Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rent Seekers Seek Rent Seekers

Rent seekers aka special interests seek a claim against tax payer monies. The rent seeker might want the monies in the form of direct assistance, tax payer funded subsidies, or want special conditions such as government regulation to protect their position within the market place which then taxes the consumer-tax payer in higher prices. Rent seekers have been known to want a combination of the afore mentioned.

The sly rent seeker lobbies for their claim and many, many times are successful. That is, politicos spending other peoples' money (tax payer money) are not shy in bestowing other people's money upon the rent seeker. However, other sly rent seeks exist as well. The exogenous rent seeker is lobbying for their particular claim. Hence rent seeker X receives their claim. Rent seeker Y receives their claim. Yet rent seeker X and rent seeker Y, in the final analysis, pay for each others claim. That is, if rent seekers X and Y represent firms, non-profits, or citizen groups, their particular claim must be paid by other firms, non-profits, citizen groups of which a subset is rent seekers.

Therefore the sly rent seeker in the form of the lobbiest believes success has been achieved when their claim is validated. They explain to the firm, non-profit or citizen group that they represent that success had been achieved. However the "success" is framed in a closed system argument. That is, it would be success IF no other rent seekers existed. Some one must pay for all the rent seeking activity including rent seekers themselves.

Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. - Frédéric Bastiat

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