Public choice economics is seen to be a truism on the free market right and to be a vile calumny on the statist left. For, if it is true then it is therefore not true that those who rule us are disinterested technocrats interested only in our welfare and the general good. Thus some to many of the things it is proposed the state do need to be looked at somewhat askance – what’s in it for them?
That it’s obviously and clearly true doesn’t change the vociferous hatred for it in some parts. Nancy McLean, just as an example, has an entire book about how James Buchanan was a racist pig. The seeming intention of the allegation being to show that as he is therefore the public choice theory with which he is closely associated is obviously wrong.
You know how this works, because Jefferson Davis used the argument about natural increase therefore no one can ever use the argument about natural increase to argue one side or the other about slavery itself. Despite the manner in which natural increase was a useful even if not defining difference between US and Caribbean – and Brazilian, Spanish American etc – chattel slavery of blacks from Africa.
Public choice economics itself merely stating something obvious. Human beings tend to act in their own economic self interest. Bureaucrats and politicians tend to be human beings. Therefore bureaucrats and politicians tend to act in their own economic self interest. Note the three “tends” there. There is no insistence that all acts of public administration are solely in the economic interests of those doing the public administration. Only that there’s a tendency for some of them to be partially so.
As above, this is a blow to that idea of the selfless technocratic managers and planners of society in whom all power should be vested. Thus the idea must be rejected – rejected for it’s not possible to refute it.
At which point we get this:
MPs including a minister are boosting their expenses by claiming for adult children “dependent” upon them, The Telegraph can disclose. Rules introduced in 2017 allow MPs to claim additional second home expenses of up to £5,400 per child. The rule was originally intended to help MPs with children rent bigger homes but The Telegraph has discovered, following changes to the regulations, several are using the allowance to claim for adult children in their 20s. Claire Perry, an energy minister who earns £111,148 a year, claimed £9,846 on top of her £22,760 standard allowance by citing her three children aged 17, 19 and 22. Ms Perry said: “All claims are made completely in accordance with the Ipsa…
Do we see here politicians acting in their own economic self interest? We do, we do. Would we – or a substantial portion of us perhaps – act in the same manner? A buckshee £10 grand a year just for having shagged a few times two decades back? Sure we would. Politicians and bureaucrats, those supposedly selfless technocrats who rule us, are subject to acting in their own economic self interest. And thus some to many of the things it is proposed the state do need to be looked at somewhat askance – what’s in it for them?