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Rebuilding The Democracy Of The Taxpayer

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Author Info

  • Konstanin Yanovsky

    (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy)

  • Sergey Zhavoronkov

    (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy)

  • Sergey Shulgin

    (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy)

  • Ilia Zatcovetzky

    (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy)

Abstract

The voter - bureaucrat is locked into a situation of a conflict of interests: as a conscientious citizen, he or she should support optimal expenditure levels for providing certain public goods, but as a person whose wellbeing and career depend on the volume of expenditures for providing public goods, he or she is interested in supporting volumes and prices which obviously exceed the levels acceptable for most citizens of the state. The bureaucrat is also interested in obtaining excess control and regulatory empowerment and authorization. It follows that a conscientious and enlightened functionary should submit a statement about a conflict of interests, and abstain from voting until retirement or demotion. A large and growing group of voters is made up of “professional” recipients of aid. It follows that persons, whose interests include the redistribution of resources of the taxpayers in their own favor, also have no moral right to make decisions by voting during elections. This applies in part also to those entrepreneurs who derive most of their income from the budget. Another grounding factor is the historical statistics of state budget balancing (the dynamics of state debt) and inflation (see Appendix 4: The History of Inflation and Budgetary Deficit after the Introduction of Universal Suffrage). In the age before universal suffrage, problems of financing were almost always an outcome of military cataclysms or other external shocks of a similar magnitude. In the age of universal suffrage, budgetary deficit, growing state debt, and inflation have become the norm.

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File URL: http://www.iep.ru/files/RePEc/gai/ppaper/140Yanovsky.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2013
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy in its series Published Papers with number 140.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision: 2013
Handle: RePEc:gai:ppaper:140

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Keywords: Universal suffrage; conflict of interest; taxpayers' democracy; pure and mixed public goods;

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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Leonid Polishchuk & Alexei Savvateev, 2004. "Spontaneous (non)emergence of property rights," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(1), pages 103-127, 03.
  3. Smith, Vernon L, 1980. "Experiments with a Decentralized Mechanism for Public Good Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 584-99, September.
  4. Stigler, George J, 1970. "Director's Law of Public Income Redistribution," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-10, April.
  5. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Aidt, T.S. & Dutta, Jayasri & Loukoianova, Elena, 2006. "Democracy comes to Europe: Franchise extension and fiscal outcomes 1830-1938," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 249-283, February.
  7. James Gwartney & Randal Holcombe & Robert Lawson, 1998. "The Scope of Government and the Wealth of Nations," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 18(2), pages 163-190, Fall.
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