12 October 2010

US Politics

I arrived in New Haven yesterday, and amongst a few other things I’m trying to develop my understanding of American politics somewhere beyond the West Wing.
So today I caught a glimpse of this craziness (via MR), and was sent this great quote from a friend who made the leap from Yorkshire a few years back:
“Policy making in Europe is like a prizefight: Two contenders, having earned the right to enter the ring, square off against each other for a prescribed number of rounds; when one fighter knocks the other one out, he is declared the winner and the fight is over. Policy making in the United States is more like a barroom brawl: Anybody can join, the combatants fight all comers and sometimes change sides, no referees is in charge, and the fight lasts not for a fixed number of rounds but indefinitely or until everybody drops from exhaustion… ‘it’s never over.’”
From Bureaucracy by James Wilson.
And how about this for some new lobbying research:
once the politician for whom they worked leaves office, their revenue falls 20%, or $177,000 per year, suggesting that lobbyists are paid more for “who they know” than “what they know”.

From researchers at LSE and Pompeu Fabra.

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