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Book Review

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The Power to Tax seeks to replace one economic orthodoxy with another. Despite their iconoclasm, Geoffrey Brennan and James Buchanan are closer to mainline public finance economists than they would like to admit. Both the dominant orthodoxy and The Power to Tax fail to transcend the limits of neoclassical economics as a formal theory of political economy. While their methods of evasion are different, both iconoclasts and mainliners fail to take seriously the distinctive features of modern democratic policies - elections, bureaucracy, and an ongoing effort at complex normative evaluation.

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