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« Wish Upon A Star | Main | Stimulus Skeptics: The World of Economics is a Bit Different Than What Brad de Long Tells You »


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My graduate course in "Public Choice" economics was more or less a tutorial on Buchanan. Taught by a student of Buchanan and Tullock when I think the two were at Virginia Tech. (At least, that's where he got his PhD.)

Great, great class.

I don't get the Constitution fetish held by some Austrians. After all, the Con. was imposed on the economy by 56/39 willful little men, who didn't have anyone's power of attorney and couldn't act as a legal principal for anyone. To continue channeling Spooner, they certainly didn't have the right to impose it on future generations.
And what's up with defending art. 1, section 8, which is just a grab bag of state monoplies?
For example, the so-called progress clause should be called the intellectual monopoly clause.
I don't get why Austrians would study endogenous institutions like anarchy (i.e. private provision of law), and turn around in their next breath and sign hoseannas to the Con., which is exogenous to market institutions. It's the result of lawlessness, not spontaneous order.
Its like cooking the legal books in a way Enron or Bernie Madoff could only have dreamed about.
Let's kick the Con. habit, now more than ever.

Thanks to Peter Boettke for communicating a survey of his course!

The constitution was not imposed on future generations of citizens by willful little men. It was imposed on future generations of government. There's a big difference since the behavior of citizens is quite adequately regulated by punitive laws, while the behavior of government is regulated only by election. I agree that a constitution is a bit of a kludge for restricting government. I'm interested to hear if anyone has better ways to regulate the behavior of government, to keep out special interests, to avoid nationalistic tendencies, to maintain strong property rights, etc.

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