Did you know the U.S. House of Representatives uses a lottery to allocate office space to its new members? Why doesn’t the Congress use a lottery system for budget appropriations as well? By way of example, why not (a) set aside a fixed amount of revenues for such things as defense, agricultural subsidies, or social-welfare spending and then (b) allocate monies to specific programs within each category through a lottery? If properly designed, a lottery system of budget appropriations, by inserting a high degree of randomness into the process, could reduce the overall level of legislative rent-seeking behavior.
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