Peter Schweitzer: “I’m skeptical of wealth accumulation of all elected officials.” He is the author of recently published “Clinton Cash,” an analysis of the Clinton’s accumulated wealth, or at least of a part of it. Schweitzer’s analysis does not appear to be doing Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambition any good.
Apparently an equal opportunity assassin, he is said to now be working upon a book on Jeb Bush. Regardless, his question stands: Should any elected politician leave office with a fortune that he/she/it lacked at the swearing-in?
In the Christian era America the answer was obvious. Today, the answer is, though different, no less obvious. The Clintons, Al Gore and in fairness, a number of Republicans too are ensconced among the wealthy though they came to politics with less distinction. It is the new normal. If there is anything distinctive about it, it is the ennui with which the electorate accepts it.
Once the voters would have vehemently rejected politicians so clearly battening upon the body politic. Such are no more than the equivalents of ticks and lice. But that has changed. Bedbugs have returned to live among us and so have venal politicians. both apparently immune to insecticides.
It is said that “You can’t cheat an honest man.” Voters have elected politicians who have promised them largesse taken from “the rich” by government, given to voters for – nothing. An entitlement. A ‘free lunch.’ Yeah.
What is the salient difference between the wealthy West and the poverty-stricken everywhere else? There are two, one a part of the other. In the West, we perceive the relics of the Reformation, a product of Christianity.
Everywhere else, political corruption is endemic and profound, always accompanied by poverty. That’s the way things work in human society. They always have done so.
And the wealthy West has abandoned its Christianity and the related ethos, providing now instead, great wealth as the result of political office. And this vast switch attracts little attention. The Western voter, like Biblical Esau, has sold his/her/its birthright for a mess of meatless, veggie laden and Michele Obama approved for school lunches pottage. Impecunious politicians retire billionaires and the voters don’t care so long as they receive their food stamps,. Obamacare and unemployment benefits. As mentioned in last night’s post, a quarter of U.lS. families now have no one working.
We continue to read of the growth of wealth at the top and the shrinkage of wealth in the middle. Could the machinery of officeholder enrichment have anything to do with that? We leave it to you, but please note that not long ago, shareholder votes prevented corporate CEO’s from overly enriching themselves. That no longer seems to work; only government regulation stands to explain the change. Well, and Congress. Some more folks becoming wealthy.
Human government history is instructive. Governments come, build and then decay and go. Ours by appearance, is in decay though time will tell. We are a corrupt species, torn between self-serving and social behavior.
For some reason, our governments are the same. And they seem to evolve from more social toward more self-serving behavior with time. Just like us. Finally, when they become too much like us, we reject them and they fall. A little irony music Maestro, please?
When politicians routinely expect to retire with billions, we must be reaching the end of one of those cycles, seems to us. We vote for politicians to give us something for nothing, not to provide it for themselves!
As they take more while we receive less, at some point, rejection will set in. We won’t stand for that!
(Pause for hollow laughter …)