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Public Choice Economics

MARCH 24, 2013

Public choice economics is the study of politics within an economic framework. It views actors within a political system – i.e., politicians, lobbyists, special interest groups, and voters - as self-interested parties, rather than individuals who pursue the public good. A politician, for example, will likely seek re-election as his or her primary goal. This will make him or her inclined to accept funding and special favors from lobbying groups. Individual voters, on the other hand, gain little benefit from becoming politically aware but incur relatively high costs in acquiring relevant political information. Not only does their participation in the political process tend to be ill-informed, but voters will likely vote for politicians who promise to provide them with free goods and services. Public choice analysis suggests that these poor political incentives can diminish the general welfare as each party seeks its self-interest.

 

Ivan Pongracic - Public Choice Economics

 

Isaac Morehouse - Public Choice

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The United States' corporate tax burden is the highest in the world, but innovators will always find a way to duck away from Uncle Sam's reach. Doug Bandow explains how those with the means are renouncing their citizenship in increasing numbers, while J. Dayne Girard describes the innovative use of freeports to shield wealth from the myriad taxes and duties imposed on it as it moves around the world. Of course the politicians brand all of these people unpatriotic, hoping you won't think too hard about the difference between the usual crony-capitalist suspects and the global creative elite that have done so much to improve our lives. In a special tech section, Joseph Diedrich, Thomas Bogle, and Matthew McCaffrey look at various ways these innovators add value to our lives--even in ways they probably never expected.
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