Why HS2 doesn’t arouse the nation’s anger


Via the Adam Smith Institute, Why government doesn’t cut spending (even though it should) — a brief introduction to Public Choice Theory:

Cutting tax and spending has concentrated costs and dispersed benefits but state spending has concentrated benefits and dispersed costs. That promotes growing state spending. It means that projects like High Speed Rail or wind farms (for example) do not generally arouse anger beyond those people who will have to put up with the downside.

The situation is even worse than presented in the video. Politicians can’t raise enough tax to cover the cost of their spending pledges, so they run deficits, impose debt on future taxpayers and debase the currency, or allow it to be debased by the banking system. All that caused the banking crisis. In as far as we have a “broken society”, “a broken economy” and a “broken politics”, this is a prime contributing factor. It’s why politics is awash with lobbyists. It may substantially explain the distortion in the economy towards the South East, housing and the financial sector.

For more, please see this presentation and my article today at The Cobden Centre.

Meantime, I think I hear another demonstration outside…

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