Author: Peter H. Schuck
“Why Government Fails So Often” by Peter H. Schuck is not for the casual reader attempting to get his or her hands around the topic. Mr. Schuck is the Simeon E. Baldwin Professor of Law Emeritus at Yale University and his book would serve as a valuable text for a semester long, law school class studying the subject. I am sure the class would be fascinating, but I would hate to take the final exam!
Professor Schuck does an extremely thorough job of laying out the problem; in almost cases citing studies and scholarly works that delve into a wide range of issues he deems relevant to the topic. But to me, therein lies the failure. The book, 412 pages in length (not counting 50 pages of footnotes) spends roughly 75% of the time explaining why government fails, but very little on solutions. Even then, the solutions are not very creative and, as the book itself suggests, only incremental.
While I cannot recommend the book to the casual, or even somewhat serious reader, it should however be required reading for anyone elected to Congress and perhaps sit on their nightstands.