Hume om det kloka med budgetregler

I min uppsats behandlar jag främst de teoretiska och filosofiska grundvalarna i Humes tänkande. Men hans essäer rymmer även många godbitar av analys och resonemang kring politiska frågor av mer praktiskt art. Exempelvis den mycket aktuella essän ’Of Public Credit’, där man hittar ett tjusigt försvar för det kloka i att lägga fast budgetregler och begränsa politikernas möjlighet att skuldsätta staten. Man får aldrig glömma bort de starka incitament som gör att politiker ofta missköter sig på detta område (säg, startar två ofinansierade krig och samtidigt sänker skatterna).

[Our] modern expedient, which has become very general, is to mortgage the public revenues, and to trust that posterity will pay off the incumbrances contracted by their ancestors: And they, having before their eyes, so good an example of their wise fathers, have the same prudent reliance on their posterity; who, at last, from necessity more than choice, are obliged to place the same confidence in a new posterity. But not to waste time in declaiming against a practice which appears ruinous, a beyond all controversy; it seems pretty apparent, that the ancient maxims are, in this respect, more prudent than the modern. […]

It is very tempting to a minister to employ such an expedient, as enables him to make a great figure during his administration, without overburthening the people with taxes, or exciting any immediate clamours against himself. The practice, therefore, of contracting debt will almost infallibly be abused, in every government. It would scarcely be more imprudent to give a prodigal son a credit in every banker’s shop in London, than to impower a statesman to draw bills, in this manner, upon posterity.

David Hume (1987), Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary (Indianapolis: LibertyClassics), 350-52.

Lämna ett svar