The public choice theory of murray N. Rothbard, a modern anarchist
- 73 Downloads
Summary and Conclusions
The case against the State presented by Rothbard is very disquieting. His frustrating misunderstanding of the problems of monopoly and externalities weakens the argument, but one can easily reformulate it in a more elegant way: The costs of State action are so great that they outweigh any possible improvement of efficiency from reducing monpoly or internalizing externalities.
Clearly the mass murders and wars and enslavements which have been carried out throughout history by States exceed by a wide margin the ill effects of private enterprise crime. And if we look at government activities within a relatively civilized democracy like the U.S., we see that most government action benefits a small group at the expense of a larger group (e.g. tariffs, subsidies, occupational licensure). The assertion that the net benefits of many government activities are negative is not an easy one to reject, however radical it may sound. However, Rothbard has not demonstrated the possibility of a stateless society.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Baumol, William J.,Welfare Economics and the Theory of the State, 2nd edition, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, (1965).Google Scholar
- 2.Buchanan, James M.,Cost and Choice: An Inquiry in Economic Theory Markham, Chicago, (1969).Google Scholar
- 3.Buchanan, James M. and Gordon Tullock,The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, (1962).Google Scholar
- 4.Downs, Anthony,An Economic Theory of Democracy, Harper & Row, New York, (1957).Google Scholar
- 5.Hayek, Friedrich A.,The Road to Serfdom, University of Chicago Press, (1944).Google Scholar
- 6.--,The Constitution of Liberty, University of Chicago Press, (1960).Google Scholar
- 7.Olson, Jr., Mancur,The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, Revised edition, Schocken, New York, (1971).Google Scholar
- 8.Rothbard, Murray N., “Toward a Reconstruction of Utility and Welfare Economics,” inOn Freedom and Free Enterprise, Mary Sennholtz, editor, D. Van Nostrand, Princeton, New Jersey, (1956), pp. 224–262.Google Scholar
- 9.——, “The Mantle of Science,” inScientism and Values, Helmut, Schoeck and James W. Wiggins, editors, D. Van Nostrand, Princeton, New Jersey, (1960), pp. 159–180.Google Scholar
- 10.——,Power and Market: Government and the Economy, Institute for Humane Studies, Palo Alto, California, (1970a).Google Scholar
- 11.——,Man, Economy, and State: A Treatise on Economic Principles, 2nd edition, Nash, Los Angeles, (1970b).Google Scholar
- 12.Stigler, George T., “The Theory of Economic Regulation,”Bell Journal of Economics and Management Science, Vol. II, No. 1, Spring 1971, pp. 3–21.Google Scholar
- 13.Tullock, Gordon, “The Welfare Costs of Tariffs, Monopolies and Theft,”Western Economic Journal, Vol. V, No. 3, (June 1967), pp. 224–232.Google Scholar
- 14.——, “The Cost of Transfers,”Kyklos, XXIV (fasc. 4, 1971), 629–643.Google Scholar
- 15.——, “The Paradox of Revolution,”Public Choice, Volume XI, (Fall 1971), pp. 89–99.Google Scholar
- 16.von Mises, Ludwig,Human Action, 3rd edition, Henry Regnery, Chicago, (1966).Google Scholar