Weekend Lecture: The Calculus of Consent

Given that Congress will be cramming this weekend to meet their Monday night deadline, we thought you’d find this lecture informative.    One of us taught at George Mason University when Buchanan won his Nobel Prize.

Wikipedia nails the philosophy of Public Choice Theory.  A bit wonky but stick with it. Buchanan is excellent.

While many political scientists define the political process as a system in which the policy decisions are viewed as a private interest vs. public interest struggle, Buchanan and Tullock suggest that the public interest is simply the aggregation of private decision makers.

Think they’re working for the public interest?    The lecture is wonky.

Gordon Tullock is an economist and professor emeritus of Law and Economics at George Mason University, and is best known for his work on public choice theory.

James Buchanan is a Nobel Prize winning economist who is also widely recognized for his work in the field of public choice theory and constitutional economics.

Tullock and Buchanan co-authored The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy in 1962. In it, they laid the groundwork for what is today known as public choice theory — the application of economic thinking to political issues.

In this lecture, given to mark their book’s 25th anniversary in 1987, Tullock and Buchanan talk about the impact of the Calculus of Consent on political and economic academia. Richard E. Wagner, currently the director of economics graduate programs at George Mason University, also comments.

(click here if video is not observable)

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2 Responses to Weekend Lecture: The Calculus of Consent

  1. mankul65 says:

    I find the following quote very thought provoking-
    Recalls yet again the rather prophetic but apparently fictitious quote of Alexander Tytler. According to many internet sources, Tytler is reputed to have published this stunning quote in a book called “The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic” (ironically said to have been published in 1776 when something interesting was happening across the pond).

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over a loss of fiscal responsibility, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world’s great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.”

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/art-cashin-made-up-quote-2011-6?utm_source=Triggermail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Business%20Insider%20Select&utm_campaign=BI_Select_061411#ixzz1PIjozqrQ

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