Political Legitimacy and the Special Interest State

The current state of American politics is even worse than most people want to admit. Commentary from both ends of the political spectrum assumes that we are in a debate over the scope and function of government. Should we have a welfare state in which the vicissitudes of life are smoothed out in favor of more egalitarian ethic?  Does an economy which rewards the most creative and energetic 20% actually result in a bigger pie for all?  Who is right about economic policy, Keynes or Hayek? These questions are important.  But they have little to do with the real crisis, which concerns the fundamental legitimacy of the political system. Over the past 80 years, we have created not a welfare state, but a Special Interest State.  In this model, various interests are allowed to capture pieces of the government -- executive departments, congressional committees or appropriators, chunks of the tax code, regulatory agencies -- and then wield their power for the advantage of...(Read Full Article)

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