Do you know what “rent seeking” is?–hint: like paying to the mafia

Rent Seeking:

“Trying to use protective regulations or ‘rights’ to derive income without adding anything to economic activity, without increasing the wealth of others.  As Fat Tony would define it, it is like being forced to pay protection money to the Mafia without getting the economic benefits of protection.”  Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“Countries arrive at the stationary state, as Adam Smith argued, when their ‘laws and institutions’ degenerate to the point that elite rent-seeking dominates the economic and political process … Public debt—state and implicit—has become a way for the older generation to live at the expense of the young and the unborn.  Regulation has become dysfunctional to the point of increasing the fragility of the system. Lawyers, who can be revolutionaries in a dynamic society, become parasites in a stationary one. And civil society withers into a mere no man’s land between corporate interests and big government. Taken together, these are the things I refer to as the Great Degeneration.”  Niall Ferguson


How Wall Street’s Rent-Seeking Vampire Squid Sucks All Life Out Of The Economy


Book: Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life


Book: The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die




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