Check Out What’s Coming in the Fall Journal

August 24, 2018

When Government Goes Bad

As a student and teacher of political economy and public policy, I am frequently asked to explain the behavior of government agents. Whether the actors are local, in Indianapolis or in Washington; whether the policy realm is economic or social; whether the focus is foreign or domestic — citizens are routinely frustrated by policy and politics. The list is nearly endless: cronyism and TIF districts at the local level; frustration with “conservatives” at the state level; profligate spending and inept foreign policy at the national level. How and why do these things happen? We start with an observation from Public Choice economics: Voters allow it. Average citizens are “rationally ignorant and apathetic,” knowing little and taking little action — and rationally so, since their individual efforts can rarely move the political needle. But why do government agents choose harmful policies so often? The two basic answers are ignorance about consequences and greed in their efforts to help interest groups that will help them. Either they’re rubes who don’t see the larger but more subtle consequences of their actions or they’re demagogues who know the consequences but understand how their political bread is buttered. — Dr. Eric Schansberg in the fall Indiana Policy Review

The Thursday Coffee | A Civil Exchange on a Hate Law (Morris).
Cover Essay | When Government Goes Bad (Schansberg).
Special Report | Once More, Into the Slag Heap of Affirmative Action (McGowan).
Andrea Neal | Making Sense of Pence.
Maryann O. Keating | The Anglosphere.
Leo Morris | Legal Immigration Is Political Anathema; Confessions of an Anti-Straw Man; Ernie Pyle and the History of War; An Ode to Wide Places in the Road; A Writer’s Discipline; Purple Now Marks Your Property; Sen. Kenley’s Pyrrhic Victory; Democrats Weak on Gay Marriage Specifics; The Gambling Dilemma; A Botonical Horror Story; Schools and Gastronomic Egalitarianism.
Backgrounders | What’s Happened to Americans, Alexander Hamilton and the Dream, The Customer Is Always Right, but Which One? and The Student Debt Crisis (Franke); Getting Rid of an Anti-Growth Property Tax (Harper); South Bend’s “Worst City” Status (Gaski); Booster Alert: Indianapolis Business Journal (McCarthy); Reckoning with Race (Schansberg).
The Franke Bookshelf | (Franke) The Age of Eisenhower; Three Days in Moscow; Lincoln and Churchill; The Judge Hunter; and Machiavelli: A Biography.
The Outstater | Yes, this Press Is the Enemy; Hate Crimes of the Mind; Tammany Hall, Indiana; The limitations of a Dan Coats; The Flaccidity of an Eric Holcomb; We’re all “Woke” Now; The Gravity of Politics.


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