Bootleggers, Baptists, and Employer Mandates - Brad Taylor

Politicians wishing to remain in office face two conflicting pressures. On the one hand, they need to secure contributions to fund their campaigns. This gives them the incentive to grant favors to interest groups, while ignoring the effect on the rest of us. One the other hand, they need to maintain the support of voters. This gives them the incentive not to do anything the median voter doesn’t like. This latter constraint doesn’t mean that policy will be good, only that it will be popular.

Sometimes, though, these two pressures pull politicians in the same direction. Some policies are popular with voters and enrich interest groups at the same time. When a potential policy has both a direct financial payoff to someone willing to reward helpful legislators and subsidize legislative effort, as well as some moral justification voters find compelling, it is much more likely to be enacted.

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Taking a Closer Look at the Stories Ignored by the Mainstream Media
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