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As noted by the economist Luigi Zingales in his book "A Capitalism for the People", companies that are receiving subsidies (or other favorable treatment from the government) are highly incentivized to keep receiving those subsidies. For example, if the tax preparation industry stands to lose $100 million if e-file becomes free, they will lobby up to that amount to retain the status quo.

The problem is that those who wish to reform the status quo are not as well funded or financially incentivized to create a counter-lobby. Ordinary citizens, who would benefit the most from making e-file free, would have to form a counter-lobby group and put up at least $6 million in order to have the same level of access as the tax preparation companies.

Zingales' proposed solution is to do away with subsidies and special treatment for individual companies, as they inevitably lead to cronyism.




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