Economics professor Steve Horwitz writes here about the late James Buchanan, who was a founder of what we call “public choice theory.” The big point of public choice is to look at government officials as ordinary people who have their own interests can will find ways to use government power to advance those interests if possible.

People acting through free markets can make some bad decisions, but so can people acting through the political process. I think that it’s beyond question that the harm done by bad political decisions is far greater.