This is true for unions and undergrad experiments, as it is for centralized planning states, which unsurprisingly are often oppressive dictatorships. If you want to eliminate the need for coercion (which bears long-running costs onto the state), you need to appeal to individual selfishness, which implies competition. As markets have their own problems, you ultimately need a mixed-economy state, something China has become despite its communist roots, and ditto the USA despite its uber-capitalism.
The economist Mancur Olson goes into this dynamic of collective action for Western states and beyond. He attempts to explain the general case of the rise and fall of efficiency in capitalist nations, as well as the outlier performance of some communist nations (all short-run) despite this model.
Cultural upbringing can make up some of the difference, but only in small scales or when the groups are tight-knit. Even in China, where on the surface Confucian culture totalizes the individual to the collective, there is also a culture of skillful deception and intrigue in Chinese politics that has flourished domestically and abroad in the 21st century.
As Moldbug points out, the current US Govcorp is structured as an employee collective, which no competitive corporation chooses as a system of organization in the free market. As Mancur Olson points out, bureaucracies tend to get more inefficient over time.
I know we've all been raised to believe that democracy is love and rainbows, but maybe it's time to rethink that.
It explains this phenomenon. Basically, for a group of size n, members only get 1/n of the value they contribute towards any collective goal, so noone bothers, unless coerced, like with unions.
the article was tl;dr. did they at least cite mancur olsen for the stationary bandit hypothesis? AFAIK it originated in his book the rise and decline of nations:
The lobbiest advantage is that they can afford to raise money quickly and be able to focus it on specific issues.
Although every citizen can together raise a ton of money, once that money is raised it will be very difficult allocating it.
Imagine if people had to come together in order to raise money for museums rather than relying on large individual contributions. It's likely that many fewer museums would exist.
For a deeper look at this I recommend reading the book by Mancur Olson - The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities. It takes a look at special interest groups and their effects on economic growth.
Fresh book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.