Today, I read the fascinating report written two years ago by Katherine Gehl and Michael Porter called, “Why competition in the politics industry is failing America.”
The starting point for understanding the problem is to recognize that our political system isn’t broken. Washington is delivering exactly what it is currently designed to deliver. The real problem is that our political system is no longer designed to serve the public interest, and has been slowly reconfigured to benefit the private interests of gain-seeking organizations: our major political parties and their industry allies.
They applied Porter’s five forces model of competition to the U.S. political system and determined:
In healthy competition, industry actors would be competing to deliver the desired outcomes for customers—fellow citizens—and be held accountable for results. Political rivals who fail to serve the public would be replaced by new competitors who do. Instead, today’s political competition is unhealthy competition in which rivals are entrenched, insulated from the pressures to serve customers better, and protected from new competition. The political industrial complex expands and grows, but the nation fails to progress.
It’s worth a read, particularly for the emphasis on reforms that are both powerful and achievable.