Conservative economists tend to be market oriented, tend to believe that the private market system will solve everyone’s problems, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary (see monopolies; great depressions, consumer fraud, bank failures etc.). But James Buchanan, who just died was one of the better ones.
He did a lot of very good work, but also came to conclusions that, really, non-economists could also come to. Here is one that that is about as relevant today as any commentary on current affairs.
Dr. Buchanan, a professor emeritus at George Mason, in Fairfax, Va., was a leading proponent of public choice theory, which assumes that politicians and government officials, like everyone else, are motivated by self-interest — getting re-elected or gaining more power — and do not necessarily act in the public interest.
Gee, can anybody think of any government official this description does not cover?