Inside Job: How Government Insiders Subvert the Public Interest
(Cambridge University Press, 2017)
National decline often arises from special interests corrupting a country’s institutions. Such narrow interests include crony capitalists, consumer activists, economic elites, and labor unions. Less attention is given to government insiders — rulers, elected officials, bureaucrats, and public employees. In autocracies and democracies, government insiders have the motive, means, and opportunity to co‐opt political power for their benefit and at the expense of national well‐being. Many storied empires have succumbed to such inside jobs. Today, they imperil countries as different as China and the United States. Democracy — government by the people — does not ensure government for the people. Understanding how government insiders use their power to subvert the public interest — and how these negative consequences can be mitigated — will be front and center at this intriguing book forum.