Arnold Kling  

Bartlett's Theory of Political Dynamics

Trust Cues... CofA Watch...

Bruce Bartlett writes,

The fact is that a lot of people who get into politics don't really have any ideology...

Rather, their only concern is which party will give them the best chance of winning. Secondarily, they are concerned about which party offers them the best opportunities for advancement once elected...

[In 1994], the prostitutes switched parties as well. The Republican Party became the place where the action is. It was the place to go for those motivated only by ambition. This helped the Republicans for all the reasons that such people had previously been assets to the Democrats.

So the Republican Party is now more victory-oriented and less ideologically-oriented than was the case before 1994, when the situation was reversed. For those of us who lean libertarian, I am not sure this is a good thing. As I've said before, Democrats, when they win, tend to listen to their economists. Republicans seem to ignore theirs.

I guess what Bartlett would say is something like, "Libertarians can't win. Get over it."

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CATEGORIES: Political Economy

COMMENTS (7 to date)
RogerM writes:

I think you're right; libertarians can't win. We've come a long way, but have a much longer way to go in educating the public about economics so that we have a chance of winning.

Matt writes:

Libertarianism, small "l", is an economic theory that states there is an optimum, generally smaller, relative size of government that mazimizes productivity.

This change in the Republican Party coincided with the fall of the Soviets and the expansion of global free trade.

China dollarized, the U.S. provides global trade security, and foreign populations pay taxes via a depreciating dollar. So, libertarian measurement of the relative size of goverment is much harder, and Republicans virtually represent billions of non-voting global citizens.

It is the internationalization of US politics that is causing uncertainty among economists.

caveatBettor writes:

the strength of libertarianism is the emphasis on the individual.

however, individualism turns out to be a weakness, when group decisions and actions are required, as is the case with international cases.

sometimes smokers and non-smokers must band together competitively to save clean air and tobacco. i have not heard libertarianism speak strongly and relevantly to cooperation and successful team competition.

sourcreamus writes:

The prostitutes still need an answer when they get asked how to fix certain problems. The libertarians need to win the intellectual debate so they can be the people supplying those answers. Then they need to educate the public so that the prostitutes are not afraid to give libertarian answers

Nathan Smith writes:

Wow, Matt. Very interesting, avant-garde analysis... In what sense did China dollarize? (Not a sarcastic put-down question; I think you might be onto something but possibly you're just crazy, I'd like to know...)

Alex Singleton writes:

"Democrats, when they win, tend to listen to their economists. Republicans seem to ignore theirs."

Depressing, isn't it? For all the complaints Republicans made of Clinton, at least he grew the size of the state more slowly than Bush.

Tom writes:

"Democrats, when they win, tend to listen to their economists. Republicans seem to ignore theirs."

Depressing, isn't it?

Republicans not listening is bad, Dems listening to their economists is worse.

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