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Should the State Regulate Envy?

  • falling-behind-robert-h-frank

Tags Calculation and KnowledgeInterventionism


Falling Behind, by Robert H. Frank, belongs to an unfortunate genre: books by well-known economists that endeavor to justify crude soak-the-rich policies, writes David Gordon. Paul Krugman and, from an earlier day, John Kenneth Galbraith are perhaps the best-known authors of such works; but Frank fully equals these eminent figures in his railings against the well-off. The sum and substance of his reform proposal is that, because the struggle to surpass others in positional goods does not result in anyone's gaining an advantage, everyone would be better off if the struggle were curtailed. I want a bigger house than yours, but if adding space to my house fails to achieve this goal, because you add to your house as well, a limit on house construction helps us both. FULL ARTICLE

David Gordon is Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute, and editor of The Mises Review.

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