The Myth of Fair and Efficient Government: Why the Government You Want Is Not the One You Get

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Idealized views of government lead to bitterly unhappy citizens posits The Myth of Fair and Efficient Government: Why the Government You Want Is Not the One You Get. In fact, Michael L. Marlow says, government is the last place to look for efficiency. It is, rather, private markets that naturally drive toward efficient outcomes and it is unreasonable to expect governments to mimic those effects.

This idea will startle many readers, especially given the widespread belief that private markets caused the current economic problems. The author's intention is to awaken readers to the invalidity of that assumption, to make us "pause before calling upon the government to somehow be efficient and fair in responding to the supposed collapse of private markets." To that end, this book demonstrates why romantic views of government promote a less efficient economy; why so many government programs are inefficient in practice; and why a more limited role for government is critical to reviving trust in our institutions.

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Editorial Reviews

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"A timely book, given the contentious debates over the U.S. federal budget. Summing Up: Recommended."



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313392917
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/6/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 214
  • Sales rank: 1,145,401
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface Vii

One Our Disappointment with Government 1

2 What Markets Do Well 17

3 Theory Is Not Practice of Government 33

4 Government: The Last Place to Look for Efficiency 49

5 Government Rarely Promotes Fairness 67

6 Misconceptions of Tax Fairness 85

7 Vocal Advocates Encourage Inefficient Government 103

8 Tax Preferences: Government Playing Favorites 117

9 Unfunded Liabilities of Future Citizens 135

Ten More Efficient and Fairer Taxation 153

11 Improving Government 169

Notes 189

Index 209

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