When market forces fail us, what are we to do? Who will step in to protect the public interest? The government, right? Wrong.
The romantic view of bureaucrats coming to the rescue confuses the true relationship between economics and politics. Politicians often cite "market failure¯" as justification for meddling with the economy, but a group of leading scholars show the shortcomings of this view. In Government Failure, these scholars explain the school of study known as "Public Choice,"¯ which uses tools of economics to understand and evaluate government activity.
Gordon Tullock, one of the founders of public choice, explains how government "cures" often cause more harm than good. Tullock provides an engaging overview of public choice and discusses how interest groups seek favors from government at enormous costs to society. Displaying the steely realism that has marked public choice, Tullock shows the political world as it is, rather than as it should be.
Gordon Brady scrutinizes American public policy, looking closely at international trade, efforts at regulating technology, and environmental policy. At every turn, Brady points out ways in which interest groups have manipulated government to advance their own agendas.
Arthur Seldon, a seminal scholar in public choice, provides a comparative perspective from Great Britain. He examines how government interventions in the British economy led to inefficiency, and warns about the political centralization promised by the European Community.
Government Failure heralds a new approach to the study of politics and public policy. This book enlightens readers with basic concepts of public choice in an unusually accessible way to show the folly of excessive faith in the state.