photo: DVIDSHUB – flickr
Nancy Pelosi presenting a novelty congressional coin to troops stationed in Afghanistan
Have you ever wondered how exactly you can be elected to the Senate and then spend all that money living the high life in Washington, D.C. on a relatively modest salary (as compared with a doctor, lawyer or indian chief) and then end up being worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars? Well, here’s the scientific answer.
In this article from Reason.com and the in-depth research that it focuses on, it would appear that there are two reasons why politicians may be getting richer and you may be getting poorer, relatively speaking. It’s not simply the entrenched politician stealing from the middle class and giving to themselves, as exemplified by what was until just recently the perfectly legal practice of insider trading by congress, that makes them super-rich. The entrenched super-rich politician, at least according to this report, is slightly more likely to share their wealth with you than say an up and coming member of the House of Representatives who is still establishing their powerbase. The underdog or upstart politician who is looking to make waves is also more willing to let you shake things up and make a few bucks along with him in the process.
It’s the middle of the road politician, the one who is on the bubble so to speak who is the least likely of all to allow you to have your cake and eat it too. The politician who is neither confident in the strength of their incumbent position or their re-electability would seem to be the one most likely to stifle changes in such a way that results in economic backwardness for you and your family. Maybe this explains why attacking the middle class has been such a successful political strategy for the past several years.
What’s the take-away from this? If you ask Dave, it’s the same thing that I learned from my football coach. If you want to take them down, hit them in the middle where they will fold. If you simply try to grab an arm or a leg or even if you try to clothesline them, they may slip your grip and leave you holding nothing more than an unoccupied football cleat or discover yourself lying emptyhanded on the ground as the victim of a successful head fake. The weakness in the system is surprisingly in the middle . The most likely place you will be able to unlock support for innovation and growth is from the extremely entrenched and powerful politicians and the upstarts who has barely gotten their feet wet. The extremes (both the ultra-powerful and the novice to power) are both willing to talk to you and let you make a buck or two in the process.
In conclusion if you’re looking to make changes, find your allies in the deepest waters of the establishment and in the green chutes of the upstarts. Once you have formed your team and are ready to implement your plan for growth, use those resources as a battering ram to take it to the middle where the rank and file politicos are mere passengers on the official politicial bus tour of the agenda setting political upper class. The middle class of the electorati are not sufficiently secure in their seat belts to avoid being tossed out when the bus hits a pot hole and because of that any idea, especially a good one, is a threat to their passengerhood.
Will you ever be able to wrest the steering wheel away from the Nancy Pelosis of the world? First you need to pay your fare and get a seat and be choosy about who you align yourself with. Taking on the top brass may be an easy target, but according to this report, you may be taking pot shots at an effective ally in your cause. If the thought of cozying up to power as a strategy for gaining power makes you nauseous, then Dave can relate http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/12/rahm-emanuel-and-nancy-pe_n_202035.html. I guess that’s why I never went into politics. Technically the report doesn’t tell you how to make the millions, it just tells you how to get elected. How to make the millions once you’ve got the job is up to you, but remember you’ll be the one making the laws so it shouldn’t be all that difficult.
Here’s a link to the paper detailing the political phenomenon of The Political Replacement Effect and Economic Growth:
Here’s a lengthy and in-depth article on how the process of power realignment functions for the ruling class: