Thursday, February 21, 2013

Apparent "Needs"...

In their 1977 book, Democracy in Deficit, James Buchanan and Richard Wagner explained, perfectly, why the proponents of big government might, in words, relent to the need to cut spending, but when it comes right down to it there's virtually nothing these masters of diversion are willing to sacrifice:
The government bureaucracy, at least indirectly supported by the biased, if well-intentioned, notions of Keynesian origin, comes to have a momentum and a power of its own. Keynesian norms may suggest, rightly or wrongly, an expansion in aggregate public spending. But aggregates are made up of component parts; an expansion in overall budget size is reflected in increases in particular spending programs, each one of which will quickly come to develop its own beneficiary constituency, within both the bureaucracy itself and the clientele groups being served. To justify its continued existence, the particular bureaucracy of each spending program must increase the apparent "needs" for the services it supplies.

And of the consequences:
Too often these activities by bureaucrats take the form of increasingly costly intrusions into the lives of ordinary citizens, and especially their capacities as business decision makers.

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