Re: Fw: Back to Serfs and Royalty?

From: Mike Linksvayer (
Date: Mon Sep 03 2001 - 23:16:12 MDT

On Sun, Sep 02, 2001 at 11:33:11AM -0400, Mike Lorrey wrote:
> I think a cogent question to ask is: Why would someone spend tens of
> millions of dollars to get elected president, a position that only pays
> a measely $400k/year, if they were not planning on stealing/soliciting
> bribes to get it all back before they leave office?

"There, there're two things that are most important in life ...
 that's money and power and I don't care for money."

 -- George Wallace

The documentary I gleaned the above quote from is a pretty good
illustration of "power corrupts", or perhaps "desire for power
makes ugly".

In the US politicians can and do make minor fortunes through
corruption, though probably not much more than they'd make in
private life. The Clintons, for example, would probably be
millionaire product defect lawyers or something similar if they
hadn't gone into electoral politics.

In countries with less democracy and more government control of
the economy, it's a different story: with power comes major fortune,
and it's nearly impossible to amass a fortune without power. I'd
guess that "anti-globalisation" people think it's that way in the
US as well, but that it's the capitalist economy rather than
government power that offers room for massive corruption/skimming.

(Apologies for US-centrism above, substitute any developed market
democracy -- an unweildy term, and "the West" sounds passe, and
hopefully is.)

  Mike Linksvayer

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