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Politics

Submission + - fixing the "free rider" problem in politics (ssrn.com)

robotkid writes: "The modern political process is universally acknowledged to be less responsive to the concerns of ordinary individuals compared to the influence of well-funded lobbying groups ranging from the AARP to unions and corporate trade groups. To ordinary individuals, donating money or time to a political cause comes at a high personal cost compared to the perceived impact on the ultimate outcome; therefore, they tend to donate less or nothing even for causes that are important to them while relying on the hope that many others share their concerns and will act differently. This is known as the "free rider" problem, which diminishes the the ability of a democracy to accurate represent the interests of its constituents. Law professor Jordan Barry from University of San Diego has recently proposed a clever solution to this dilemma through a program of "political dollars" that each voting citizen would have available to them solely for contributing to political causes. As this would enhance the aggregate political leverage of individuals without directly curtailing the "speech" of corporations and lobbying groups, this is a solution that would level the playing field without requiring the overturning of the Supreme Courts' "Citizens United" ruling."

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