The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Paradoxes of government

Naturally, the whole world wants a guy in the White House with integrity and competence in abundance, an informed thinker, a creative manager, an inspirational leader - all that jazz.

Ponder these:

  • At a time when the CEO of a company in the top 10 of the Fortune 500 is looking for tens of millions of dollars a year in salary and benefits, the President of the most powerful corporation on the planet gets a measly $400,000.

  • In fields like medical care, corporations can influence the elected branches to provide them with billions in public money in fatuous or downright anti-social projects, at the expense to those corporations of a few million in campaign contributions.

  • The financial health of a single industry - broadcasting - is dependent on the expenditure of contributions thus received, for campaign advertising - despite the evidence that such advertising is largely ineffective.

The only people willing to do a $20 million a year job for $400,000 are either
  1. loonies;
  2. zealots; or
  3. crooked.

The whole system would be less bad if
  1. pols were paid the commercial rate for job; and

  2. the broadcasters were paid Danegeld - for running government infomercials, say - Karen Ryan is available, I believe.

Getting rid of campaign ads is trickier - what with inertia and the First Amendment and all.

What is required is a presidential candidate who runs on a platform of a CEO's wage for the top job - and doesn't run spots. If he wins - and has a Congress to vote through the legislation, of course! - the proposed system is vindicated. If not, then not.

Chances of this happening? Think John Kerry frenching Gore Vidal on the White House Lawn...


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