Mandeville, LA – Few subjects can get the average Tea Party/Patriot/Conservative group member’s dander up like “voting”. Have you ever heard “if you don’t vote you don’t have the right to complain”? Well what if I vote and my side loses, what good does complaining do me? This is the thought behind 1986 Nobel Laureate James Buchanan’s “Public Choice Theory” that I talked about on this morning’s SiriusXM radio show.
I present to you below, the brief (8 pages) paper Buchanan was awarded the Nobel for. I think reading this with an open mind will help the “vote or commit treason” crowd to see the folly of the practice as we know it today. As Buchanan explains this Theory it should become clear what his point is and why it matters. Everyone is affected by political decisions because that is the nature of government, it applies to all (in theory), yet not everyone participates in the political process, thus the recipe for never ending angst and disappointment.
“Orderly trade in private goods and services can take place only within a defined legal structure that establishes individuals’ rights of ownership and control of resources, that enforces private contracts, and that places limits on the exercise of governmental powers. In the second place, even within a well-defined and functioning legal order, “political exchange” necessarily involves all members of the relevant community rather than the two trading partners that characterize economic exchange.” – James Buchanan-Public Choice Theory