Pork and Localism
Polistra loves pork projects and has said so often.
Why? Three reasons:
1. These little projects are a concrete service that a representative can perform for his own
district. If you break this closed circle of votes for service, the only thing that remains is big symbolic agendas that mean nothing in the long run. Projects are peculiarly local, with strictly local benefits. Without visible local benefit as one side of the transaction, you have to evaluate a representative on his verbal adherence to your chosen side of abstract credos like abortion, torture or civil rights; or just plain party loyalty. It's easy to see why the talking-point-heads want it this way.
2. When the voter's disgust is focused on a little $250,000 project to evaluate pig smell or cow farts, his contempt is distracted from the monstrous $3 trillion robbery committed by Shotgun Paulson and continued by Bugsy Geithner. It's easy to see why Shotgun and Bugsy want it this way.
3. Currently most important: Government jobs are jobs, for heaven's sake.
Even the short-term jobs provided to the scientist and research assistant evaluating cow farts, or to the carpenters building the Elvis Museum, are JOBS. These jobs add security to the family, friends and neighbors of the scientist, research assistant, and carpenters. And less concretely, they bolster loyalty to the country and the government. If you want a stable country, you want to keep the residents, especially the young men, solidly employed. And ideally you want their employment to be tied to their neighborhood and their country, so they feel invested in this land. You don't want them unemployed, especially when they know that their jobs flew off to China. It's not so easy to see why Party leaders want an unstable country, unless they are strictly and totally loyal to China.