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Look! Politicians are doing something good! (Trying anyway)





ocalhoun
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/04/bill-to-ban-members-of-co_n_561269.html

Quote:

The bill, authored by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Col.), would prohibit any member of the House or Senate from taking a job with a lobbying firm after retiring. It would force staffers to wait six years before becoming lobbyists, and it would force lobbyists to wait six years before they can become staffers -- a phenomenon that gets little attention despite its prevalence. And the bill would ban campaign contributions from lobbyists, who contribute tens of thousands of dollars over meals and hundreds of thousands in mysteriously legal "bundles."


Sure, it isn't likely to succeed... not likely at all. But at least a couple are trying to make 'change we can believe in'...

If any meaningful change is to happen, it must start here, tackling the corruption in government. Without that, any change made will inherit the corruption of its creators.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/04/bill-to-ban-members-of-co_n_561269.html

Quote:

The bill, authored by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Col.), would prohibit any member of the House or Senate from taking a job with a lobbying firm after retiring. It would force staffers to wait six years before becoming lobbyists, and it would force lobbyists to wait six years before they can become staffers -- a phenomenon that gets little attention despite its prevalence. And the bill would ban campaign contributions from lobbyists, who contribute tens of thousands of dollars over meals and hundreds of thousands in mysteriously legal "bundles."


Sure, it isn't likely to succeed... not likely at all. But at least a couple are trying to make 'change we can believe in'...

If any meaningful change is to happen, it must start here, tackling the corruption in government. Without that, any change made will inherit the corruption of its creators.
Isn't it a rather a senseless bill however. Considering that members of the House and Senate tend to die in their jobs, or if they do retire, retire at a very late age when they would be well beyond the capacity for lobbying, i.e. in their late seventies?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Isn't it a rather a senseless bill however. Considering that members of the House and Senate tend to die in their jobs, or if they do retire, retire at a very late age when they would be well beyond the capacity for lobbying, i.e. in their late seventies?

Age aside, many now do what would be prohibited by this bill. The 'revolving door' is something well known in politics, though few politicians want to even talk about it.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Isn't it a rather a senseless bill however. Considering that members of the House and Senate tend to die in their jobs, or if they do retire, retire at a very late age when they would be well beyond the capacity for lobbying, i.e. in their late seventies?

Age aside, many now do what would be prohibited by this bill. The 'revolving door' is something well known in politics, though few politicians want to even talk about it.
Sounds quite unethical though, doesn't it? Must say a lot that they need to spell something out like this in a Bill?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Isn't it a rather a senseless bill however. Considering that members of the House and Senate tend to die in their jobs, or if they do retire, retire at a very late age when they would be well beyond the capacity for lobbying, i.e. in their late seventies?

Age aside, many now do what would be prohibited by this bill. The 'revolving door' is something well known in politics, though few politicians want to even talk about it.
Sounds quite unethical though, doesn't it? Must say a lot that they need to spell something out like this in a Bill?

It's very unethical, but since when has that stopped politicians from doing anything?
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Isn't it a rather a senseless bill however. Considering that members of the House and Senate tend to die in their jobs, or if they do retire, retire at a very late age when they would be well beyond the capacity for lobbying, i.e. in their late seventies?

Age aside, many now do what would be prohibited by this bill. The 'revolving door' is something well known in politics, though few politicians want to even talk about it.
Sounds quite unethical though, doesn't it? Must say a lot that they need to spell something out like this in a Bill?

It's very unethical, but since when has that stopped politicians from doing anything?
Good point. However, the larger the Government, the worse it gets? Maybe there is a great need for overhauling the whole system, so that there would be less members of the House and Senate. Bottomline being that there is a greater chance of real transparency in any kind of dealings when Government is much leaner.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Isn't it a rather a senseless bill however. Considering that members of the House and Senate tend to die in their jobs, or if they do retire, retire at a very late age when they would be well beyond the capacity for lobbying, i.e. in their late seventies?

Age aside, many now do what would be prohibited by this bill. The 'revolving door' is something well known in politics, though few politicians want to even talk about it.
Sounds quite unethical though, doesn't it? Must say a lot that they need to spell something out like this in a Bill?

It's very unethical, but since when has that stopped politicians from doing anything?
Good point. However, the larger the Government, the worse it gets? Maybe there is a great need for overhauling the whole system, so that there would be less members of the House and Senate.

Larger does usually mean worse, but not larger as in more politicians in it; that measure doesn't particularly matter. (And indeed, having too few politicians could be even worse.)
The measurement that matters in this case is the size of government itself; the size of the budget, the number of people employed, the percent of GDP, the involvement in people's lives, the 'size' of the power wielded.

Power corrupts*, after all. More power = more corruption.

*Actually, the quest to obtain power is what corrupts, so that those who finally get power are usually corrupt by the time they obtain it.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Power corrupts*, after all. More power = more corruption.

*Actually, the quest to obtain power is what corrupts, so that those who finally get power are usually corrupt by the time they obtain it.
I would rather qualify "the power that corrupts" with power that is used unwisely. As there are politicians who use power for the good of others, but also politicians who use power for the good of themselves, or are just completely unqualified to handle power. The latter is where power corrupts.
Bikerman
Recent Economist article makes interesting, if not entirely surprising, reading.

http://camres.frih.net/Bosmology/powercorrupts.htm
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
Recent Economist article makes interesting, if not entirely surprising, reading.

http://camres.frih.net/Bosmology/powercorrupts.htm


Not surprising, true, but nice to have proof of if.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Recent Economist article makes interesting, if not entirely surprising, reading.

http://camres.frih.net/Bosmology/powercorrupts.htm
Excellent article. And very well written. I especially liked this part of the article:
Quote:
They argue, therefore, that people with power that they think is justified break rules not only because they can get away with it, but also because they feel at some intuitive level that they are entitled to take what they want.
However, one wonders whether this attitude of entitlement could be the reason that they got into a position of power in the first place. A powerful person attracting power.

Just learned a new word as well - hypercricy - and well put:
Quote:
However, an intriguing characteristic emerged among participants in high-power states who felt they did not deserve their elevated positions. These people showed a similar tendency to that found in low-power individuals—to be harsh on themselves and less harsh on others—but the effect was considerably more dramatic. They felt that others warranted a lenient 6.0 on the morality scale when stealing a bike but assigned a highly immoral 3.9 if they took it themselves. Dr Lammers and Dr Galinsky call this reversal “hypercrisy”.

Quote:
What explains hypercrisy is less obvious. It is known, though, from experiments on other species that if those at the bottom of a dominance hierarchy show signs of getting uppity, those at the top react both quickly and aggressively. Hypercrisy might thus be a signal of submissiveness—one that is exaggerated in creatures that feel themselves to be in the wrong place in the hierarchy. By applying reverse privileges to themselves, they hope to escape punishment from the real dominants. Perhaps the lesson, then, is that corruption and hypocrisy are the price that societies pay for being led by alpha males (and, in some cases, alpha females). The alternative, though cleaner, is leadership by wimps.
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