By Athanasios Asimakopulos, Robert D. Cairns

Written to honour the reminiscence of J.C. Weldon, this choice of essays seeks to mirror Weldon's expert curiosity in fiscal heritage and thought, together with their relevance to social and political problems.

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This then comes out as a main branch with W. S. Jevons, Leon Walras, Vilfredo Pareto, Francis Y. Edgeworth, and so on, to Paul Samuelson. Somewhat parallel to this, though more on the literary side, are the Austrians: Carl Menger, F. von Wieser, Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk, leading up to the neo-Austrians of today. The mathematical branch divides again with Ragnar Frisch, Henry L. Moore, Henry Schultz and others, into econometrics on the one hand, and mathematical theory - Samuelson and so on - on the other.

Smith specified the roles of the public and private sectors as follows: All systems either of preference or of restraint, therefore, being thus completely taken away, the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord. Every man, as 30 The Rise and Fall of the Public Sector long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men.

Psychology, especially, got trapped in the absurdities of behaviourism and the futilities of what might be called 'ritual experimentation'. There is a small subculture of rat economists, but whether they are really learning anything I have not been able to find out. There are some signs of a breakthrough in cognitive psychology, which could have a very fruitful interaction with economics, in terms, for instance, of how we form those images of the future which are the basis of any decisions. Up to now, this potential seems to be something of a vague image of the future itself.

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