Thursday, March 25, 2010

Don't Throw All the Bums Out

I've recently heard vote against all incumbents in Congress, according to the FiveThirtyEight blog, that's a bad idea:
But here's why the instinct to just throw all the bums out seems rational but is potentially counter-productive if not irrational: Even with significant turnover, the notion that members of Congress will be independent of the influence of special interests is a fantasy. In fact, just the reverse is likely to happen: In a Congress full of rookies, the interest group community will have greater influence because it has longer institutional memory and control over information. That's not just speculation: Studies of state interest group communities tend to show that they are more influential in so-called "citizen legislatures" where members serve part-time (see , and that states with term limits only tend to further strengthen interest groups.
I agree they are mostly bums, but nothing changes if they are simply replaced by more fresh-faced bums. If you want a different system, vote for a different type of candidate. Might I suggest the Libertarian Party.

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You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.