What Would Madison Say?
Bruce Owen ()
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Bruce Owen: Stanford University
No 15-006, Discussion Papers from Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
Lawful political corruption is a costly feature of modern American politics, and a failure of Madisonian democracy. The propensity of political agents to self-service at the expense of the peoplesâ€™ well-being may not have changed much since 1787, but that propensity is now applied to a vast government that touches virtually every aspect of our lives. After examining conventional solutions to the problem of political corruption, this paper explores possible Madisonian remediesâ€”that is, remedies invoking rivalrous political institutions. The paper con-cludes with a proposal for the addition of an "umpire" function to U.S. constitutional structure. Officials performing this function would have the power to veto legislation that significantly re-duces aggregate well-being or that produces regressive redistribution. Historical precedents, illustrative details, and impediments are discussed.
Keywords: Madisonian democracy; political economy; constitutional law; corruption; Citizens United. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H1 K1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his, nep-hpe, nep-law and nep-pol
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