Economist James Buchanan dies; Matthew Yglesias dances on his grave

Today, economics scholars and libertarians took to Twitter to pay condolences to one of the greatest US economists of the 20th century.

Meanwhile, liberal pundit Matthew Yglesias decided today would be a good day to take a potshot:

The Nobel Prize committee didn’t consider Buchanan overrated. (Buchanan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic in 1986.)

The hostility from liberals like Yglesias should come as no surprise. As the Cato Institute (where Buchanan was a senior fellow) notes, Buchanan’s work undermined the case for government solutions to market failures:

Before the work of [James] Buchanan and [his colleague Gordon] Tullock, economists and political scientists viewed “market failure” as a litmus test for government action. When the private sector was perceived to produce a sub-optimal outcome, government actors would reconfigure the situation so as to rectify the problem. Buchanan and Tullock’s 1962 book, The Calculus of Consent, aggressively questioned this scenario: why do we assume that because a government acts, it necessarily solves a given problem? Don’t public as well as private actors pursue their self-interest?

A former student, economist Steve Horwitz, says Buchanan “changed the face of economics and politics and advanced the cause of liberty as much as anyone in the second half of the 20th century.” And Yglesias has done … what exactly?


  • Steve_J

    Isn’t Yglesias forgetting Paul Krugman?

    • Bill Hall

      Come on now, every noted economist of the past would support minting a Trillion dollar platinum coin.

    • ceemack

      Just about everybody would like to forget Paul Krugman. That lucky ******* Yglesias just beat us to it.

  • PennyRobinsonFanClub

    Matt who?

    • Robert Hoover

      Wait till he writes another web book ant puts it for sale on amazon. We all had fun trashing his last one. He was whining that he was buried with negative reviews. Could not have happened to a bigger A hole than this dweeb.

  • independentjones

    “(Buchanan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1986.)” *

    *Back when it meant something.

    RIP, James Buchanan

    • TomJB

      Don’t group the peace prize in amongst the others. The Nobel Peace prize has become a political joke but the majority of the others are still legit scholars doing great things.

    • TomJB

      Don’t group the peace prize in amongst the others. The Nobel Peace prize has become a political joke but the majority of the others are still legit scholars doing great things.

  • Rob Hayes

    You mean Mathew Yglesias, the ‘King of Polka?’

  • mickeyco

    Be interesting to see if anyone even notices when Yglesias passes. Of course, he did go to Harvard.

  • Joe W.

    Isn’t Matt’s dad Julio??

  • skhpcola

    Matt is a member of the club of libtards that is perpetually wrong about everything. Unfortunately, that club is large and narcissistic enough that they massage each others’ egos, with the result of them all believing that they are intellectuals. He is a great exemplar of the filthy ideology that contemporary, ignorant Marxists revel in as advocates. Pfft.

  • KhadijahMuhammad

    “James Buchanan no longer the most overrated living economist.”

    Yea-uh. Paul Krugman is now the undisputed champ for that title…..

  • hatsylady

    Last time Matty disparaged the dead, he paid the price with a review bomb of his new e-book “The Rent is too Damn High”. Matty, I’m writing a book, it’s called “The Libtard is too Smug and Sanctimonious, not to mention A disprespectful jackass”. Check it out.

  • rhodi

    Give poor Matt a break he’s just another slow tool for the MSM.

  • Garth Haycock

    Yglesias is wrong about the most overrated economist no longer being alive. Krugman is still around.

  • JPeron

    I fear Mr. Ygelsias is plagued with an inferiority complex. Now, I can’t say he didn’t earn it, but it’s still sad to watch an adult, well almost, stoop to that sort of level.