Wednesday, May 26, 2010

“the Great Society.”

Mario Rizzo writes perceptively of the approaching bankruptcy of the welfare state. This state has been morally bankrupt from its inception, now the looming material bankruptcy offers, what Rizzo suggests is a clarion call.

Therefore, I view the more immediate negative consequences of the welfare state as intimations of the long-run effects. They are the easier-to-understand stories that may affect public opinion. In a sense, most economists, for all their complex reasoning, theories and data, are the simpletons of public policy. Their work is preliminary to the real issues. There are, course, some economists like James Buchanan, Deidre McCloskey, Mancur Olson and others who have this broad vision. Unfortunately, their work is vastly undervalued in the economic profession as it has developed in the late twentieth-century into the twenty-first.

Therefore to welcome the bankruptcy of the welfare state is not as perverse as it may seem at first. It is to welcome a warning that may prevent the collapse of what Adam Smith called, “the Great Society.”

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