Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Comment on Canice Prendergast’s A Theory of ‘Yes Men’

The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Volume 4, No. 2 (Summer 2001)


It is within the bowels of government where the real yes-men problem lies. Here, there is no automatic feedback mechanism of the market to rely upon, to quell any incipient tendencies in the direction of yes-manning. At best they are extraordinarily weak; at worst they are nonexistent. Thus, far from Prendergast being able to make her point that the yes man phenomenon is a market failure, the truth of the matter is that it is a government failure. If market firms rely upon or are involved in yesmanship, they lose money and tend to go bankrupt; if and to the extent that governments become embroiled in this economic virus, the forces for their dissolution are either very much attenuated, or totally absent.


 Block, Walter. Comment on Canice Prendergast’s  A Theory of “Yes Men.”  The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 4, No. 2 (Summer 2001): 61–68

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