The Real Source of Corruption in Congress: Members’ Good-Faith Efforts To Help People
But why does Rogers care so much about Phoenix Products that he wants to send all this business his way?
What Phoenix Products has is something unique. It’s based in Kentucky, just like Harold Rogers. Its employees live in Harold Rogers’ district, they shop in stores that are in Harold Rogers’ district, their spouses and siblings live in Harold Rogers’ district, their incomes bolster the tax base for municipalities in Harold Rogers’ district. So if Harold Rogers wants to do the right thing for Harold Rogers’ constituents, he needs to do the right thing for Phoenix Products.
Hayek differentiated between an welfare state of Law versus one of administration. The former would function based on a set of rules in openness and transparency. The latter would be run by bureaucrats who distributed favors for their own political gain. The former would be compatible with a free democratic society, the later would subvert it.
I think we need to start looking at the defense industry as favor distributing patronage system that no longer serves its defined public purpose.