… is from pages 124-125 of the 2016 Third Edition of James D. Gwartney’s, Richard L. Stroup’s, Dwight R. Lee’s, Tawni H. Ferrarini’s, and Joseph P. Calhoun’s excellent Common Sense Economics:
To a large degree, the modern political process can be viewed as a series of “exchanges” between coalitions and politicians. Concentrated interest groups provide votes, financial contributions, high-paying jobs in the future, and other forms of support in exchange for subsidies, spending programs, and regulatory favors often financed by taxpayers. The rational ignorance effect – the fact that voters choose not to spend the time required to be well-informed – facilitates this process because a lot can happen in the halls of Congress of which voters are unaware. As a result, resources are moved toward lobbying and other favor-seeking activities and away from production and development of better products.