Political Favoritism

Monday, October 25, 2010

Susan J. Tolchin discusses political patronage—awarding favors in exchange for political support. Pinstripe Patronage: Political Favoritism from the Clubhouse to the White House and Beyond, written with Martin Tolchin, looks at whether political patronage is an essential ingredient of effective governance or if patronage is the dark underbelly of American politics, and examines how it has changed over time—from the privatization of services once conducted by government to earmarks to defense contracts.


Susan J. Tolchin

Comments [9]

Brian from Manhattan

Just amazed at Leonard's assessment @ 16:20.
Any sensible person that advocates getting rid of gov't waste would never support contracting out to private firms.

Oct. 26 2010 01:54 PM

With regard to one-party states, why was the PRI able to rule Mexico for 70 years?

Oct. 25 2010 12:36 PM
@ Mike from Boise from NYC

I grew up in a Rocky Mountain state, and I know farmers get enormous federal agricultural subsidies in the mountain west, much as they do in the rest of the country. And isn't a former Idaho governor Secretary of the Interior right now? I think if a senator is well-placed on an important committee then he/she *can* get some pork to send back home, even if home doesn't have a lot of electoral votes.

Oct. 25 2010 12:34 PM
Mike from Boise, ID from Boise ID

What leverage can senators and congressmen from Idaho use to get any patronage at all? I understand how NY folks get it, but ...

Oct. 25 2010 12:24 PM
Devon J. M. from Brooklyn

I learned from Brian Lehrer that earmarks represent less than 10% of the federal budget. I care far more about big entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare and about the interest on the national debt. And, yes, some districts could use a Mariachi band.

Oct. 25 2010 12:20 PM
Shel Winter from Scarsdale, NY

The public wants to see Iraq and Afghanistan END! How long has this gone on? What happened to all the protests-- "no blood for oil" and "bring back the troops"? People are dying out there every day, and everyone just ignores it. The hawks won when everyone stopped caring.

Oct. 25 2010 12:16 PM
Dan from Fair Lawn NJ

Long ago, I read an article saying that the NYC subway system would not have been built but for corruption. Can you confirm that and give an article source for it?

Oct. 25 2010 12:10 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Every human organization is political, including the family. Even in the family system, politics and trading of favors goes on. Everywhere, and in every place, it's always a struggle for power. That's the definition of politics: struggle for power.
However, ballots are preferable to bullets and that is what democracy is about: ballots over bullets.

Oct. 25 2010 11:58 AM
arnold from Philadellphia pa

This is what our so called democracy has become it is about trading favors for money and political support on a very local level. It isn't about parties but interest groups. Our system is fundamentally broken and probably can't be fixed because the people in power don't want to give it up as expected. But even then no one seems to be that concerned they talk about the money and corruption as if it's almost expected which I guess it is.

Oct. 24 2010 01:14 AM

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