Arnold Kling

Beyond Ideology

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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A maddening example of a government program is the Export-Import Bank. As this article points out, both liberals and conservative economists view it as corporate welfare. However, their views have no effect on the bank's ability to maintain political support.

The bank keeps an extensive data bank that breaks down all the deals it has done, Congressional district by Congressional district, subcontractor by subcontractor, and contains the names of 300,000 executives with whom it has met. From it, a lobbyist can get tailor-made information on Export-Import activities going back five years to make the bank's case.

Discussion Question. Will campaign finance reform have any impact on this sort of corporate welfare?

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