What the Left Should Like about Public Choice: New at Reason

Lord Acton said, "Power tends to corrupt," but it also tends to attract the already corrupt. The left stands to gain by taking this insight seriously, suggests Sheldon Richman.

Good-faith leftists, those who really care about people handicapped by corporatism, should find many public choice insights amenable to their cause. If they care about the economically disfranchised, they should be suspicious of welfare programs and health care plans concocted and run by the very perpetrators of that disfranchisement, argues Richman. And they should take to heart the analyses of leftists such as Francis Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, who have shown that the U.S government's apparent beneficence (like Bismarck's pioneering German welfare state) works by design to tamp down thoughts about radical change. Progress is the child of liberation from, not subordination to, the state.

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