That’s the first  sentence of  a typically insightful piece that John Goodman recently posted at the Independent’s website:

[Krugman] describes Democrats as a “coalition of social groups, from teachers’ unions to Planned Parenthood, seeking specific benefits from government action.” More often than not, what these groups want from government is at someone else’s expense….

There are no overriding principles here. The party is always seeking opportunities to take from Peter and give to Paul. Paul can be rich or he can be poor. Ditto for Peter. All that really matters is that Paul promises a bigger reward (in terms of votes, campaign contributions, etc.)

Think of the political system as a sort of Hobbesian jungle, in which there is dog-eat-dog rivalry among people who are only interested in what’s in it for themselves. Think of fighting over a fixed pie, for which one man’s gain is another man’s loss.

Who loses out in such a world?

People who don’t vote (e.g., children, prisoners, unemployed youths, etc.);
People who always vote for the same party regardless of what it does (e.g., African Americans); and People who are in groups only temporarily and who have no opportunity to organize politically (e.g., people who fall in and out of poverty or people who contract expensive-to-treat health conditions).

Scour the entire country and you will be hard pressed to find a Democratic politician who is trying to reform inner city public schools. The reformers are almost always Republicans or wealthy people (who may sometimes vote for Democrats). Who cares about reforming the prison system? In Texas it has been a conservative think tank and Republican politicians. Who cares about lowering the barriers to a job (occupational licensing, union monopolies, minimum wages laws, etc.)?…

As I wrote in a previous post, black voters have tended to vote for the Democrats no matter what they do. That may be why so many black families must send their children to the worst schools, why they tend to receive the worse city services and why they are disproportionately the victims of environmental degradation – as in Flint, Michigan….

The problem here is what economists call the “fallacy of composition.” In each separate market the producers benefit by enjoying monopoly rents. But that doesn’t mean that the aggregate effects are good. Just the reverse. Creating a monopoly in every market is terrible for the economy as a whole.

And that is the fundamental problem with Democratic Party politics. Think of political jurisdictions where there basically are no Republicans. Think Detroit, Michigan. Think Puerto Rico.

Think of sharks in a feeding frenzy, eating a dead whale.

Once the whale is gone, there is nothing left to eat.