Monopoly Politics

Monday, July 19, 1999
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Hoover Press

It's no secret that commercial markets thrive on competition. The American consumer enjoys better products, better prices, and better service as a direct result of a competitive marketplace. But why is it, ponders nationally known political expert Jim Miller, that although the public is quick to protest a lack of competition in commercial markets, it is oblivious to the same need for competitive vigor in the political marketplace?

In Monopoly Politics, Miller shows that, just as in commercial markets, victims of monopoly power in politics pay higher prices and get less in return. He details how political markets make it inherently difficult for them to be organized competitively and perform as well as commercial markets. And he explains how the cause of this lack of competition is that political incumbents—those with the most to gain from any contrived advantage—rig political markets to protect themselves from challengers. With sharp insight and candor, Monopoly Politicsreveals

  • How "business as usual" by incumbents in political markets would violate laws and result in fines or imprisonment if practiced in commercial markets
  • The many subtle and little-known advantages incumbents erect to ward off challengers
  • How most of the major campaign finance reform proposals would actually restrict competition even further and increase the advantage of incumbents
  • Why a term limit amendment to the Constitution has little chance of ever being passed
  • How incumbents at the federal level work with state and local officials to generate more impediments to challengers
  • The incumbent's built-in advantages in dealing with the Federal Election Commission
  • The specific steps that can be taken to broaden opportunities for challengers and make the political marketplace more competitive—and more responsive to the voters

Copyright 1999.