Rev Austrian Econ (2016) 29:327–330 DOI 10.1007/s11138-015-0301-4 RichardE.Wagner, Deficits, Debt, and Democracy. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2012. xi+194 Pages. £58.50 (hardcover) George R. Crowley Published online: 19 February 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015 Continual deficits have become nearly synonymous with budgeting in modern democ- racies. In Deficits, Debt, and Democracy, Richard Wagner notes the peculiar nature of the problem writing, BWhile living within a budget can be difficult, most people manage to do it…Even elected legislators seem to do this with their personal ac- counts…It is different, however, when it comes to their legislative activities,^ (p. vii). With this book, Wagner lays out a theory of political economy within the fiscal commons which attempts to explain the omnipresent nature of deficits. Central to his thesis is the idea of the entanglement of public and market-based enterprises, and the interaction of and competition between different interests. Wagner contends that fiscal policy emerges as a spontaneous byproduct of these interactions and not as the result of any centralized choice. His approach injects a welcome degree of complexity and realism lacking in more traditional models. Anyone with an interest in the non-idealized practice of public finance would do well to
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 19, 2015
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