Talk:Rent-seeking

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Citation 20 is Clearly a Farce[edit]

If anyone with an economics background had read the Dougan paper they would realize the absurdly simplistic accounting is a satire for ridiculously large sums spent on rent seeking. In four pages, Dougan apparently proves, QED, that the only government that doesn't completely wealth is an absolute monarchy. Clearly a joke. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.5.215.212 (talk) 01:01, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Readability[edit]

I am a non-economist who came to this article to find out about rent-seeking as the phrase is beginning to turn up in my reading on other issues.

This article is just about unreadable. It is awful. For one example:

"The simplest definition of rent-seeking is the expenditure of resources attempting to enrich oneself by increasing one's share of a fixed amount of wealth rather than trying to create wealth. Since resources are expended but no new wealth is created, the net effect of rent-seeking is to reduce the sum of social wealth."

What on earth does this mean? This: "... the expenditure of resources attempting to enrich oneself ..." is poor grammar. It is such a shame as language like this drives non-specialists away and it really does inhibit learning. hypotaxis (talk) 21:57, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

good point. I tried to solve it by rephrasing the lede. Rjensen (talk) 23:06, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Rjensen, I think your changes were an improvement, but the article is still overall pretty incoherent. For example, I just reread it several times trying to make sense of this sentence: The term "monopoly privilege rent-seeking" is an often-used label for the former type of rent-seeking. Often-cited[citation needed] examples include a farm lobby that seeks tariff protection or an entertainment lobby that seeks expansion of the scope of copyright, and I have been completely unable to figure out what "former type" is referring to. I think that whole section needs a rewrite to make it coherent and understandable. I don't have time to do it myself right now -- I'm not an expert, so it would take me ages. But I'll watchlist the page, and if nobody else tackles it within a month or so, I will try to do it myself. Thanks Sue Gardner (talk) 20:43, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Hypotaxis... Don't apologize for your non-economist status. I have a degree in econ from a top-tier university and I couldn't fathom the rhetoric, grammar or content either. Of course, part of the problem is that the concept is relatively new, somewhat vaguely defined, difficult to quantify, and, therefore, somewhat controversial with rather loose Ad hoc applications that defy objective tests of validity. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.88.1.215 (talk) 10:20, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

How about just calling it a "shake-down"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.252.133.50 (talk) 17:51, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

How Rent seeking could be resolved[edit]

I believe that rent seeking could be resolved through different means.economic awareness of their own political development must be present, to choose the right leaders who would abide by the constitutions fairly with the society. No to discrimination and filled with pride must be invisible. having the right leadership skills and right leaders would surely rejuvenate the falling countries. so as, you could also avoid rent seeking through the trust of these elected leaders. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 210.213.247.66 (talkcontribs) .

"No to discrimination and filled with pride must be invisible." Hear, hear.

This page is basically an essay on rent-seeking, not an article. The NPOV stuff should really go.

I think you meant the POV stuff. Anyway, I've tried to bend the article a little more towards NPOV by characterizing many statements as expressions of criticism rather than flat assertions of fact. The article still slants against rent seeking, however, which may be inevitable because the term itself is perjorative. Casey Abell 02:33, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Some POV has been snuck back into the article by pushing many comments towards flat statements of fact rather than expressions of critical opinion. I'm not going to get into a revert war, but this article frankly falls foul of NPOV. The key problem is that "rent seeking" is more an accusation than a genuinely scholarly concept. No writer ever compliments somebody on rent-seeking, or even uses it as a neutral description. It's always an allegation of nefarious or at least unhelpful conduct, often used by political partisans against their favorite hate-objects (for instance, corporations and conservative governments for left-wingers, labor unions and welfare recipients for right-wingers). It may actually be impossible to write a truly NPOV article on this subject, but we should make a better effort than the current version. Casey Abell 21:26, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
How is this different from, say, market failure? That too can be an accusation, but it is also a genuine scholarly concept, as is rent-seeking. --FOo 23:38, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to see fairly extensive comment in the article about how "rent seeking" is often used as an accusation for political purposes. Truth to tell, I think the term is usually employed that way. For instance, see the Leon Felkins article in the external links section. He uses "rent seeking" allegations to push a political point of view on various issues — "corporate welfare", Bosnia, public television. I think you could get sources for such a section and write it in a reasonably NPOV manner. But I didn't want to get into a stink over the article. After all, I came here as part of the wikification project and was at first interested only in technical fixes (section headings, a toc, ref/cite footnotes, external link descriptions, etc.)
But after I started on the technical things, I noticed a lot of the "NPOV stuff", as this page puts it. So I modified some of the language to nudge the article in a more NPOV direction. Sure enough, several of those edits got reverted or heavily modified.
I don't want to edit war over this article (or any article). But I would like to see a more neutral approach here, including some healthy skepticism about claims of "rent seeking" tossed around by political partisans attempting to discredit their opponents. Casey Abell 01:08, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I think the best way to resolve any NPOV questions would be to pull all of the examples to the end. Start with a technical definition (which is good as it stands) Procede to a discussion of why it's bad (the economic factors), then quibble a bit with an overlap section (ways rent is created in an acceptable manner, I.E. regulatory actions that protect consumers but also create rent due to the barrier to entry). Finish up with your discussion of the difference between actual, platonic rent-seeker behaviour, and what we actually see here in the real world. At the very end, set up a list of situations that are accused of being rent-seeking behaviour, I.E. the Taxicabs, Marriage Taxes and doctor's licenses. Give each it's own minisection and let people slug out the individual examples data AFTER all the terms have been defined. Granite26 (talk) 19:17, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

rent seeking in the aggregate imposes substantial losses on society. That sounds like opinion, not at all encyclopedic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.52.183.85 (talk) 17:22, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

discovered in 1967? are you kidding?[edit]

at the very least, this should be reworded Blablablob (talk) 15:30, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

How about "first described in 1967" or "first formally studied in 1967"? FrumpyTheClown (talk) 04:20, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

rent seeking in the aggregate imposes substantial losses on society.

This reads like opinion, rather than being encyclopaedic, doesn't it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.52.183.85 (talk) 17:20, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

This entire article is somewhat of a joke. It is clearly biased and narrowly focused on a neoclassical (i.e., anticlassical) viewpoint. The entire concept of "rent" comes from classical economics hundreds of years ago. "rent-seeking" can therefore reasonably interpreted to mean seeking the kind of rents that classical economists sought to identify and eliminate. This article, however, seems to be using it as some sort of term of art, from the standpoint of some irrational neo-classical perspective, but so poorly describes the terms as to make readers entirely unaware of how this is a term of art at all, and how it fits into the history of economics...on its face this seems like a description of the work of a handful of academics trying to make names for themselves by reinventing the wheel, claiming for themselves concepts that were known long before. Of course, most neoclassical economics deny the history of economics, because it leads through Karl Marx. Here's one example of an explanation of rent-seeking in Karl Marx's writings....obviously pre-dating 1967! http://michael-hudson.com/2015/10/the-paradox-of-financialized-industrialization/ — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.51.122.18 (talk) 17:28, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Clearly Biased[edit]

"Less obvious than the small-scale examples above, but of far greater impact, rent seeking is supported through broad governmental policy aims. The U.S. government's commitment to ensuring cheap fossil fuels, for example, and the many billions of tax dollars allocated to securing that end through military and infrastructure expenditures, as well as the limited efforts to ameliorate the externalized costs of industry, constitute a very large subsidy to the larger centralized firms who depend on cheap global transportation in order to dominate local economies."

This is certainly not well settled, and at best should be removed, and at worst should be cited compellingly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dj spinster (talkcontribs) 08:08, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, without cites that's too far out. I pulled it, and removed the bias tag. CRETOG8(t/c) 14:25, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Maybe it's best to put the bias tag back in place. Most of this article blames government and makes private enterprise out to be angels of pure light. It was obviously written or combed through by a crazed free-market fanatic. How can they blame the government for corporate lobbyists? That's ass-backwards.

There's also a peppering of totally uncited claims, of course solely focused on attacking public employees while ignoring any responsibility for corruption on the private side. Deadphonescell (talk) 07:57, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

This article needs a bias tag. Post-GFC I would have thought that the finance sector required at least a mention as an example of rent-seeking. Alan (talk) 18:22, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Much of this article, in particular the entirety of the "Possible consequences" section, seems to treat rent-seeking and regulatory capture as one and the same. It reads as if the only sources of rents in a modern economy are regulatory lobbying and government corruption. A discussion of rent-seeking, as such, deserves to be much broader than this. 76.193.163.223 (talk) 15:27, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Spelling: Hyphen[edit]

As any compound of a noun and -seeking requires a hyphen, so does rent-seeking. The Economist, notoriously language-conscious, agrees, along with the dictionaries: Merriam-Webster, Oxford (#5), Cambridge, Longman, Macmillan. Can we correct the spelling in the article? --EnOreg (talk) 13:21, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Done --EnOreg (talk) 16:35, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

By the way, EnOreg, you may be interested to know that the Chicago Manual of Style seems to counsel otherwise. See, for instance, their table of guidance for hyphenation, in which they say about constructions of the form "noun + gerund" that when they are used as nouns, they are "usually open," and when as adjectives, they are "hyphenated before a noun." Thus "Mountain climbing is fun," but "a mountain-climbing expedition." As to that qualification usually, it contrasts with those few examples like bookkeeping and copyediting that are set closed; so the exception does not seem to support your preference for hyphenating "rent seeking" when the term is used as a noun.

Don't worry, I'm not going to go and undo all of your hyphens. I merely wished to let you know that on this issue—as on so many matters of writing style—authorities are not unanimous.—PaulTanenbaum (talk) 13:25, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

That's indeed interesting. Thanks much, Paul, for the pointer. I particularly appreciate your note on my talk page.
So far the CMoS is the lone dissenter but certainly a weighty one. --EnOreg (talk) 13:53, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

modern professional licensing[edit]

These edits added "modern licensing practices" to the lead. I believe that whether, which, and where modern licensing practices are rent-seeking versus their believed social benefit (consumer protection, preventing corruption, whatever) is contentious. It shouldn't be listed in the lead as a general factual conclusion. Adding some material, with references, on arguments of what kinds of licensing are rent-seeking would be a good addition to the article. CRETOG8(t/c) 03:12, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Would the current push for perpetual copyrights be an example of rent-seeking?[edit]

John Lennon isn't going to have an incentive to create new Beatles songs, but the EU just passed a copyright extension covering the catalog of tunes. This is similar to the Mickey Mouse Protection Act here in the States. Essentially, powerful lobbyists and politicians perpetuate a theft from the public domain (the artists and music corporations made the songs under the old rules, and the new rules are suddenly backdated), which would seem to be a type of rent-seeking behavior that could be used as a current example. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.186.116.6 (talk) 17:46, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

9 Country? What country?[edit]

Reference to the study by Laband and Sophoclus should make it clear what country they were studying, if 'country' is to be mentioned at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.217.200.226 (talk) 23:06, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

revision 532307928[edit]

The quoted reference by Krugman provides no useful information to describe how financial innovation can be related to rent-seeking. The other two references, although informative, make no mention of rent seeking, and belong in another article. PAR (talk) 07:03, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Oh, really? It seems pretty explicit to me:
"... the rapid growth in finance since 1980 has largely been a matter of rent-seeking, rather than true productivity. (As Paul Volcker says, it’s hard to come up with any clearly productive financial innovations of recent decades other than the ATM)."
"... while there clearly can be beneficial financial innovation, there are fundamental reasons why innovation and finance tends to be less likely to produce beneficial social impact and more likely to produce rent extraction, than innovation in other sectors."
"I suggested that some of the activities which went on in the trading rooms of some banks in the run up to the financial crisis were ‘socially useless’. People have asked me whether I regret those comments. The answer is no, except in one very small respect. Which is that I think it would have been better to use the phrase ‘economically useless’ or ‘of no economic value added’."
I'm restoring the deleted edit. JS Uralia (talk) 07:32, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
My mistake, the last two references are informative regarding rent-seeking. The Krugman article provides an unsupported opinion, no insight at all, and I will delete it. PAR (talk) 07:44, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
The reference to Volcker's observation that the ATM is the only well-known productive financial innovation of recent decades seems more like the citation of an eminent authority on an indisputable fact than an opinion to me. JS Uralia (talk) 08:03, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
You can't really believe that. It's an off-the-cuff hyperbolic sound bite used to draw attention to Volker's possibly well thought out opinion. If Volker's opinion is well thought out and published, then by all means include it, but not Paul Krugmans unreflective repetition of Volker's sarcastic sound bite. Its certainly not an indisputable fact because even Turner admits that some, but not all, financial innovations are rent-seeking. Turner understands that some financial innovations provide liquidity and efficiency to the market, and the question of whether that is a good thing and whether it outweighs any social bad things is certainly arguable. PAR (talk) 15:41, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Justification in the lead[edit]

The last sentence in the lead states:

People accused of rent seeking typically argue that they are indeed creating new wealth (or preventing the reduction of old wealth) by improving quality controls, guaranteeing that charlatans do not prey on a gullible public, and preventing bubbles.

This was added here. I am unable to find discussion of this in the body of the article. Are there sources to support this statement and to support adding expanded content to the body of the article? 75.69.118.163 (talk) 03:07, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Please help put this article in layman's terms[edit]

Rent-seeking is an important concept but anybody without a background in economics would be confused as to what "economic rent" really is, and even the article on economic rent isn't much help. Would it be fair to say rent-seeking always involves using social and political means to artificially restrict the supply of a desired good or service? ObtuseAngle (talk) 21:13, 5 August 2013 (UTC) I think this article is well written except it has rather bad repetition of the lead and could do with tidying. Like a lot of terms used by economists the phrase and it's use are unfortunately slightly unintuitive for a layman. This article is otherwise very clear and gave me a much broader understanding.

More problems with lede[edit]

I think the lede is just plain wrong. Rent-seeking CAN be "political lobbying", and frequently is. But clearly not ONLY "political lobbying" qualifies as rent-seeking. The obvious example (and I simply don't understand why this was ignored) is regulatory lobbying. Not all rent is established in political (legislative or via an elected body) forums since clearly not all "authority" is held by government politicians. I think that in general, any "authority" can be the dispenser of "rent" generating property or rights. Again, the glaringly obvious example is governmental regulators, which have many, many times allowed/promoted some economic interests at the expense of others. It would seem to me that if I owned property a stream ran though, and I had the power to allow some people to use the stream and prevent others from its use then I could be the target of rent-seeking (assuming their use resulted in their economic benefit). I don't need to be a political entity to be influenced by rent-seekers. So, in other words, rent-seeking is the attempt to influence any authority's actions for the purpose of economic/financial benefit.173.189.79.180 (talk) 17:58, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

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Problems with "Criticism" section[edit]

Layman here. Came to this article to learn about rent-seeking. It's generally explained well, but the "Criticism" section is currently pretty weak. The first sentence/paragraph is fine, but the second paragraph lacks citations and is pretty confusingly phrased. For example, it's not clear what "distinction" is being drawn, and whether it's distinguishing rents from profits, or what. A rewrite from someone who understands where that "criticism" (nuance?) is coming from would be great.

Also, I don't think the conclusion of the paragraph follows from the premises. It states:

Rent, by contrast with these two, is obtained when a third party deprives one party of access to otherwise accessible transaction opportunities, making nominally "consensual" transactions a rent-collection opportunity for the third party. The high profits of the illegal drug trade are considered rents by this definition, as they are neither legal profits nor the proceeds of common-law crimes.

To me, the illegal drug trade seems like an example of profit, not rent. Drug users demand drugs, and the illegal drug trade supplies them. Where is the "third party" mentioned in the previous sentence, who's making transaction opportunities inaccessible? Is it the government, who bans the drugs? If so, are taxes the rent in this situation? This example is poorly chosen or poorly explained, and this whole paragraph just muddies the waters.

I'm also not sure what's up with "guaranteeing that charlatans do not prey on a gullible public" in the final paragraph of the section. It sounds like the author had a specific example of rent-seeking in mind, but it's not clear what that was. 73.53.71.153 (talk) 05:51, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Why is this and economic rent two articles? Where is interest and insurance?[edit]

Why is this a separate article from economic rent?

When banks are allowed to leverage >10x deposits for new loans, and accept a debtor's signature as an "asset" on its books against which it can create low interest money with the help of the FED, then the interest they charge is "money for nothing", aka rent. "Interest" was mentioned only once on the economic rent page, and not once here, and yet it was what brought the world to its knees in 2008 and still casts a huge shadow now that most of the toxic assets have been bought by the U.S. government in order to save the banks (the rentiers), giving them good money in exchange for mortgage derivatives and treasury junk that is now on the taxpayer's balance sheet. Insurance is another rent. Ywaz (talk) 16:52, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

Tullock paradox / marginal-revolution[edit]

@JzG: please engage before blindly repeating your edits. This is getting tiresome. We raised these points as part of your problematic mass editing campaign that drew attention and complaint at WP:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#massive_deletions, and also in a pair of discussions which were archived from your talk page recently: User_talk:JzG/Archive_144#Problematic_mass_alleged_REFSPAM_removals and User_talk:JzG/Archive_145. You appear to be throwing your weight around as an administrator and it is not appropriate. You are repeatedly making edits that are not justified by your edit summaries, as well as declining to usefulyl engage.

This edit was also discussed at User talk:Dennis_Bratland#Tullock_Paradox beforehand. ping Dennis Bratland

Specifically, in your edit summary you say "rm. WP:SPS, polemical." That is manifestly untrue. The definition at WP:SELFPUBLISH specifically exempts this case: "Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications." Per Tyler Cowen, he is an economics professor (relevant field) at a reputable university who is published in reputable publications (New York Times, etc.) and so he appears to so qualify.

You're not going to find many people making videos about economics topics. Pretty much the only people are economists who teach about economics, and teaching videos are more commonly self-published than academic books or academic articles. And yet videos explaining topics are a great way to teach, and very helpful to the encyclopedia's goals. So even if this met WP:SPS standard (which it does not), we would want to be more lenient.

As for "polemical," that's a subjective evaluation. The sourced material definitely does not read/listen/view as polemic to me (AHD defines as "controversial argument, especially one refuting or attacking a specific opinion or doctrine"). There's nothing controversial about the argument, nor is it attacking any opinion or doctrine or is there any opposing argument whatsoever.

Even if it were polemic (and I say it's not), that doesn't bar it's inclusion in Wikipedia. The right remedy would be to cite the balancing opposition, not to remove the text.

If you want to find a better source, by all means go and find a better source. If you think the source is making claims that are untrue, state your issue with the source. If you think it is an unbalanced view, go and add in the balancing view or if you can't find it, explain the unbalanced issue. But don't remove content from the encyclopedia that is true and correct without doing the work of finding a replacement. Thank you.

If after all this, you think you are right to remove this text, please try to convince a neutral third party to do it. Thank you. jhawkinson (talk) 18:23, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Marginal Revolution is a blog. Marginal Revolution "University" is a self-published source masquerading as a credentialled educational establishment. The discussion at Dennis Bratland's Talk page consists of you making assertions, you link to no discussion of this source. Your assertions notwithstanding, Wikipedia has a very long-standing consensus on self-published sources, and on sourcing generally. All sources should be reliable, independent and secondary. We allow primary sources when discussing a subject's views in the subject's own article, and in some limited circumstances outside of that, but you have not even tried to demonstrate that this is a suitable exception. In fact, you have acted precisely like the editors I encounter in alt-med articles who insist on blog sources because there are no others. The paragraph in question has a source. You want to add an unstructured blog post and a primary sourced video on a blog advancing a specific point of view on regulation. No. Bring better sources. Guy (Help!) 19:19, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Stop edit warring. I did link to a discussion on the source, viz. Tyler Cowen. See also Marginal Revolution (blog). The word "credentialed" means something very specific in the context of education, and "Marginal Revolution University" (no need to be pejorative in your use of quotes) does not claim to be one, much less "masquerade" as one. Credentialed universities are accredited and typically grant degrees. MRU is not and does not claim to be. (See http://www.mruniversity.com/about-us for their claims) It's a free online teaching tool.
Where is this "long-standing consensus on self-published sources" that disagrees with the explicit language at WP:SPS? That doesn't make sense. Can I assume you're abandoning your argument about "polemic" since you've not justified it?
You seem to be implying this source is a "primary source" (and judging it by the criteria of primary sources), but it's not a primary source and doesn't claim to be. What's the basis for your implication? I do not justify it as an exception because I do not claim it is an exception. Are you saying it's a bad secondary source because it doesn't site sufficient primary sources?
This is not about "adding," this is about retaining something that's been present since 2002. That's why the onus needs to be on you to justify the removal, not on me to justify the retention. (And this is why I view you as edit-warring).
What is the "specific point of view" that you see this source as advancing? Also, when you say "the paragraph in question has a source," which paragraph exactly do you mean? Because there's more than one.
Also, your edit results in a broken citation. Which seems to reflect the general sloppiness you seem to apply to your edits, where it seems to you more important to excise the content because your concern with Vipul than it is to evaluate whether the edit makes the encyclopedia better. Pay attention to what you are doing, please. jhawkinson (talk) 19:38, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
One person cannot edit war. You are being very dogmatic, you show evidence of trying to WP:OWN the article and you do not seem to understand the issue I am addressing. There were two references to Marginal Revolution, one is a blog post which I hope you are not seriously defending, the other is a video which is part of Marginal Revolution "University" (which emphatically is not a university, as I hope you acknowledge). The title "university" is an NPOV issue, incidentally. And yes, that's a primary source that can only be used on the article about Marginal Revolution, because there are no reliable secondary sources establishing this view as being significant.
We know the site has an agenda (they are completely open about that), we know that any "peer-review" on such a site is necessarily performed in an atmosphere of ideological heterodoxy, so bias cannot be effectively challenged. If this was a legitimate educational enterprise it would be run as a MOOC by GMU, I reckon. The scenario here is that the idea is obscure, as we now know; your sources for it are limited; and you have decided you like these particular authors's work so you are insistent that this makes the self-published primary source on the deceptively titled site in some way reliable. But that's not how it works. You have to achieve consensus for inclusion by demonstrating that other people consider these authors' view to be significant - dominant, in fact - and you also have to demonstrate that you have identified analytical sources to establish that this does not upset WP:NOPV.
The problem here is that this is economics, not science. In science, there are objective answers. A video from, say, Michael Mann on a group blog of climate scientists committed to climate education, would be much less problematic, because it's a mainstream view and there is basically no scientific dissent form it - and as a scientist he also states his limits of certainty. This video does not do that, and can't, because in economics there are very few definitive answers, only a vast number of opinions, all stated with the authority of Revealed Truth. This is a lecture entirely from the free market perspective. Other views do not get a look in. It's unbalanced, and WP:UNDUE because it's not covered in an independent source that establishes any contradictory views - if any exist (and if they don't we should not even be mentioning it). Guy (Help!) 22:22, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Hi Guy! I was just trying to find the article on "Tullock paradox" recently -- I remembered learning about the phenomenon but forgetting the name. I eventually realized that you had deleted the article and redirected it to "Rent-seeking", which is the word that describes the broader background to this phenomenon. Could you please explain why you deleted that article? I'm having a lot of trouble following the above conversation.
If I am reading correctly, it looks like
(1) you decided that a weblog run by economists Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok ([[1]]) was a bad source and no wiki article should link to that source;
(2) having made that decision, you removed all links to that source from English-language Wikipedia;
(3) having noticed that this particular article ("Tullock paradox") cited only that weblog as a source, you decided to delete that article and put some of its content into the page "Rent-seeking".
Is that what you did? I just want to understand correctly.
I'm a little confused why you would have deleted the page instead of doing some research to incorporate other sources, such as John G. Riley's "Asmmetric Contests: A Resolution of the Tullock Paradox" (1998, in "Money, Markets and Method: Essays in Honor of Robert Clower"); or perhaps Jean-Philippe Bonardi and Santiago Urbiztondo's "Asset freezing, corporate political resources and the Tullock paradox" (2003, in Business and Politics); or perhaps Richard Cornes's and Roger Hartley's "Loss Aversion and the Tullock Paradox" (2003), just to pick a few examples of this phenomenon's discussion by authors in Los Angeles, Lausanne, Buenos Aires, and Nottingham.
Were you having some difficulty finding alternate sources? Did you need some help here?
It seems a little aggressive to bulk-delete wiki pages whose only citation happens to be from a source you don't like.
(What if that source was so comprehensive that editors never needed to add alternate sources? I realize this seems to challenge your interpretation that the source is terrible and untrustworthy, but supposing that's true, does that mean that everything it discusses is automatically not noteworthy? That seems a little dangerous -- what if this blog were to post an article about YOU? :) ) Mherdeg (talk) 01:48, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
This is a self-published blog post. A self-published source might be appropriate for the Tyler Cowen biography article, if the purpose were to cite an opinion held by Cowen, and Tyler Cowen is the subject. Cowen's works (books, magazine or newspaper articles) that have been fact-checked and edited by a third party would be reliable-sources you could cite in a general way. But a self-edited, self-published blog post serves only to tell us something about Tyler Cowen, not about rent-seeking in general.

The fact that we have to scrape the bottom of the barrel this way to find citations for this topic only underscores the fact that the Tullock paradox is not a very big thing. It's a term that exists, and we ought to offer a cited definition of this term. But otherwise it's obscure, and not very important. If it were, we would easily find many indisputable sources about it. Or as the policy says: "...if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else will probably have published it in independent reliable sources."

I don't endorse any further reverts by anybody, and anybody who has reverted should self-revert their reverts. Enough with the reverting already. But I don't think we should use sources like this one. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 02:26, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Exactly. This looks like an attempt to use poor sources for content we find personally interesting, because no better sources exist. On Wikipedia, that is always a bad idea. Guy (Help!) 12:40, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
Hi Guy, did you understand my questions? Could you answer them? I'm just trying to understand what you did to Wikipedia and why. Thanks! Mherdeg (talk) 23:33, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
Is there some part of self-published source that is unclear to you? Guy (Help!) 22:35, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
Hi Guy, thanks so much for following up. I think the part of Wikipedia's verifiability guidelines that you linked to makes a lot of sense and is certainly easy to read and understand. It's great that editors apply sensible standards in editing the encyclopedia. Did you understand my questions above? Could you answer them? Thanks! Mherdeg (talk) 16:44, 13 April 2017 (UTC)