Category Archives: public choice

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

Nancy MacLean: ignoring the central ethical issue

Henry Farrell and Steven Teles write, MacLean is not only wrong in detail but mistaken in the fundamentals of her account. I have met both Farrell and Teles, at dinners organized by Teles and Brink Lindsey, for “liberaltarians.” The liberaltarian … Continue reading

Posted in Economic education and methods, public choice | 24 Comments

John Goodman on health legislation prospects

He writes (email newsletter, I can’t find a web link), This is a $3 trillion industry and basically all the special interests want to keep the basic structure of Obamacare. Each wants to get rid of its own Obamacare tax. … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Health Care, public choice | 8 Comments

Looting the state governments

The Mercatus center ranks the fiscal condition of the fifty states. The worst, at number 50, is New Jersey, followed (preceded?) by Illinois, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Maryland. California is 43, and New York is 39. So by my count 4 … Continue reading

Posted in public choice, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 15 Comments

Teleological political theory

Timothy Taylor writes, It can be hard for group with weak hierarchies to make decisions. Group members need to find a balance between making their own contributions in some areas but acquiescing to the group in others. To make this … Continue reading

Posted in public choice, Timothy Taylor is my Favorite Blogger | 10 Comments

High Fixed Costs and Public Goods

The June 2017 issue of Cato Unbound looks at how the private sector could provide public goods. It considers the idea of what Alex Tabarrok calls a Dominant Assurance Contract. Alex writes, The dominant assurance contract adds a simple twist … Continue reading

Posted in business economics, Libertarian Thought, public choice | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Title Insurance, Blockchain, and Reality

A reader points me to this report from Goldman Sachs, from last year, on applying Blockchain to title insurance. We estimate that blockchain could drive cost savings of approximately $2 – $4bn as a result of reductions in headcount and … Continue reading

Posted in public choice | 8 Comments