For the Many or the Few
The Initiative, Public Policy, and American Democracy
Drawing upon a century of evidence, Matsusaka argues against the popular belief that initiative measures are influenced by wealthy special interest groups that neglect the majority view. Examining demographic, political, and opinion data, he demonstrates how the initiative process brings about systematic changes in tax and expenditure policies of state and local governments that are generally supported by the citizens. He concludes that, by and large, direct democracy in the form of the initiative process works for the benefit of the many rather than the few.
An unprecedented, comprehensive look at the historical, empirical, and theoretical components of how initiatives function within our representative democracy to increase political competition while avoiding the tyranny of the majority, For the Many or the Few is a most timely and definitive work.
"For the Many or the Few is a valuable contribution to our understanding of American democratic institutions and public policy, and an important book."
1. An American Institution
2. A Blizzard of Data
Part I - The Evidence
3. Spending and Taxes, 1970-2000
4. For the Many or the Few
5. Conservative or Liberal
Part II - Explaining the Facts
6. When Legislators Get Out of Step
7. Key Episodes in the Twentieth Century
Part III - Open Questions
8. Majority Tyranny and the Constitution
9. Delegation, Information, and Competition
Appendix 1. Initiative Provisions in States, 1898-2003
Appendix 2. Initiative Provisions in the Twenty Largest Cities, 2000
Appendix 3. Data Definitions and Sources
Appendix 4. Critical Notes on the Empirical Literature