Den glimrende Mark Pennington, forfatter til ’Robust Political Economy’ og nyudnævnt professor ved King’s College, London, have forleden en kommentar på Pileus om public choice. Mere præcist gik kommentaren på, hvordan og hvorfor politikere og forskere på venstrefløjen har så svært ved at acceptere konsekvenserne af public choice-analyser. Hele kommentaren kan læses her (varmt anbefalet); nedenfor er en appetitvækker.
Public choice rejects the naive pluralist view that power is evenly distributed across interest groups by offering a non-Marxist account of elite power. Instead of assuming that large ‘classes’ such as ‘capital’ and ‘labour’ are the primary power players on the political stage public choice focuses on how individual incentives affect the capacity of different groups to organise and hence to wield power over others. Yes, business interests can be powerful – but not because they are businesses or because we live in a ‘capitalist’ society. Instead, they exercise power because in some sectors where there are a relatively small number of big players business interests may find it easier to overcome collective action/free-rider problems than other groups such as taxpayers and consumers-who find it much harder to form a cohesive political force.