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Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 3: The Political Order of a Free People Volume 3 in Series; Softcover Edition
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With a system of progressive taxation, the aggregate tax burden is no longer felt by the entire population. People end up exerting political pressure for expenditures for which they believe others will pay. In such a system, any normal type of cost-benefit analysis of government programs disappears. The inevitable result is an ever-growing government sector.
The basis of the book is straight public choice theory (pp. 13-17 would make a splendid concise introduction to the field). Even a legislature elected by a democratic majority needs to have constitutional restrictions placed upon it, lest it become a form of tyranny. Hayek proposes "a model constitution" that attempts to rectify some of the shortcomings inherent in the existing democratic system. Laws should be general not specific. They should be about principles rather than benefits, i.e.Read more ›
I first became familiar with the ideas in this book in James Buchanan's class on Constitutional Political Economy. This was one of the more intruiging sections of this class. While this book has its critics, it derives from sound reasoning and plausible arguments. While the Law, Liberty, and Legislation trilogy is important in its own right, these books do not stand alone well. Welfare state liberals will find it naïve, even utopian. Hayek makes his case for the legal order of free markets without really explaining why free markets are superior to state controlled systems. Skeptics must refer to Hayek's "Individualism and Economic Order" to get a more detailed explanation of why free markets outperform government regulated systems. Better still, read "Human Action" by von Mises, if you can find the time to wade through it.
"Man is not and never will be the master of his fate: his very reason always progresses by leading him into the unknown and unforeseen where he learns new things.
In concluding this epilogue I am becoming increasingly aware that it ought not to be that but rather a new beginning.Read more ›
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A master work of the most important part of the classical-liberal tradition, the Austrian school of economics.Published 19 months ago by Lee Robinson
Neoliberalism was born on September 11, 1973, when a US-backed military coup murdered the democratically elected President of Chile and ushered in the tyranny of General Pinochet... Read morePublished on May 19, 2006 by Anthony Williams