It seems as if my understanding of the public choice econ critique should be devastating to progressives. I am interested to know why it is not.
In the case of indirect democracy, the playing field is tilted massively in favor of monied interests.
If a company stands to make $1B from regulation X (prohibiting some practice of their competition)...It is strongly inclined to make payments of up to ~$900M to politicians, their families, their friends, their golf games, their mistresses, etc.
While the payment can't be in cash...it can be close enough. $900,000,000 is a lot of money. You can buy a lot of politicians with that much cash.
Since we all know that politicians lie like rugs, we expect that regulation X will be packaged in terms of the latest craze (this month it's health-care). So for instance, Walmart will support (and lobby for) employer mandate for healthcare because the cost to Walmart is much smaller than the cost to it's competitors, thus increasing Walmart's share of business. See bootleggers and baptists.
Doesn't this decimate the case for congress passing laws of any sort?
Do we have to ignore the fact that most of the laws are passed for special interests, and hope that the few laws passed that are not either special interest legislation, or legislation that does not place us in the negatively impacted minority are sufficiently good to make up for the massive cost of living increases created by the other legislation? Is this even a tenable position.
I'm really confused. How do progressives deal with government failure that is apparently endemic and necessary to the system, nearly impossible to fix once enacted (unlike market failure), and many times worse than standard market failure.
Shouldn't this critique (both experimentally and theoretically) have made big-government progressivism a dinosaur by now? No Stalin in the comments.