Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Willie Sutton Theory

from Russell Roberts:
Those of us who favor smaller government tend to think of Milton Friedman's observation that you spend your own money on yourself pretty carefully. But you're pretty careless when you spend other people's money on other people. So even if politicians are motivated to correct market imperfections, they will tend to do it poorly. But in the Willie Sutton theory, politicians are really spending other people's money to benefit themselves--using that money to buy love, attention, campaign contributions and votes.

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