PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe U.S. Congress has become less productive since the 1970’s. Although many factors contribute to this decrease in productivity, I will examine how diminished institutional capacity and the increased influence of special interest groups have contributed to that decrease. I begin by empirically establishing the decline in Congress’ productivity as measured by the year-over-year decrease in total passage of legislation. Then, I will examine how diminished institutional capacity has enabled this loss of productivity. I employ a market-based approach to argue that the decline is akin to a shift in supply. I make the claim that, as the supply of legislation has become scarcer, the only viable remaining market participants are lobbyists. I then outline how the increasing influence of lobbyists over the legislative process constitutes a threat to the general welfare through the proliferation of economic inequalities. I conclude by presenting a set of plausible reforms to curtail the impact of lobbyists and restrengthen the legislative branch.
Degree ProgramPhilosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law