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Richard E. Wagner

. True independence of polity and economy is surely more the stuff of fantasy than of reality, or even of potential reality in light of the autonomy of the political (Schmitt 1932). That independence requires an invariant rate and base along with preclusion of any exemptions or exclusions from the base. Should such an initial situation be defined or attained, experience gives no good reason to think that it would be maintained. Moreover, income is not an object that appears in the natural world, but rather is an object that is constructed through human thought and

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Richard E. Wagner

some rural area where land prices are low. In contrast to feudal systems where people are born into particular patterns of life, in free societies people are able to choose their patterns of life by choosing how to conduct themselves within the confines of society. Humans are social creatures, and so will take an interest in other people’s activities. How much of an interest doubtlessly varies among people, but such an interest will be active in society all the same. The central claim advanced on behalf of liberal democracy is that the democratic form is the natural

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Politics as a Peculiar Business

Insights from a Theory of Entangled Political Economy

Richard E. Wagner

Economists typically treat government as something outside the business realm, a sort of “Lord of the Manor”. Richard Wagner argues that this is the wrong approach and can ultimately be destructive to capitalism and to society.
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Richard E. Wagner

theories of fiscal catallaxy. Without doubt, some people will object to such analytical efforts on the grounds that people attracted to political activity have weaker interest in venal matters than people attracted to commercial activity. This proposition is far from obvious. Public employees show at least as much concern with their pay and benefits as other employees. Prominent legislators who leave the business often stay in the capital city and sell their services to Societal tectonics and the art of the deal 171 people seeking to make deals. People who seek

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Richard E. Wagner

ECONOMIZING ACTION TO SOCIAL THEORY: HOW SO? Society is the analytical object that a theory of entangled political economy explores, and the analytical point of departure for this exploration is a theory of economizing action. The theory starts with individual action to get to society which is the object of interest. If the object of analytical interest is society or social systems, someone versed in Ockham’s razor might wonder why not start directly with society. This route would be shorter. It is also the route economists take with their macro-evel theories l where they

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Robert B. Ekelund and Robert D. Tollison

policies and regulations. In a modern context, interest groups have come to play a critical role in scholarly thinking about topics such as the size and growth of government (Mueller and Murrell 1986; Shughart and Tollison 1986) and economic growth generally (Olson 1982). Olson’s famous hypothesis, for example, is that the longer interest groups have been around to advance their agendas, the more regulation-bound is the economy and the lower is the rate of economic growth. This idea and the work of Olson in general have revived modern scholarly interest in the causes and

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Laurence Moss

not the earliest of the property anarchists to present the theoretical argument against the necessity of interest in a competitive market economy. In his pamphlet, Yours or Mine (1875), Heywood cites a host of economic writers to document the tendency for property (and capital) to deteriorate over time.32 Hence, if a borrower of a shovel returns it to the owner in its original form, the lender should compensate the borrower rather than the other way around. In short, Heywood argued that in a competitive economy (or under natural conditions) the rate of interest

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Richard E. Wagner

no inflation, and unemployment is at its natural rate. If these macro conditions carried forward to the election, the incumbent would face 50:50 odds of success. This situation might, for instance, describe a vision of a well-working economy with a well-performing night watchman state in a two-party system. Each party is regarded as equally competent in organizing the provision of night watchman services, voters are indifferent between the parties, and electoral outcomes are random – and presumably with some voters showing up to cast their indifferent ballots for

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Jim Rossi

, 11). The iterated negotiation of ratemaking also provided a stable backdrop due to the historical structure of industry and interest group stakeholders. Although traditional rate regulation did present some significant problems (such as the Averch-Johnson effect discussed below), price regulation of natural monopolies concentrated the benefits and dispersed the costs of regulation (Derthick and Quirk 1985, 9–10). It also provided a relatively stable equilibrium for the primary non-firm interest group stakeholders, such as consumer and environmental concerns (Rossi

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James M. Buchanan and Yong J. Yoon

commons? Or, apart from any consideration of efficiency norms, are there ‘‘natural’’ forces in majoritarian politics that keep tax rates below revenue-maximizing limits? This paper formulates the Do majoritarian democracies overexploit the general tax base, akin to the tragedy of the fiscal process through the metaphor of the commons and analyzes the equilibrium that emerges in commons? Or, apart from any consideration of efficiency norms, are there ‘‘natural’’ forces in settings where differing majority coalitions may operate simultaneously to place charges on the