October 6th, 2016
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: email@example.com
If true, this would be an argument for having leaders who are elected for very long periods of time. Something like the Supreme Court, long enough that they would not have to worry about their re-election. An elected House Of Lords.
The basic idea may also be put this way. A left wing government might not want to pass policies to educate the masses or open markets to small business firms because such policies are likely to be successful and in the process create a class of skilled workers and petty bourgeoisie who will vote against the left-wing party and its policies of income redistribution. By keeping its constituents poor, the left-wing party keeps its constituents beholden because only the left-wing party will support income redistribution.
The left-wing party might even pass policies that the right-wing party wants in order to build its own future power base. The authors give the example of the Democrats under Bill Clinton supporting NAFTA which may have harmed the left-wing constituency of labor. The authors show, moreover, that the effect is likely to be bigger the bigger are political rents and the more stable are political careers. In other words, Bill Clinton passed NAFTA so that Hillary Clinton could run against it. An interesting idea if not wholly convincing.