« Freakonomics Radio

356. America’s Hidden Duopoly

2018-11-01 | 🔗

We all know our political system is “broken” — but what if that’s not true? Some say the Republicans and Democrats constitute a wildly successful industry that has colluded to kill off competition, stifle reform, and drive the country apart. So what are you going to do about it?

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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It's been tried on more than seven hundred thousand people. Jed speaks with historians, psychologists and theologians about the roots of the practice. Would it entails and why it continues. To attract proponents, even though the research literature suggests it is not efficacious with its desirable, of course, is a separate matter. The first episode features Garrod commonly who was sent for urgent therapy. When he was nineteen, he wrote a memoir about that experience called boy erased, so please check out the do any raced podcast from Jed Album rod wherever you get your podcast now before we get onto this week's episode of Economics, radio quick know about our previous episode number three hundred fifty five, which was called. Where does creativity come from in a section about
the chinese artist and activist I way way we noted that way way had been kidnapped and jailed in two thousand and seven by the chinese government. We also noted that you'd been quote charged with subversion of state power, but in fact he wasn't officially charged with any crime which meant is imprisonment, was even more punishing as he was detained without access to lawyers or family. We regret the error since it was pointed out to us shortly after we release the episode, we were able to correct the error and re publishing episode immediately. So there's a good chance. You never heard the air, but if you did we want to let you know Imagine a gigantic industry. Dominated by just one or two companies actually don't have to imagine Google as well
ninety percent of the global search engine mark so not quite a monopoly, but pretty close such cases rare, but not so rare, is the dew aptly when to firms dominated industry like in Helen AMD in computer processors, Boeing and Airbus jet airliners, the sharks and the jets fixed oh gangs, from the fifties industry, but surely the most famous do happily is this one? now, think young say absolutely the rivalry between Coca COLA. Pepsi COLA goes back to the nineteenth century cook.
On dominant, but in the night can seventies and eighties Pepsi gained ground and marketed hard to younger consumers. Cooks, internal research found that most people, even coke employees, preferred Pepsi nineteen. Eighty five. They abandoned their classic recipe in favour of new coke tasted more like Pepsi. This did not work out so well run donkey or president of the Coca COLA company. When we, but she was a new taste of coke. We knew that millions would prefer it and millions do what we didn't. It was how many thousands of you would phone right asking us to bring back the classic case of original Coca COLA, cook got rid of new coke altogether and despite the flip flop, maybe because of it
and the attendant free media. In any case, Coke regained the top spot. Today even as soda consumption falls. The rivalry rages on with both companies, adding juices tease in waters to their portfolios. You can afford to make those big acquisitions when you ve a ton of cash on hand when you're, one of just Companies sharing a huge market and theirs their advantage to being half of do happily self perpetuation. This was cut pretty extensively in the media during the so called COLA wars while war above? I believe, the Coke and Pepsi together this cold war they ve been in for decades now, actually help each other sell off a lot of product there. Plenty. This is why do up police exist and necessarily all sinister. In capitalism scale, is really important for all sorts of advantages to
being big, which leads big companies to get even bigger, gobbling up smaller companies and essential dictating the rules of their market. Not everyone likes this trend. In many quarters, there's a strong appetite for smaller scale for mom and pop and indian artisanal. But let's be honest that smaller scale idea dispute, that's not winning, which winning dominance entire industries dominated. by just a couple behemoths we ve already, given you a few examples from a variety of industries, but there's another do aptly mighty one that you probably don't even think about as an industry which do not believe my talking about. I can be some clues. Let's go back over what we just discussed
outdo apple? Is the big institutions that take advantage of their size to get even bigger. I mean I'm talkin to consultants on both sides, many of whom have been doing this for a long time and they ve never seen this amount of money As we said, not everyone likes this trend, but the opposition, not winning I'd like to see more competition. You know competition is that makes a better product in this, He's an entire industry run by just two behemoths. Ladies and gentlemen, my mother, my hero and our next residents, and I could not be more proud tonight to present to you and to all of Amerika, my father our next president. Hillary Clinton does a surprise you to hear a political system characterized as industry, its approach this coming
absolutely never thought of it in those terms, and that's Michael Porter, the world famous business strategist and at the That is what we call the dew obsolete, comparing our political system, the something like Coke and Pepsi. That can't be right. Can it no porter says it's worse than that? Coke and Pepsi dont control the market nearly as fully as the Republicans and Democrats do. So you see even in soft drinks, we have a lot of new competitors, even though compacts you're, so big. They don't truly dominate. Indeed, Coke and Pepsi only control about seventy percent of the soft drink market least they ve got the doktor pepper, Snapple Alliance to worry about, whereas Republicans Democrats, you can take, all the libertarians and independence. The Green Party working Families Party, the American, dealt a party, the United States Pirate Party, which is a real thing. You add them all together and there are even close to doktor, pepper for
decades we ve been hearing from both sides of the Isle that Washington is broken. Washington is broken. Washington is totally broken. This system is it's not working Washington is not working. Washington right now is broken, Mr Speaker, Washington is broken, but what, if the one? in his broken idea, is just a line. Each reports even a slogan, but the industry approve. yeah what, if they're, just selling and we're buying what, if it's not broken it all that core idea here is that Washington isn't broken and it turns out that Washington is doing exactly what its nine to do today.
not much radio is Washington really in industry, just like any other how to get that way, and what's it mean and oh yeah, its election season in America, forget to vote from stature and deadly productions? This is Reaganomics radio. The casket explores the hidden side of everything. Here's your host Stephen Governor, once upon a time there was a dairy products company in Wisconsin called Gale Foods g each oh, my name is Catherine Gale Catherine was the ceo of the company. It had been founded well over a century earlier by her great grandfather for years, gale food, so
the standard dairy items, butter, milk ice cream in the nineteen sixties. They got into pudding and she sauces and more recently, Dale Foods kept keeping up with the Times high tech, food manufacturing, meaning low acid aseptic, processing and packaging using robots which creates shelf staple foods without the use of preservatives. The process is also useful for products like weight, loss, shakes, and iced coffee drinks under Catherine Gale Gale foods had more than three hundred employees and was doing nearly two hundred fifty million dollars a year in sales. But there were a lot of challenges. Why? Because the food industry is incredibly competitive. Their new competitors all the time, also new technologies, new consumer preferences, so to plot a path forward. Gale turned to one the most acclaimed consult
It's in the world, I Michael Porter, I'm a professor at Harvard Business School and I work most of the time on strategy and competitiveness porter, is in his early seventies as undergrad he studied aerospace and mechanical engineering. Then an mba and a Phd in business economics, so he understands both systems and how things are made within those systems. Britain, landmark books called competitive strategy and on competition he is saying, more than any other scholar in the field is best known for creating a popular framework for analyzing the competitiveness of different into trees. The framework that I introduce many years ago, sort of says that there's these five forces, these five forces help determine just how competitive a given industry is. The five forces are the threat of new entrants, the threat of substitute products or services, the
bargaining power of suppliers, the bargaining, power of buyers and rivalry among existing competitors. We're not there yet if you want to jump ahead and consider how these forces apply to our political system, when I say them again: the threat of new entrants, the threat of substitute products or services, The bargaining, power of suppliers, bargaining power of buyers and rivalry among existing competitors. Any You can see why some unlike Catherine Gale, the ceo of a century old food company, might want a bridge and someone like Michael Porter to figure out what to do next. It was a classic business strategy, exercise no gale. in addition to her family business had another abiding interest- politics. Yes, I've only moved around in the the partisan classification during heist she was republican over time. She drifted left.
My daughter actually when she was six came to me and said mommy. I think I'm a republican or maybe a remark rat, and I think that gives a good sense of where things are at in our household into them seven gale join. The national Finance Committee of Barack Obama's presidential campaign should came one of his top fund razors couple years after Obama was elected, Gale joined the board of a government organisation called the overseas private investment corporation, which helps you S. Firms do business in emerging markets and why- his pain. A lot of attention to what was happening in Washington, DC and Gale did not like what she saw in Washington DC. Didn't like it one bit it became really clear to me that this fight was not about solving problems.
the american people. This fight was about one party beating the other party and that the parties were more committed to that then to actually solving problems, or, creating opportunities, then, surely I understood that It didn't matter who we elected, it didn't matter the quality, the candidates, and so once it became clear to me that it was a systems problem I switched from. Investing might I'm in searching for the next great candidate and turned an eye to the fundamental root cause structures in the political system that pre much guarantee that as voters we perpetually dissatisfied so choose raising money for non partisan organizations working towards political reform and why and things that became clear- is that there was no thesis for investment, in political reform in innovation. In other words, people didn't wanna. Give money!
to non partisan organizations working towards political reform, the only one to give money to political parties and their candidates. In fact, Catherine Gale found that potential donors had hot time, believing that such a thing as non partisan political reform even existed, that how condition they were to seeing the political system through a two party lens. It was around this time the Catherine Gale begin meeting with Michael Porter she had brought. men to gale foods, tell figure out the company's strategy going forward, keeping in mind his five famous forces about industry, competitiveness, new rivals, existing rivalries, substitute products, supplier power and customer power, and while we on that strategy I would consistently make the case to Michael that wow were analyzing? This industry of loquacity septic food production
which is the business I was in. All of these tools are directly applicable to analyzing the business of politics than I frankly, I knew almost nothing about politics, but the more I heard in the more we talk, the more it became clear that that we really needed to take a fresh look here, and so it was out of that crucible of analyzing, a traditional business strategy and, at the same time, devoting so much time to political reform and innovation that it became clear that policy, it was an industry. The industry was thriving and that all the tools of convent general business analysis were applicable here and that's where Looking at this is an industry starts to provide some power. Ok, so you came to the conclusion that politics is an industry. Much like many of the other industries that you studying over your career. You never really thought of it in those terms before absolute
ever thought of it. In those terms of we always thought of politics, a public institution that the rules were, somehow codified in the rule of law in our constitution, but we came to see is that politics is really about competition between largely private actors, and these actors are at the core of it is what we call the duopoly. The duopoly, Republicans and Democrats, and that count Titian has been sorted out, structured around a set of practices and rules and in some cases, policies that have been created over time. But large. by the actors themselves I mean asked the founders left. out of you know out of room in terms of how the actual plumbing would work
but it was interesting. Multiple of our founders actually expressed a deep fear that parties would take over in fact, John Autumn set at one point. there is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties. Each arranged their its leader and concerning measures and opposition to each other, and if you take a look at washing his farewell address, which he wrote in seventeen ninety six, he talks. dangers which could come in front of the republic in the future and he specifically focuses to? One is foreign influence and the other is partisanship. The other danger is the formation of strong parties having the conclusion that the political system operated more like a traditional industry than a public institution, Catherine Gale and Michael Port,
sit down their ideas in a Harvard Business School report. It's called why competition in the politics industry is failing America, when you read the paper right there under key findings. Is this sentence in bright red print, the political system isn't broken it's doing what it is designed to do another words. It was no coincidence that politics have become self sustaining self dealing and self centered. They were the blue team and the red team kind of like Pepsi and Coke. Essentially, they divided up and entire industry into two sides, and we ended up seeing that it wasn't the parties competing it's that they had created. You know Florence and, in a sense, captured the other. Actors in the industry. So you have media and political consultants and
obvious and candidates and palace is all divided on to you know one of two sides: you see, is this system has been optimized over time for the benefit of private gain, seek organizations are to political party and their industry allies. What we together call the political industrial, complex and the industry has made it very very hard to play at all. If you're, not playing their game. How does the political industry compared in size and scope dollars. Employees direct and indirect penetration and Influence- let's say to other industries, that you ve, studied pharmaceutical industry, auto industry and so Well, it's it's a great question and we d have done enormous amounts. Work on it. It turns out to be very difficult to get.
I would call a completely definitive and in a comprehensive answer. We estimate that, In the most recent to your election cycle, the industry's total revenue was a proxy. Sixteen billion dollars. This is the biggest industry and the economy, but its substantial It be one thing: if large industry were delivering value to its customers, which is supposed to be us, the citizenry, but gale importer argue. The political industry is much better at
generating revenue for itself and creating jobs for itself or treating its customers with something close to the stain kind of like the cable tv industry on steroids in the numbers back up their argument. Customer satisfaction with the political industry is at historic lows: fewer than a quarter of American currently say they trust the federal government in terms of popularity. it ranks below every private industry that includes the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, the airline industry and yes, cable tv generally in industries were customers are not happy and yet the players in the industry are doing well. You'll, see a new entrant. You'll see new company come into business to serve those customers anew company like Netflix or Hulu were Amazon Prime sling tv or you get the point so in
days world. We have, the majority of voters, say in polls that they would rather have independent. So Oh, you know in a normal industry, you'd have a whole new competitor. Coming up that was about independence in out to serve that unmet need, and yet in politics we don't see any new entrants other than you know, Democrats and Republicans. So why is that? Well, it turns out that our political parties work well together, in one particular area, and that is actually colluding together over time behind the scenes to create rules and practices that essentially erect
barriers to entry ways to keep out new competition in their report? Gale and porter identify the five key inputs to modern political competition, candidates, campaign talent, voter data idea, suppliers and lobbyists. Here's what they write. Increasingly most everything required to run a modern campaign and govern is tied to or heavily info. by one party or the other, including think tanks, voter data and talent, so essentially what happened is the parties have now sorted divided up the the key inputs to political competition and and if you're, not a republican or a Democrat, then you and try in in even finding campaign manager, much less getting the best up to date, voter data and the best analytics and so forth. It's not enough to monopolize
the campaign, machinery, gale and Porter argue that the polluter, industry has essentially co opted the media which spreads their messages for free in this house Donald Trump tonight there Is a big big beginning to the end of what has been I, which, on The man in the White House is behaving now, like a character on that old, detective Show Colombo, perhaps most important. The two parties rig the election system against would be disruptors. The rules they set allow for partisan primaries. Jim
Mandarin congressional districts and winner takes all elections, so each side of the door, happily Republicans and Democrats and the players that are their plane for those teams effectively have over time work to improve their own sides fortunes, but collectively they also have come to light. Other to improve the ability of the industry as a whole to protect itself from new competition from third parties that could threaten either of the two aids of the Doyle played in this industry, because it's a d wobbly, that's protected by these huge bearish entry, essential the parties have done. Is they ve been very, very clever? They don't compete head to head for the same voters.
They are not competing for the middle. It's likely that we have a much more powerful centre, a much more powerful group of moderates. Then our current duopoly demonstrates. What they have understood is competing for the middle is a sort of distrust. if competition, it's kind of a zero sum competition, so the parties have divided the voters and kind of sort of ignored the ones in the middle, because you don't have to worry about them because it if, if, if the middle voter is unhappy, which most middle voters are today in Amerika, what can they do? The only thing either party has to do
to thrive to win. The next election is to convince the public that they are just this much less hated than the one other choice that the voter has when they go to the ballot, which means that that gives those two companies. Essentially the Democrats and Republicans the incentive to prioritize other customers and their tar, customer on each side It is the special interest in the partisans and they get a lot of resources and a lot of campaign contributions and and massive amounts of being money to try to get there? You know support with whatever those partisan especial interest needs are there is now an entire industry of politics moves forward, independent of whether that
industry actually solves problems for the american people. So what happened is that the mood were the barriers to getting into this industry and providing a different type of competition have been built to enormous heights, which has allowed the parties to structure the nature of the rivalry among themselves. In a way that really maximizes their benefit to them as institutions, but doesn't actually serve. The public interest, well that's the pressing is not in sight for perhaps but depressing nonetheless, so do Catherine Gale and Michael Porter. How many bright ideas for tackling this problem? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yeah. Oh my god, it's coming up, and after this
for economics. Radio sponsored by Petsmart Petsmart makes it safe and easy for you to care for your pet at Petsmart. The health and safety of employees, pet parents and pets are its most important, which is why they require face coverings, social distancing and stop plexiglas shields and enhanced cleaning to follow CDC recommendations for contact list, thing just order online at Petsmart, not com or on the Petsmart, APP joy, easy curbside, pick up for same day, delivery powered by door dash free through January thirty. First, two thousand twenty one check out: Petsmart dot com for more details. The business strategy, Michael Porter and the CEO turn political reform.
Catherine Gale argue in a Harvard Business School report that our political system has been turned into an industry with no real competition. The industry's prime, You're beneficiaries are itself and its many ancillary participants, including the media. but the vast majority Americans who are somewhere in the middle are feeling very very disaffected, the lack of vigorous competition, they argue, has allowed. The Democrats and Republicans to car about diametrically opposed this political basis fairly narrow and extremely partisan. So years ago we created partisan primaries in order to actually take the selection of it candidate out of this court. Unquote smoke filled back room and give the selection of the party candidate choice to citizens, so that was
designed to give more control to citizens it turns out, it has had a very deleterious effect on competition and has increased the power of the parties and the parties. Gale importer argue use those partisan bases to support the desires of the political industries. True customers and its wealthiest special interests industries like health care, real estate and financial services. All oh labour unions and lobbyists in this dualistic business model. Polarization is a feature not a bug. We have a chart in our report that just select some We called landmark type legislation over the last fifty sixty years and if you go back, you know even
There are thirty years ago the landmark legislation was consensus, for instance, the Social Security ACT of nineteen. Thirty five had ninety percent democratic support in seventy five percent Republican, the Civil Rights ACT of nineteen sixty four had sixty percent democratic support and again seventy five percent republican. Now for the last decade or to that's, been the opposite pattern, the only way landmark legislation get past is one party has enough votes to pass that by itself the affordable care act, also known as Obamacare, was passed in two thousand ten, with zero republican votes in Congress, prison, trumped two thousand eighteen tax reform, bill, zero, democratic boats,
So your diagnosis suggests that this industry serves itself incredibly well. It suggests that it serves us, the citizenry, really poorly and also suggest that more the competition would improve the industry as it does in just about every industry, but just having you. No more competition and parties doesn't deemed to be the answer alone in their plenty, a multi party political systems around the world that have similar cases of dysfunction and corruption and cronies, like ours, the UK comes to mind. Israel comes to mind so how direct a step or direct day lino prescription would that be well I think in our system in particular, where we have only two and they I've been able through what the set of choice. Sweet described actually set up. The rules of competition that reinforce their
partisan competition, dividing voters and so forth. The more competition think would be in an incredibly valuable, but it to be a different kind of competition in oh it. It can't be just Other party, that's gonna, split, are lecter it into three partisan groups, and so in our work. We focus on what would it take to make the competition less about device Inga the voters and how can we make the competition more around building up or choices for voters that were more about solutions by the way, It is clear we are not against parties per se. What we are against is the nature of the competition that our existing. the dominant parties have created. Let me ask you this when you suggest that these rules were carefully constructed. I guess if I were thinking about something other than
in politics, the first thought they would come to mind, then is- will collusion re. If I can be one member of a duopoly. I actually hate my rival much less than a hate me. I give anybody else who would interrupt that rivalry cause we're splitting the spoils now. Do you have any evidence of collusion between the parties to create a system that essentially keep the rest out. Well, you know it. First of all that is the right word. It is collusion and are you know, there's a probably a legal definition of collusion, which I don't know you know I'm not a lawyer, but the effect is exactly the same. The parties have agreed on a set of rules that benefit but do openly and preserve of this nature of competition- you can put rules into a number of buckets there. There's kind of this kind of just slave machinery as we call it, which is how the Senate and the Congress or run an
and then there's the election rules having to do with What is the primary process lie kin? What does it take to get on the ballot is an independent in the various pain financed stuff that that surrounds that surrounds elections. Has anyone ever considered filing whether in earnest or not, an antitrust suit against Republicans and Democrats. You know Stephen that that's a great question. Are you I have we actually had. You know a significant effort to see if that's feasible, where you know what the law is. You know looking at the initial statutes, but this is Absolutely what anti trust policy is all about it. It's it's creating in open effect, competition that serves the the Imuran and in the public interest in this,
ST cries out for that are raised in the report you discuss. The many advantages the two parties have method. We all recognize it. You know, there's real power in size and there's leverage especially making your own rules for your own industry, and you write that you know they use those advantages to retain control into constrict competitions. On but it strikes me bit. Donald Trump really got around a lot of those advantages, so you write that the parties quote control the inputs. modern campaigning governing, but he Didn't rely on that really you wrote that the parties co opt channels for reaching voters, but he kind of cooperate or may be took advantage of his own channels. Free media and zone social media accounts. You write that the parties quote erect
and rising barriers to new competition. But in the case of trump you know his own party tried as hard as they could to erect the highest, bury her couldn't keep him out and and so on those fronts. It would strike me that the parties failed failed to construct a certain competitors, so I dont know how you personally feel about President Trump, but according to those advantages in his end run around them. It would sound ass though he is at least an example of the solution to the problems that you're describing well yeah. I think I think that is definitely a good question, and we must take that on I would say, a couple of things. First of all, best choice that the present Tromp made still run in a party he had to pick one side. The drop early because he knew he couldn't win as an independent, and he had. Actually,
explored run. as an independent in previous years, but that, in the current system, is not seen to be a winning strategy. The I would say about him was that he had resources in and he didn't have to use that many of them, but innocent and he could almost have self finance and he was appealing to a certain subset of the partisans, maybe a somewhat neglected subset of the people on the right, and he had a very strong, existing and identity. So he was able to watch. You know, get alot of recognition and average without having to spend that much on advertising. He represents a personality driven campaign within a party, but we don't believe that,
it represents fundamentally transforming the structure of competition in the industry, but the real thing that I think you know everybody has to understand- is. that in modern politics. The party These are more powerful than the President and Donald Trump has gotten very little done. He's achieved No compromise and his signature, success God, zero democratic vote and the game? Hasn't changed so far. Trump is just the third in a row president that may have said that he was to do things differently and cut across lines and all that kind of stuff? But frankly he didn't Obama didn't and President Bush didn't
even though prison Roman Present Bush campaigned on bipartisanship partisanship and bringing people together. They failed. So I think that those recent case studies. I think her sobering. We should note that some political side tests argue the gale and porters Analysis party power, as it backwards he's scholars say our political system is in bad shape, because the parties have gotten weaker overtime. They argue that stronger parties could help being back special interests and produce more compromise and moderation. Muslim interesting evidence for this parties are weak, are think back to the two thousand, sixteen presidential election
you had one National Party, the Democrats, the tried as hard as it could to the point of cheating, essentially to pre, select its candidate, Hillary Clinton within lost, and you had the other national party. The Republicans tries hard as it could to keep a certain candidate off the ballot, but they failed and he one it's true The parties are not as strong as they were in the past, but both sides of the political, industrial, complex Democrats and Republicans are as strong as ever. It's just that the power may not all reside with. In the party and if parties were stronger, that doesn't mean they'd, be moderating forces. That's what some people say. I don't really understand that argument. the stronger they are, the less moderating they're gonna be given the nature of the competition spin been created, and I think we are really asking for two little. When we
day, let's tink around the edges and get stronger parties so that we can You now have a little bit of eighth cleaner process. Instead, What we believe is. We need to create structural reforms that were actually better, align the election process and a legislative process with the needs of the average citizen. I so you ve, diagnose the problem in a really interesting and profound way by overlaying a template, that's more commonly applied to firms to the political industry, and of course, it theoretically leads to a different set of solutions, and we ve typically been hearing. So then you discussing as for major solutions, let's go through them point by point number one. You talk about restructuring the election process itself, gimme some really concrete examples of what that would look like and is, and I would also like to hear whether you,
You see some evidence of these examples happening as it does seem. There has been some election reform in states and regions around the country. Yes, well, when we think about reform, we have to think about related questions. Number one is a reform powerful. Will it actually change the carpet action and a lot of what people are proposing now is actually not gonna, make much difference so term limits or a great example. We aren't fans have term limits as we think that, without changing the root cause, incentives, you'll actually just have different faces, plain. The same game. Soap number one Is we have to re engineer the election processes, the election machinery, and there are three electoral rights. Farms that are important. We call it the election trifecta and you know the first in probably them single most powerful, is to move to non partisan, single ballot primaries currently
vote in the primary sharp and you get a democratic ballot or republican ballot. And then you vote for who's going to represent that party in the general election and one. That's on the furthest, laughter, the one. That's on the far this right has a tendency to win, because the People that turn out for primaries are a real Tivoli small fraction of even the party and those the people that show up, because you know they're, really partisans and they really have special interests and they really really care about you know Think somebody on the ballot debts. You know for them in a single ballot, and partisan primary all the candidates. For any office, no matter what party therein are on the same ballot, and we propose that the top for vote getters advice
ants out of that primary to the general election in the region. A single primary aware, everybody's in it is, is so important is that when you want to appeal to as many voters can hopefully you, no more people will vote in the primary and- and are you gonna get people that you know we're not just trying to appeal to their, in particular, in extreme. The second part of the Gale Porter election reform, trifecta ranked choice, voting. Here's how rang choice! Voting works shall now have for candidates that made it out of the top for primary
those four candidates will all be listed on the general election ballot and you come and vote for them in order of preference. So it's easy. This is my first choice, this candidates, my second choice, so my third choice. This is my fourth choice: when the votes are tabulated, if no candidate has received over fifty percent then whoever came in last has dropped and votes for that candidate are then re allocated to those voters. Second choice and the count is run again in till one candidate reaches over fifty percent. And what that does is it gives a candidate of need to appeal to a broader group of voters and very important way it eliminates. One of the huge just barriers to combat
mission in the existing system, and that is the spoiler argument. So what happens currently is that if there's, let's say a try, give third party candidate or an independent candidate. Both Democrats and Republicans will make the arguments that nobody should vote for them because they will simply draw votes away from the democratic, draw votes away from a republican and therefore spoil the election for one of the dew awfully candidates. Once you have rang choice voting everybody can pick whoever they want as their first choice. Second choice: third choice: no vote is way stead and no vote spoils the election for another candidate and then the last part of Trifecta is non partisan. Redistricting gerrymandering has to go essentially when parties control drawing the districts, they can draw districts that
we'll be more likely to tilt in favour of their party and they can end up having a disproportionate number of court, unquote, safe republican seats are safe, democratic seats by the way that they draw the districts, and we want to make that that go away in addition to election the reforms Porter Gale would like to see changes to the rules around governing, so Congress makes its own rules for how it functions and over time, these rules, customs and practices have been set in place to give an enormous amount of power to the party that controls the chamber. And right now it's the Republicans that are controlling it, but what find it- and this is sort of
collusion in a way is when the other party takes over there in the same way pretty much. So we propose. moving away from partisan control of the day to day legislating in Congress and also, of course, in state legislatures as well. The third leg of their reform agenda is about money in politics, but their analysis led them to a different conclusion. Then many reformers where we differ her with so many people champion needs reforms is that we don't believe that money in politics is the core issue: alternately the problem is really this nature, competition that led to this partisanship and that's it a money issue per se. That's structural issues. If you take money out of politics without changing. The rules of the game. You'll simply make it cheaper for
I was using the existing system to get the self interested results that they want without changing the incentives actually deliver solutions for the american people. Having said that, we you believe that there are benefits to increasing the power. Or of smaller donors, and so the reforms that we have suggested are primarily focused on increasing the power of small, smaller donors, for instance having the government itself. Match donations from small donors. We should know that most of the ideas Galen Porter are presenting here are not all that now, if you follow election reform even a little bit, even we poked into a lot of them couple years ago an episode called ten ideas to make politics less rotten. I guess it's one measure of how successful and dominant the political do actually is,
that plenty of seemingly sensible people have plenty of seeming Sensible reform ideas that, for the most part, in very little traction. It is flee challenging is the ground game. Is we're not going to be able to do this in a in a year or one election cycle, because the resort, does that the current do have to deploy to play their game. Game are substantial, despite the rather depressing or at least sobering picture that you paint of the political industry throughout the report. You express quite a bit of optimism and I want to know why or how, because I dont see the avenue, I guess for optimism- Well, you know I do think we have a basic optimism. We I've no sense that it will be
easy to change the rules of this game for a whole variety of reasons. But the Good NEWS is, we ve had some progress got some non partisan primary states now, including California. You know we ve got rang choice, voting in Maine. I think what seems A building in America is a growing appetite and again, wing recognition that this isn't working for our country and I the younger generation in millennials are particularly outrage and concerned. And open to all.
If new ideas, but I think it's going to take time. The most exciting strategy in this area that we champion is a strategy put forth by the central project and full disclosure, I'm on the board of the central project. Its now actually called Unite America, and this is the Senate fulcrum strategy. So here's the idea, let's a lacked five centrist problem, solving oriented: U S, senators, who at that number five would likely deny either party an outright majority in the Senate, which would make those five senators the most powerful single. Coalition in water in ten DC able to serve as a bridge between the two parties to align with one party or the other, depending on the issue in all
or to move forward very difficult policy the solutions where previously there has not been the political well, so we don't need to wait to change the actual rules of the game to deliver politicians to office who can act independently of the existing your call industrial complex. So that's it trusting idea, seemingly son or maybe even viable, but this whole coming station, got me thinking if our political system really operates like an industry as Catherine, and Michael Porter argue: maybe it should be treated like one in most industries, good products and services are rewarded weakness in income
since a punish Catherine Gale, coming from the cutthroat food industry, surely knows this first hand, concept pressure to modernize optimize to fight old rivals and new. Indeed, not long after she brought Michael Porter in to consult on the future of gale food she decided to sell her company to a private equity firm in Chicago. Why, I absolutely loved running that company. She wrote to us later, but lay sure and I had other things. I was also passionate about. I wanted the company to be in the best position to succeed, and so I focused on professional lies in the company in developing a long term strategy that took into account the changing competitive landscape in that got me thinking, maybe
There is some private equity firm out there like to modernize a certain political party or to any buyers out there. You're too shy to approach the Democrats, sir. The Republicans directly drop us Align radio at for economics. Dot com we'll get things moving. Meanwhile, coming up next time on for economics, radio, it's been a while, since our secret life of us Yo Series, but recently we got to sit down with the Ford Motor Company, Jim Hack, ok, so I'm looking at you resume, but I'm not seeing ceo of an auto firm How can you and me both most Theo's we ve been. you told us about their challenges and dramatic turn around efforts, long after the fact packet and Ford or in the middle of it right now. They did close under nine dollars a share for the first time in six years. What's going on with Ford? How does Jim hack it
and turn things around its beyond vehicle, to transportation and and and act. they transportation operating system can Traditional manufacturing company really turn itself into a tech company. Are their allotted tech companies already succeeding in that space is hack, its idea for Ford brilliant repositioning or a desperate grab for relevance There is a long answer that you'll hear it next time and for economic radio economics radio is produced by Sticker and W productions. This episode was produced by Gregg resolves ski with help from cyclopean ski. Our staff also includes Allison, Craig Low Gregg, Ribbon, Alvin, Meloth and Harry Huggins. We had helpless from Nellie Osborne and special thanks to economics, radio listener Kyle Watson for bringing the Porter Gale pay or to our attention. Our theme song is Mr Fortune, but hitchhikers. All the other music was composed by the we scared you can subscribe to friggin demonstrating an apple podcast,
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Transcript generated on 2021-01-20.