Public Debt within Systems of Monopolistic Democracy

50 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2016 Last revised: 1 Nov 2016

See all articles by Giuseppe Eusepi

Giuseppe Eusepi

Sapienza University of Rome

Richard E. Wagner

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 30, 2016

Abstract

This paper is the penultimate draft of the fifth of six chapters of a book titled Public Debt: An Illusion of Democratic Political Economy. This paper modifies the benchmark condition of a cooperative democracy to incorporate a realistic treatment of democracy where there exist islands of political power within a relatively passive sea of generally modest democratic participation. This essay explains that descriptions of democracy as entailing self-governance are typically mythical or ideological formulations that promote the purposes of those who work with such notions. Public debt becomes a form of shell game, the success of which depends on most people looking somewhere other than where the real action occurs, and which entails a shifting of cost from dominant to subordinate groups as covered by an ideology of self-governance.

Keywords: public debt as shell game; monopolistic democracy; public debt as systemic lying; public debt and social trust; James Buchanan and cost transfer

JEL Classification: D72, E30, E62, H62

Suggested Citation

Eusepi, Giuseppe and Wagner, Richard E., Public Debt within Systems of Monopolistic Democracy (October 30, 2016). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 16-46. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2861665 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2861665

Giuseppe Eusepi

Sapienza University of Rome ( email )

Via del Castro Laurenziano, 9
Rome, RM 00161
Italy
+39 06 49766955 (Phone)

Richard E. Wagner (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
334 Enterprise Hall
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
(703) 993-1132 (Phone)

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