In the 1950s, the theorists of the new welfare economics showed that the state cannot enhance economic efficiency (or, what is the same, increase society’s income) without making a value judgment that favors some and harms others. But most of these economists would not accept their discovery’s corollary that to minimize value judgments the state should refrain from meddling with social welfare policy.

Pierre Lemieux is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and an Economist in the Department of Management Sciences at the Université du Québec en Outaouais (Canada).
EconomistsEconomyFreedomGovernment and PoliticsGovernment PowerLaw and LibertyPhilosophy and ReligionPolitical TheoryPublic ChoiceThe Nanny State
Other Independent Review articles by Pierre Lemieux
Summer 2021 The Impossibility of Populism
Winter 2015/16 From Lemonade Stands to 2065
Summer 2015 The State and Public Choice
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