By Bryan Caplan
In the ’70’s, Naderites put forward various “deconcentration” bills that e.g. capped firms’ market shares at 12.5%. Get bigger, get trusted-busted. Brian Doss at Catallarchy has a modest proposal for electoral deconcentration:
[W]hy not require that an incumbent’s margin of victory improve by 1% over their previous year’s result? (and perhaps 2% for Senators.) That is to say, if you won by 50.1% last year, you need 51.1% or better to stay in office (rather than simple plurality), and so on and so forth.
But Doss is a lot quicker than Nader-types to foresee the unintended (?) effects:
1) Landslide initial victories would be pretty bad, as the bar would be set too high to repeat.
2) There would be an immediate appreciation for third parties, both to help reduce your initial winning tally and by challengers hoping to further sap the incumbent’s chances of hitting their magic number.
3) Some hilarious “we have enough votes, stop voting for our candidate!” pleas near the end of uncompetitive races.
4) A lot more contested races and turnover.
I’m still smirking. And to think that it’s been said that economics is for people who lack the personality to become accountants!