A stocktaking of perversities

Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 4 (4):537-544 (1990)
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Why, despite its recognized perverse effects, do societies opt for an expanding welfare state? Public choice theory accounts for this in terms of the prevailing choice rule, ?majoritarian?; democracy. This contractarian perspective holds that other, more benign choice rules could be adopted. The reviewer disputes this view on the ground that if the public choice approach is generalized, the choice rule must be seen to be the product of the same influences as the choices within the rule. ?Majoritarian?; democracy maximizes the scope for redistributive legislation, hence also the expected gains front politics; it will be ?chosen?; in preference to more benign rules.



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The new consensus: II. The democratic welfare state.Jeffrey Friedman - 1990 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 4 (4):633-708.

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