by Locker Room contributor
You’ve probably suspected that the constant chase for special tax breaks, favorable regulations, and other dubious government “gifts” leads to severe problems in our economy.
Joel Miller attempts to place a price tag on the craziness in his book Size Matters: How Big Government Puts the Squeeze on America’s Families, Finances, and Freedom (Nelson Current, 2006).
He describes the process as “transfer-seeking”:
Most economists who study transfer-seeking estimate anywhere from 5 to 12 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product is consumed in the pursuit of preferential treatment from government. GDP in 2004 was $11.6 trillion. That’s $583 billion at the low end and $1.4 trillion at the ceiling. [National Journal writer] Jonathan Rauch cuts right to the chase: “If those estimates are in the ballpark, then by hunting for redistributive goodies Americans make themselves about 5 to 12 percent poorer than they otherwise would be.”