On Thursday Cato will welcome Peter Schuck, professor emeritus of law at Yale, to discuss his new book “Why Government Fails So Often, And How It Can Do Better,” with Arnold Kling commenting. (I’ll be moderating). Today Peter Berkowitz reviews the book at Real Clear Politics. An excerpt:
…the belief — which public polls show is shared by a majority of Americans — that the federal government wastes great quantities of taxpayer money and frequently fails to fulfill its promises is confirmed by reams of social science research. … Schuck, professor emeritus of law at Yale University, demonstrates that the problem goes to the core of big government. … Combining an exhaustive review of the scholarly literature in political science and law with detailed case studies, Schuck concludes that government’s failures “are not just random, occasional, or partisan; they are large, recurrent, and systemic.”
They derive from what Schuck — following the writings of political scientists John DiIulio and the late James Q. Wilson — characterizes as the replacement of the Old System of American governance by the New System. …The New System abandoned questions of constitutional limits and legitimacy in favor of the assumption that government possesses unlimited power to do what representatives deem beneficial to society.…
Schuck shows that the structural sources of our sprawling federal government’s endemic policy failures are numerous — and explainable.