Playing at the Margins

Okay, I know that some of you take offense at political action as either ineffectual or immoral, but I couldn't help appreciating the use of this familiar public choice argument at DownsizeDC (emphases theirs):

It is very well understood how government grows, and why it is so difficult for taxpayers to protect themselves from the large-scale looting that goes on in Washington . . .

  • Government confers huge, concentrated benefits on select groups of people, while spreading the cost over all taxpayers
  • The groups that benefit from government favors have large incentives to fight for those benefits, while taxpayers have small incentives to fight any particular instance of looting

This essential insight tells us something very important about strategy . . . NO strategy for curtailing government growth has ANY chance of success UNLESS that strategy makes it EASY for taxpayers to fight government growth, and, as a result, more DIFFICULT for politicians to make government grow. We have built our entire organization, and we are basing all of our future plans, on this crucial insight.

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