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« Who Got New York's Electoral Votes? | Main | Persons of the Year »

December 22, 2004


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» More eggnog, less drowning from Crooked Timber
I was just looking around Tim Lambert’s Deltoid in a slow moment, when I came across this priceless story from BoffoBlog about a presentation from “More Guns, Less Crime” author John Lott. In this episode, the hapless AEI scholar gave... [Read More]



As a hypothesis, it isn't bad. Bigger government means, most likely, that there is more opportunity for patronage from the elected officials. This is a return on investment for political contributors. Since the return is better, you get more contributions.

Proving it is another story. You would need to show that patronage spending is positively linked to government size. You would also need to show significance. I have no doubt that he is right that big government increases campaign costs. The question is, is he right to any significant degree. Payoff-for-patronage might be responsible for one millionth of the increase in campaign spending. Trial lawyers support Democrats because of tort reform legislation, not so they can be made special assistant undersecratary for civil rights affairs. The board members of oil companies support Republicans so they can drill in ANWR, not so they can be made consul-general to Antigua.


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