James Buchanan died on Wednesday, at age 93, and the world lost one of its most creative economic thinkers. Though a free-marketeer to his bones, he made his biggest mark and won the Nobel Prize in 1986 for his work studying economic incentives in government.
With Gordon Tullock, Buchanan developed what became known as "public choice theory." Buchanan described it as the application of the profit motive to government: "It presupposes that if there is value to be gained through politics, persons will invest resources in efforts to capture this value." ...
His work should be required reading for everyone in a government job.
Indeed, it should. I know I benefited immensely from it.