Category Archives: public choice

A question on the President’s tariffs

From a reader: What’s the best case you can make for Trump’s tariffs? This is one of the harder questions that I have been asked. First of all, the phrase “Trump’s tariffs” hits me the wrong way. It should be … Continue reading

Posted in public choice, trade and immigration | 17 Comments

Brink Lindsey and Steve Teles push liberaltarianism

the point of convergence is where anti-statism and egalitarianism meet That is from their new book, The Captured Economy. They discuss four areas in which public policy exacerbates inequality: housing finance subsidies, intellectual property protection, occupational licensing, and urban land-use … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, public choice, regulation | Tagged , | 8 Comments

SDRS for solar panels

SDRS stands for “subsidize demand, restrict supply.” This public-choice model of policy applies to solar panels, where the restriction on supply comes in the form of a possible tariff.

Posted in public choice | 13 Comments

Russ Roberts on Bootleggers and Baptists

He offers a primer on the model. The Baptists give the politicians cover for doing what the bootleggers want. No politician says we should ban liquor sales on Sunday in order to enrich the bootleggers who support his campaign. The … Continue reading

Posted in public choice | 2 Comments

Think tanks and special interests

Daniel Drezner writes, New America is embroiled in a pay-for-play controversy of its own making. The New York Times reported that Slaughter had parted ways with Barry Lynn, an influential critic of the growing clout of U.S. tech companies. He … Continue reading

Posted in Economic education and methods, public choice | 7 Comments

A notewriter on public choice

He or she writes, Unlike providing pure public goods or setting generally applicable laws, the more widely accepted function of the state, the direct provision of goods and services can impact on people’s personal wealth and satisfaction in much more … Continue reading

Posted in Mark Thoma is Indispensable, public choice | 5 Comments

Clarifying Two Terms

1. Interpretive Charity This is Jeffrey Friedman’s term. I think that it means trying to understand someone else’s point of view before criticizing it. It means trying to set up the strongest case for the opposing point of view for … Continue reading

Posted in public choice | 8 Comments

Jeffrey Friedman on Public Choice theory

He writes, Public-choice theory rules out interpretive charity in advance. All that is left is the imputation of bad motives to one’s political opponents. . . .Actions may be objectively evil, but subjectively, everyone is doing what they think is … Continue reading

Posted in public choice | 14 Comments

Yes, but can it help you predict?

From acommenter: I’d ask why self-interest needs to be manifested in overtly economic terms. If you define self-interest broadly enough, then the statement “people pursue their self-interest” becomes irrefutable. And if you cannot refute it, then it is just an … Continue reading

Posted in Economic education and methods, public choice | 25 Comments

Thoughts on public choice theory

A reader asks, What (if any) would you consider to be the most powerful rebuttal(s) of public choice theory? First, Bueller, what is public choice theory? Jane Shaw writes that its adherents believe that although people acting in the political … Continue reading

Posted in public choice | 24 Comments