OB-One Kenobi, Public Choice Economist

Could Star Wars be an intergalactic gateway to better understand public choice theory? OB-One Kenobi, who will soon have his own series, is not only one of the best JD masters in the universe and a master orator, he is also an important teacher of political economy.

Obi-Wan Warning

To protect Senator Padma Amidala from death threats Clone attack, Anakin discusses Skywalker and OB-One security plans, Anakin’s frustration with his mother, and Anakin’s growing affection for Amidala. While counseling Anakin about Amidala, OB One reminds Anakin that Amidala is a politician. OB-One says, “… don’t forget that he’s a politician, and they’re not credible.”

Clone attack (2002) are obviously political, as Anne Lancashire notes-and Cass Sunstein notes for the whole story কিন্তু but OB-One’s commentary has moved to the economy of public choice. In additional context, Lancashire states that,

… The film deliberately raises and comments on a number of contemporary (and timeless) political issues, and most notably provides a terrifying allegation of a toxic combination of greed and political ambition-including extraordinary timing নির্মাণ the film’s production began three years ago. Over the past year or so, the United States has been embroiled in corporate scandals involving Enron, Arthur Andersen, Tyco, WorldCom and more, and the economic and political controversy surrounding the last US presidential election (fair or strategic?), Corporate malpractice (protection of citizens or protection of organizations). ?), And the response of the President and other authorities to the ongoing war on terror (necessary or politically motivated?)

OB-One’s comments are not nihilistic, and they do not indicate that we should not be politicians. He is referring to the role of politicians in the relevant Star Wars system of government, the Galactic Senate. Anyone তির of any race — who lives in this position, faces the same impetus that politicians in the Republic face when it comes to campaign financing and winning re-election. Such incentives fight against other goals, even if those goals are to improve the galactic interest of the public.

Anakin’s Concert

In response to OB-One’s warnings, Anakin portrayed a romance for politicians, as well as his feelings for Amidala. Anakin says, “He’s not like the others in the Senate …” The response is known to be an arrogance একটি an imaginary one-shared by many who believe in politicians, elected officials, and states, or at least their imperfections. Who gives these actors the benefit of the doubt.

OB-One cleverly rejects Anakin’s response and develops his caution: “It is my experience that senators focus only on pleasing those who finance their campaigns.” Obi-Wan urges Anakin to focus on stimuli, not special individuals or their motives. It’s Anakin’s fault. OB-One does not blame the bad or harmful motives of the political actors, it would be wrong to make the essential argument of public choice. Regardless of one’s motive – human angel or knife, JD or Sith – motivation takes precedence in explaining their behavior. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about Amidala, Master Yoda, Shami Skywalker, Tsar Jar Binks, Darth Vader, or Emperor Palpatine; Motivation influences behavior whether actors are in the market or in political settings. It is the essence of the economy of the people’s choice, or politics without romance.

OB-One continues: “And in order to receive these funds they are not afraid to forget the features of democracy.” Senators may be very appreciative of democracy, but they are motivated to ignore those values ​​and perhaps distort them. With the frustration of adolescence, Anakin completely refutes OB-One’s argument, saying, “No other speech, at least not in the economics of politics.”

Later in the scene, Anakin says, “… and you, in addition to generalizations, the Chancellor does not appear to be corrupt.” Obi-Wan defended his public choice argument and replied, “Palpatine is a politician. In other words, Palpatine is using others for its own benefit, not for the sake of the republic. Moments before Amidala’s rescue from the poisonous centipede, however, Anakin fully demonstrated his romance when he said, “I think [Palpatine] A good man. “

This kind of motivation is next to the point of Obi-Wan and the argument of public choice. People in the Galactic Senate, even senators and chancellors, respond enthusiastically. Perhaps if Anakin had listened, he could have rejected Palpatine’s progress and realized his connection to the dark side.

Public choice for all galaxies

The argument of public choice remains relevant in the real world, even for our more pressing political debates.

Whatever politicians do খরচ spending rare tax dollars on Ukraine’s infrastructure or conflict, inflating currencies, imposing regulations and tariffs on child formula or Covid-19 tests, or extending school closures — they are responding to the incentives they face. Such behaviors are not essential to being republican or democratic – there is no light versus dark side in the real world – or they are not about specific people in office. However, they prefer it as a response to the incentives they face for voting, campaign financing, prestige, a larger staff, and so on.

Perhaps we should pay more attention to OB-One, its public-spirited argument, and the Star Wars franchise’s clever portrayal of the larger political economy. We can build a healthy distrust of politicians, chancellors, and the “good” men and women we elect, and we can pay more attention to the lack of rules অথবা or the lack of rules রাজনীতি that politicians face the limitations of perceived abuse.

Byron B. Carson, III

Byron Carson

Byron Carson is an assistant professor of economics and business at Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden-Sydney, Virginia. He taught courses in introductory economics, finance and banking, development economics, health economics, and urban economics.

Byron earned his PhD. BA in Economics in 2017 from George Mason University and BA in Economics from Rhodes College in 2011. His research interests include economic epidemiology, public choice, and the Austrian economy.

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