From Big State and Small Society, to Small State and Big Society: Reflections on Richard Cornuelle’s Healing America

Conversations on Philanthropy Vol. X, p. 1-22, 2013

22 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2015  

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Paola A. Suarez

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

In sequence, we discuss the claims for state intervention that derive from our moral sense of justice, the arguments for state intervention based on prisoners’ dilemmas and the need for collective action, and the case for state intervention that follows from the broad claims of market failure. We then argue that even if we have good reasons to reject (or at least seriously question) the justificatory arguments for state intervention based on justice, collective action, or market failure, a high probability of state intervention will persist as suggested by public choice arguments regarding the logic of democratic governance. We thus turn to a discussion of what may be necessary to realize a society of free and responsible individuals who participate and can prosper in a market economy based on profit and loss, and who can live and be actively engaged in caring communities. We conclude by returning to Cornuelle’s Healing America and its implications for twenty-first-century political economy.

Keywords: Richard Cornuelle, Healing America, state intervention

JEL Classification: H11; P16

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J. and Suarez, Paola A., From Big State and Small Society, to Small State and Big Society: Reflections on Richard Cornuelle’s Healing America (2013). Conversations on Philanthropy Vol. X, p. 1-22, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2699917

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

Paola A. Suarez

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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