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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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October 2014

Heavily-armed police and their supporters will tell you they need all those armored trucks and heavy guns. It's a dangerous job, not least because Americans have so many guns. But the numbers just don't support these claims: Policing is safer than ever--and it's safer than a lot of common jobs by comparison. Daniel Bier has the analysis. Plus, Iain Murray and Wendy McElroy look at how the Feds are recruiting more and more Americans to do their policework for them.
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