Harvard economist Edward Glaeser has a nice piece on what he calls "small-government egalitarianism." I don't agree with all of his specific points, but I do agree with the general theme that an underemphasized aspect of the case for limiting government is the tendency of big government to benefit the politically powerful at the expense of the poor and disadvantaged. This issue has been a theme of much of my own work on property rights (e.g. here and here) and political ignorance (e.g. - here). Glaeser's view and mine go against the still-dominant conventional wisdom of the last 75 years, which holds that big government is the best way to promote the interests of the poor. Nonetheless, I think that the poor have a lot more to gain from limiting the power of the state than is often assumed.
[Ilya Somin, January 27, 2009 at 7:40pm] Trackbacks