“PRIVILEGE-SEEKING”—NOT “RENT-SEEKING”. Economics has some jargon that is confusing. One of my pet peeves is the phrase “rent-seeking”. To most people it would seem to have something with landlords and tenants. In fact, “rent-seeker” is one of the harshest names that an economist can call some one. In this paper on “Cronyism”, David Henderson proposes a better term: “The term economists use to describe this investment in getting government favors is rent seeking. The term is misleading: It is really privilege-seeking.” Henderson explains why he condemns “cronyism” or privilege-seeking: “This particular individual gets a subsidy because of his connection to politicians; that one does not. This particular
industry gets subsidies or government protection from competition because it is particularly effective at organizing politically….” Kids, you may not agree with an attack by Henderson or other economists on what they consider to be wasteful expenditure, but if they don’t use the word “rent-seeking”, you will have a better understanding that they are attacking and why they are attacking.
- FORMULA 1 AND TREATING HEART ATTACKS. (3)
- ROBERT CONQUEST, THE HISTORIAN. (1)
- Mary Jane Schaefer: That title sounds remarkably useful.
- VIDAL VERSUS BUCKLEY. (1)
- Mary Jane Schaefer: Well, intellectuals are people too, and emotionally involved in their debates. The problem...
- ROMULUS—WHAT I HOLD AGAINST GORE VIDAL. (1)
- Mary Jane Schaefer: One of the things I heard Gore Vidal say has stayed with me for years: “The mind must have...
- SCIENTIFIC PROGRESS THAT GOES UNRECOGNIZED AS SCIENCE (COMMENT). (1)
- Mary Jane Schaefer: Fifty-seven minutes is almost a full hour. Is this really timely enough to save someone...
- WAS THE CHOICE FOR ENGLISH LITERATURE BETWEEN SHAKESPEARE AND BEN JONSON? (1)
- Dick Weisfelder: We’ll be seeing Dürrenmatt’s ‘The Physicists in Stratford. Perhaps Elmer and Margo...
- TERRY FORSTER—THE BEST HITTER OF THE LAST 75 YEARS? (1)
- Andrew: I think it was 620 games, not at bats. 78 at bats feels like too small a sample size to say a lot… Did...
- REDUCING DEATHS FROM HEART ATTACKS WITHOUT A SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGH. (1)
- Andrew: Why is this not a scientific breakthrough? Weren’t the Gilbreaths scientists?
- WHY ITALY IS A STABLE STATE. (1)
- Elmer: For decades, Italy had many changes of government, but often these seemed to be reshuffles of familiar...
- THE CRUELTY OF THE SUPER-EGO. (2)
- Mary Jane Schaefer: The Id, well we are all born with it, and we have different comfort levels dealing with the...
- YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS. (2)
- Mary Jane Schaefer: The man we talked to seemed chagrined to me, as if he had liked the night herons at first, but...