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QOTD: Roots of Special Interest Power February 25, 2008

Posted by federalist in Government, Special Interests.

There is absolutely no reason for you to spend your time, talent, and money in politics except for this:  If you do not, laws will be written and regulations enforced by folks with little or no interest in your well-being.

Michael Rothfeld explains both why politicians so rarely accomplish what we think they should and why special interests can obtain so much power in our current government.  He suggests that broad elections in our two-party system are practically decided by only 3% of the population.  Hence special interests that are willing to vote their issue are enough to make politicians — normally reticent to do anything that could draw criticism — act in the special interest.


1. federalist - August 12, 2008

Robert Higgs suggests you go to Washington, D.C., to see for yourself the special interests as “aspiring thieves who are plotting how best to bore into the Treasury and make off with boat-loads of the taxpayers’ money.”

2. federalist - July 22, 2009

From an excellent review of the Economics Blogosphere (“So You Want to be a Masonomist,” by Arnold Kling — worth reading in its entirety):

Governments do not face competitive pressure. They are immune from the “creative destruction” of entrepreneurial innovation. In the market, ineffective firms go out of business. In government, ineffective programs develop powerful constituent groups with a stake in their perpetuation.

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