Hard Data and Soft Despotism

Benjamin Radcliff of the University of Notre Dame appeared in The Washington Post this week to discuss his recent book The Political Economy of Human Happiness, which looks interesting except that Tocqueville already wrote it. Radcliff’s thesis, backed, he says, by hard data gathered from stable democracies, is that bigger governments lead to happier people. His conclusion is that bigger governments are therefore advisable. QED, the purpose of government is to make people happy. For the sake of argument, grant him step one. Steps two and three need work.

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