Now, the critique of an increasingly rent-seeking society echoes from both the Left and the libertarians. Rent-seeking is a big problem. Cronyism is a big problem. George Stigler finds a lot to agree with in Joe Stiglitz. As do Milton Friedman, James Buchanan, and so forth.
But now comes the most astounding lack of logic of all. If the central problem is rent-seeking – abuse of the power of the state – to deliver economic goods to the wealthy and politically powerful, how in the world is more government the answer? If we increase the statutory maximum Federal income tax rate 70% , on top of state and local taxes, estate taxes, payroll taxes, corporate taxes, sales taxes and on and on … will that not simply, dramatically, increase the demand for tax lawyers, lobbyists and loopholes?
If you believe cronyism is the problem, why is the first item on your agenda not to repeal the Dodd Frank act and Obamacare, surely two of the biggest invitations to cronyism of our lifetimes?
-John Cochrane ( Inequality & Economic Policy: Essays in Memory of Gary Becker)
The Bigger the Government, the smaller the citizen. If you want to make both rent-seeking and cronyism smaller in practice, you HAVE to eliminate all of the dark places in which they can be made and practiced. Bigger Government only makes more nooks and crannies for those that want to use the force of Government for their own ends be it wallets or Power or both.
(H/T: Cafe Hayek)