Buchanan dismisses the nearly universal belief (which continues to this day) that the burden of debt is borne by the current generation, and he argues persuasively that public debt is shouldered in large part by generations still to come.
Written in 1958, this book represents Buchanans first published monograph, and its publication met with much controversy, confusion, and speculation in the economic community. But the book also added to Buchanans rising stature in the early part of his career as a brilliant and original thinker.
The arguments Buchanan lays out in this book had a considerable impact on much of his later work. Buchanans object here is to establish a set of analytical claims about debt incidence. Current anxieties over implicit Social Security debt are clear indications of the rightness of Buchanans then-revolutionary theory.
James M. Buchanan is an eminent economist who won the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1986 and is considered one of the greatest scholars of liberty in the twentieth century.
The entire series includes:
Volume 1: The Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty
Volume 2: Public Principles of Public Debt
Volume 3: The Calculus of Consent
Volume 4: Public Finance in Democratic Process
Volume 5: The Demand and Supply of Public Goods
Volume 6: Cost and Choice
Volume 7: The Limits of Liberty
Volume 8: Democracy in Deficit
Volume 9: The Power to Tax
Volume 10: The Reason of Rules
Volume 11: Politics by Principle, Not Interest
Volume 12: Economic Inquiry and Its Logic
Volume 13: Politics as Public Choice
Volume 14: Debt and Taxes
Volume 15: Externalities and Public Expenditure Theory
Volume 16: Choice, Contract, and Constitutions
Volume 17: Moral Science and Moral Order
Volume 18: Federalism, Liberty, and the Law
Volume 19: Ideas, Persons, and Events
Volume 20: Indexes