Patronage Counts

Bryan Caplan has been writing about one party democracy, specifically the seemingly odd situation where one party (normally the Democrats) dominate urban political structures. A commenter left a great comment:

Why isn’t the simple answer ‘natural monopoly’? Huge costs involved in setting up the network of patronage, almost impossibly huge costs in establishing a rival network.

It makes sense to me that local politics is, at the margin, driven by patronage. Elections are won at the margin.

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