On this edition of Parallax Views, much has been made about the role of money in the outcomes of political elections, at least within . In academic disciplines, however, this has often been seen as heresy. In fact, some view it as nothing more than conspiracy theory. And, truth be told, it would likely be overly simplistic to argue that a small handful of shadowy individuals select the two Presidential candidates every four years in U.S. elections. However, political scientist Dr. Thomas Ferguson, Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, dispenses with such oversimplifications while also making the case, through his extensive empirical research, that, yes, money in politics DOES, as a matter of fact, influence electoral outcomes.
After receiving his Ph.D at Princeton University, Dr. Ferguson went on to teach, for a time, at MIT. During his academic travels he delved into the history undergirding FDR and the New Deal. In doing so he developed an alternative model to understanding elections that challenged the median voter theorem. This came to be known as the investment theory of part competition, which Dr. Ferguson elaborated upon in his landmark book Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems, he joins us on this edition of the program to discuss this theory, how he came to developing it, and his thoughts on the 2020 Presidential election pitting Republican incumbent Donald Trump against Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
In the course of our conversation we also discuss:
- Rahm Emmanuel's declaration that 2020 would be the year of the Biden Republican
- Thoughts on the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing of the Democratic Party and the development of small donor power in elections
- Why conspiracy theories have become so popular
- The stunning defeat of Joe Kennedy by Ed Markey in the Massachusetts Senate race
- Thoughts on the panic-laden Deutsche Bank report by Jim Reid warning investors of an "Age of Disorder"
- And much, much more!