Beware incentives getting you caught in a ‘Dave-scam’

There’s one being attempted right now in Georgia. My research brief explains what a “Dave-scam” is, including application to North Carolina:

Have you ever seen the movie “Dave”? It’s a warm-hearted little comedy from 1993 about a man (Dave, played by Kevin Kline) who runs a temporary employment agency and has a side hustle of being a spot-on impersonator of the president of the United States.

Dave’s impersonation is so good, the White House Chief of Staff hires him to cover for the president while he’s away with a mistress. The president suffers a stroke, so they keep Dave on the job with the idea being they’ll stay in power behind the scenes.

This setup works for them until Dave realizes that, phony or not, he is “the president,” and they’ll have to treat him as president or expose their own scam. So Dave starts promoting his own policies, and they find (to their dismay) that they have to go along with it.

This, I submit, is the same process we see when subsidized professional sports teams start demanding bigger and greater stadiums and when large corporations or industries receiving huge state subsidies start applying political pressures. Why don’t the politicians responsible for their meal tickets call them out on their arrogance and ingratitude and tell them to take a hike?

For the answer, read on, and find out about Georgia’s problem as well as recent (and no doubt future) such problems in North Carolina.

A side note: I like the movie “Dave.”

Dave from Blonde Digital on Vimeo.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

Reader Comments