Today’s quote of the day:
What has become of the American nation? Conceived with the vision of liberty and justice for all, we have descended in the clutches of corporate and other special interests to a second world state defined by K Street instead of Independence Square. Our government doesn’t work anymore, or perhaps more accurately, when it does, it works for special interests and not the American people. … What amazes me most of all is that politicians can be bought so cheaply
— “Let’s Get Fiscal“, Bill Gross (portfolio manager for PIMCO), January 2010
Take a typical member of Congress. Consider his or her non-government income (legal and illegal) per year in office — junkets, cash, jobs for the kids and nephews, commissions and fees to the spouse, etc. Add in the costs of the campaigns to obtain and keep that office. Now compare that to the bounty bestowed on his or her sponsors — especially intervention with regulators and favorable votes. What cost to benefit ratio do the sponsors earn? One hundred to one? A thousand to one?
Has there been any academic research on this vital question: are representatives in Washington providing cost-effective services to their owners? Does the invisible hand still work in Washington?
Whatever the ratio, I’ll bet that buying a Congressman provides the highest return on investment available today in America. No wonder capital investment and R&D lag our peers, when bribery pays off so well. They make Jesus look like a piker.
- “Rents Signal Rise of D.C., Fall of N.Y.“, Wall Street Journal, 8 January 2010 — Why invest in the real economy, when the political economy offers higher returns with less risk?
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7 thoughts on “Buying politicans – A “loaves to fishes” miracle, taking place every day in America”
AMAZING to read this here. And then the Title….”Loaves to Fishes…” Try this hat on for size, America:
…as a note, de Lannoy family (DELANO anglicized) were from Picardy in northern France/southern “Flanders”….I have been in that Department many times. Americans now feign hatred of the French and all France when historically without the French there would simply be NO USA! Irony is a joy in life!
Really not a big deal but there can hardly be any doubt that the Time is almost over for the USA as a Republic. Many will hold to their hearts the hope (and memory) of small parts of the Polity functioning as a Republic but it is for the sheer optimists among us who temperamentally will find the good in almost anything. Factually, on a Balance Scale —it is OVER, finished. There is no one of power capable of representing the Republic.
History will accord Obama (BHO) as a colossal failure due to his unwillingness to rally the populace AFTER his election to pressure the Congress to immediately take the obvious actions to re-capture a functioniong Republic from the Financial Plutocrats and War Mongers who directly control the functioning amalgamations of the former Republic.
No doubt that Time is on the Bankers side. The ONLY possibility left for America to resurrect is a future “Depression”; more specifically a structural failure of the financial system precipitating a STOP POINT.
Have a fine weekend to all on this fine Blog. Life is good.
FM reply: I utterly reject your despair and surrender. It’s not too late, and we have the necessary strength. What’s lacking so far is the necessary will.
Agreed. No collective will. Even worse, little to no “individual will”. But exactly how much would you mind, FM, if I suggested a lackluster performance on your part…from time to time? I suspect that, all in all, you would DARE to call that an anomaly, and get away with that excuse. After all, your premise is, “America has no…” (Fill in the blank)…
I would prefer it read something like this…
FM reply: Can someone explain this comment to me? I have no idea what it means.
At the risk of redundant repetition and being johnny one note, I’ll say this again. Nothing changes until we reform how campaigns are funded, and eliminate undue corporate influence on politicians throughout the process. What we have now is plain old corruption, and all the bad stuff comes from that, whether the military spending, the tilted financial playing field, the health care mess.
Unfortunately we need something drastic to happen because a corrupt Supreme Court defined money as speech. It is not. We can eliminate all of the cash flow into the system by corporate interests without restraining their ability to rant on streetcorners and say whatever they want one whit.
NONE of our serious problems, including the loss of our Republic, will be solved by a corrupt system like the one we have. This cuts across all parties and ideologies and states and levels of government. Moneychangers out of the temple, or what is God’s gets rendered to Caesar and we’re done till there’s a revolution. Period.
FM: “I utterly reject your despair and surrender. It’s not too late, and we have the necessary strength. What’s lacking so far is the necessary will.”
Well of course you do! It is your fine nature. Your inherent character to find that POSSIBILITY anywhere you can. Penny wants to sing after telling you what you generally offer is articles, comments and links demonstrating your own “despair” or as you hope, the impetus to arouse strength and will power in the audience. Explain dear sir, how, as powerful of a man as Bill Gross (he is a LOT more than a “Portfolio Manager”, try MANAGING DIRECTOR!), THE final backstop for all chicanery of the Federal Reserve tells us :
And if you think HEALTH CARE REFORM was a slog or a fool’s errand —imagine WHAT Bill’s recipe for saving the Republic would be like! Make me wrong FM. SHOW me the money! WHO with Power is capable and willing to Represent the Republic like FDR above was and did? Pull the curtain. Make your case. I will consider.
FM reply: Money only rules in the absense of responsible cititzens. We have the ability to rule ourselves. What’s lacking at this moment is the will to do so. I have faith that as times grow dark we will rise to the challenge.
I am amazed any of this is news.
Obama or whoever leads , surely has the problem that there are no solutions acceptable to the public .
If he borrows to spend , one day the creditors will seize US assets .
If he gets the US out of debt ,standards of living and social care will plummet , there will be some sort of coup / revolution – welcome in , Mr Hitler .
If he relies on US trade picking up , it may never do so .
If he brought in single payer ,there may not be enough taxes coming in to sustain the level of service presently experienced by the taxpayers who buy insurance . Dissaffected taxpayers might withold all tax , en masse .
Preparations for a Cinese-style Cultural Revolution were perhaps in hand , hidden under the banner of man made global warming ; but we are knee deep in snow .
rfjk wins the thread. That this would be shocking or enlightening to anyone is depressing. The failure to understand human nature is pervasive in today’s schemes. “Will” is not sufficient.