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J.R. Clark and Dwight R. Lee

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J. R. Clark and Dwight R. Lee

In this chapter, we explore the idea of negative freedom as a public good. Unlike positive freedom, which is more popular politically because it is largely a private good, we argue that negative freedom is a public good and private goods invariably have more political appeal than public goods. We then demonstrate that this difference puts freedom at even a greater political disadvantage than it does most, if not all, other public goods. After pointing out an important difference between freedom and other public goods that explains why freedom is less likely to be adequately provided by government than other public goods, we argue that the prospects for freedom are not as bleak as our discussion might imply.