James Buchanan on racism

Source: Notes on Liberty
by Vincent Geloso

“Ever since Nancy MacLean’s new book came out, there have been waves of discussions of the intellectual legacy of James Buchanan — the economist who pioneered public choice theory and won the Nobel in economics in 1986. Most prominent in the book are the inuendos [sic] of Buchanan’s racism. Basically, public choice had a ‘racist’ agenda. Even Brad DeLong indulged in this criticism of Buchanan by pointing that he talked about race by never talking race, a move which reminds him of Lee Atwater. The thing is that it is true that Buchanan never talked about race as DeLong himself noted. Yet, that is not a sign (in any way imaginable) of racism. The fact is that Buchanan actually inspired waves of research regarding the origins of racial discrimination and was intellectually in line with scholars who contributed to this topic.” (06/26/17)