Bureaucracies, Inefficiency, and Representative Democracy

Nobel Laureate James Buchanan explains the “inexorable growth in the collectivized share of valued resource usage” is a consequence of the pressures generated by bureaucratic institutional structure.

For the demander-user of a collectivized good or service, the decision calculus is different, in that there is no direct linkage between the quantity of the good demanded and the nonvoluntary payment exacted as the budgetary size changes. The rent seekers and rent holders in bureaucratic positions join constituency beneficiaries in exerting pressures for budgetary expansion, and they face only vague, disorganized, and nonidentified sets of general taxpayers.

Buchanan is discussing William Niskanen’s Bureaucracy and Representative Government.


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