Ghostbuster Economics

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I’d show you how economics can even rid you of those pesky haunting spirits. But seriously, here’s my second column in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The question I address lies at the heart of public choice economics, though I didn’t have enough room to delve into the details too much. I’ve written briefly about this subfield before, and I think it deserves more careful consideration by economists, not to mention the voting public. The peak of public choice came under James M. Buchanan (who won the Nobel Prize) and Gordon Tullock, both of whom concluded that most government intervention makes things worse. You can debate their opinion—and I do, on many counts—but too often we talk about market failure and don’t even think about the negative consequences of the government “solutions” we are proposing.   Continue reading “Ghostbuster Economics”