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August 18, 2014

"Unicorn Governance: Ever argued public policy with people whose State is in fantasyland?"

Mike Munger, doing what he does, so very, very well.

When I am discussing the state with my colleagues at Duke, it's not long before I realize that, for them, almost without exception, the State is a unicorn. I come from the Public Choice tradition, which tends to emphasize consequentialist arguments more than natural rights, and so the distinction is particularly important for me. My friends generally dislike politicians, find democracy messy and distasteful, and object to the brutality and coercive excesses of foreign wars, the war on drugs, and the spying of the NSA. 

But their solution is, without exception, to expand the power of "the State." That seems literally insane to me—a non sequitur of such monstrous proportions that I had trouble taking it seriously.

Comments

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Eric Falkenstein

That reminded me of how clear and profound von Mises was. It's too bad he's so neglected, because he got so many things right.

Mike

I believe Milton Friedman had a version of this - trying to construct a cat that barked.

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