Choice and Rent Seeking

Yet the reality of voters’ rational ignorance is one of the chief reasons why public-choice scholars argue that political choices are often less prudent and less sensible than are choices made by people in private markets – and why special-interest groups have a much greater chance of co-opting political processes than they have of co-opting market processes.

Put differently, the reality of public choice is among the main reasons given by public-choice scholars for why political outcomes will often be less desirable than they are imagined to be by those who are enthusiastic about democratic politics. Even democratic political processes that are inclusive and non-corrupt feature inordinate amounts of free-riding and other ‘market-failure’ flaws that render such processes much less likely to work to promote the general welfare than the champions of politics suppose. Politics neither performs miracles nor is itself blessed by miracles.

So Jonathan Gruber simply admits that the very process that people on the left romanticize and celebrate – democratic politics – isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Of course, libertarians and public-choice scholars say the same. The difference between the Jonathan Grubers of the world and the Russ Robertses and Bryan Caplans of the world is that the former believe that politics is still commendable as long as good, smart people (such as Gruber) are performing deceptions necessary to trick voters into supporting policies that good, smart people somehow divine are best for the masses, while the latter believe that the very need to deceive rationally ignorant (indeed, rationally irrational) voters is itself a major flaw in politics – a flaw that makes politics far less reliable and admirable than competitive, private markets.

GruberGate, by Don Boudreaux

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Manufacturing Jobs are Not Coming Back


Manufacturing output and productivity have risen, jobs are falling. Primarily because of technology: when manufacturing robots are more productive and more cost effective than humans, manufacturers buy robots.

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Deck the Halls with Macro Follies

Rising productivity is the path to prosperity.

EconStories gift shop



Library of Economics and Liberty

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Bull Market vs. Bubble vs. Muddle

Bull Market–An asset class that has experienced considerable appreciation in which you currently have a significant investment.

Bubble–An asset class that has experienced considerable appreciation in which you currently have no investment.

–David B. Collum, 2010 Year in Review: Fugly Gives Way to Muddling

2006 U.S. Army Year in Review
Creative Commons License photo credit: familymwr

The Crash Course seeks to provide you with a baseline understanding of the economy so that you can better appreciate the risks that we all face. By Chris Martenson

King World News podcasts – Eric King

Econtalk podcasts – Russ Roberts

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