Public Debt as a Form of Public Finance
Overcoming a Category Mistake and its Vices
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Part of Elements in Austrian Economics
- Author: Richard E. Wagner, George Mason University, Virginia
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Economists commit a category mistake when they treat democratic governments as indebted. Monarchs can be indebted, as can individuals. In contrast, democracies can't truly be indebted. They are financial intermediaries that form a bridge between what are often willing borrowers and forced lenders. The language of public debt is an ideological language that promotes politically expressed desires and is not a scientific language that clarifies the practice of public finance. Economists have gone astray by assuming that a government is just another person whose impulses toward prudent action will restrict recourse to public debt and induce rational political action.
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- Date Published: May 2019
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781108621793
- contains: 4 b/w illus.
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
1. Monarchies, democracies, and indebtedness
2. Political presuppositions and the theory of public finance
3. Taxes as prices – a useful but corruptible simile
4. From public pricing to fiscal policy – the Keynesian detour
5. Ecologies, not machines – analytical failures of Macro theories
6. Calculation and coordination within a political economy
7. Public debt, systemic lying, and the corruption of contract
8. From liberal to feudal democracy – Henry Maine reversed
9. Liberalism and Collectivism – an easily toxic mix.
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