Skip to content
Subscriber Only

How the Tea Party Will Die

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- All together now: We like democracy because ... why? The pathologies of the U.S. version are so obvious in the aftermath of the latest averted crisis that we need to ask ourselves whether it’s worth it -- and why electoral democracy hasn’t self-destructed before. Should Tunisians or Egyptians opt for the Chinese model, where rational autocrats may restrict rights, but no one threatens to blow up world markets in the name of an 18th-century tax protest?

There is an answer: Democracy is self-correcting, at least where it works. The key to the process is a version of supply and demand. When a politician acts in a way that doesn’t serve the voters’ interests or desires, demand for that person’s services should decline. Another candidate who fills the demand will get elected.