Badminton Law

Hi Rusty,

I’ve been ill/then got roid rage from the medicine then got ill again then got roid rage again. But it hasn’t stopped me from thinking that I want to make you think about a thing.

So one of the things that interests me is why people do/care about stuff, since I don’t do/care about anything. I don’t even mean that, but my energy totally maxes out at the interpersonal level. If I need to engage institution-level problems that can’t be handled through a conversation, I am like, fuck it. So FORGET about activism, entirely.

Anyway, so Michael Hayes’ transactional model of the legislative process – basically, the story of how supply (of awesome laws Congress can make) matches up with demand (of interest groups who will vote for people to make them awesome laws). I am a little leery of any model that assumes anyone knows what they want or how to get it, but putting that sort of high level concern aside, sure, sounds like Congress.

So we follow this through (according to my admin law txtbook) and we have a model where outcomes are

Widely distributed benefits and costs: don’t happen because no interest groups mobilize

Concentrated benefits, dispersed costs: will happen and happen and happen and compound self and happen again and all hail King Piperlime.

Broad  or concentrated benefit, concentrated costs: won’t happen because an “interest group” is the cost avoiders. Actually my textbook says here the cost-getting job gets delegated to an administrative agency which is then underfunded and the congresscritters can be like look at this terrible bureaucracy preventing out beautiful statute from being fully carried out oh alas alack.

So ok. Let’s talk ACA for a second. It seems to me like a pretty classic broad-benefit concentrated cost proposition. (Single-payer might be dead in the water as broad benefit/broad-cost?)

DHHS manages/enforces it. I am not reading the whole statute about enforcement mechanisms but anyway. DHHS is a kind of funny is-it-cabinet-is-it-legislative, but agency is an agency is an agency.

Anyway, theoretically, we feel good bc yay insurance except it’s implemented terribly because if it was implemented well then interest groups would mobilize and force out the legislators who imposed costs.

What I don’t get is how on earth Republicans are mobilizing based on repeal. I mean seriously. This is like, whipping people into a frenzy over Paperwork Reduction Act Reform. And the incredible amount of political capital spent to get it passed… well it could still be a good thing if the Hayes predictions about enforcement/cost imposition don’t turn out to be true. I want to look more into how DHHS is empowered here.

The group theory is interesting to me. Especially because ok we’re thinking, lobbyists, or local economies or whatever, but can People Who Do What Sarah Palin Tells them too be considered an interest group? Haha populism my asssssssss.

What do you think? Do you like figs or dates? I hate them.


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