|QUOTE (Melchior @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 05:56)|
This is just senseless, unsubstantiated rhetoric.
Sort of like your response to my post? *cough* projection *cough*
Concentrated benefits and dispersed costs make it so that cutting spending that has an interest group attached to it becomes uselessly risky for politicians. This has absolutely no bearing on whether the money is being spent well or not, it's the nature of the game. Take the US sugar industry for example, they have artificially raised sugar prices by getting the government to have high tariffs and other regulations. Despite this benefitting a small number of people and hurting the rest of the country, nothing is done by politicians. Now why would the small group of people have more power than the large group? Because the small group of people, wanting to maintain these concentrated benefits, make efforts to see that politicians that keep/increase them get elected. Meanwhile, the general public doesn't care enough to do anything. Similarly, whenever beneficiaries of government entitlement spending see a politician threatening cuts, they try to make him lose reelection.
People work for their own self interest. When benefits are fairly big and concentrated, that group will make great efforts to keep/increase these benefits because it is in their own self interest. When costs are dispersed amongst the general population, it isn't in their own self interest to oppose such increases because the effort relative to reward isn't sufficient.
This is shown through out the world by protectionist tariffs that do nothing but hurt the general population for the enrichment of that particular industry, government unions that go apesh*t when their benefits are even remotely messed with, and voters that consistently vote for politicians that promise more money for X program in which they are a beneficiary of.
Arguing against the idea of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs affecting laws and spending would be to argue against lobbyists affecting politicians.