Susan Tolchin is a political scientist, who serves as university professor in public policy at George Mason University. Martin Tolchin spent forty years with the New York Times, after which he founded The Hill and Politico, he is now a Wilson Center Senior Scholar.
Political patronage—awarding discretionary favors in exchange for political support—is alive and well in 21st Century America. But patronage has changed and it now includes the privatization of services previously conducted by government. "Pinstripe Patronage" benefits those more at home in a boardroom than an assembly line, and with billions of dollars in contracts in play, today it's become big business. The husband and wife writing team of educator Susan Tolchin and journalist Martin Tolchin discuss the long history of political patronage with a look at the good, its role as an essential tool of government, and the bad, its tendency to lead to corruption.