A Constitutional Amendment to Constrain Rent-Granting and Rent-Extraction
By James E. Hanley
Normal politics cannot be expected to produce constraints on the seeking and granting of rents because such activities are fundamental to normal politics. This paper proposes the text of a constitutional amendment to prohibit the granting of special economic privileges and considers how that text ought to be applied to real-world grants of economic privilege, including subsidies, tariffs, environmental regulation, and occupational licensing. By limiting the granting of economic privilege, the amendment would constrain politicians rent-extraction behavior and limit incentives for rent-seeking behavior.