Monday, October 25, 2010

Where The Money Is

There are a lot of people wondering why so many seek elected office. They wonder about the time, the effort, and the expense that any candidate is willing to incur for the sake of becoming a 'servant of the people'. Why are so many willing to spend millions of their personal fortunes in fact, to get a job that cannot possibly pay back such financial investment? 

Many are similarly asking these days why so many elected officials seem to find themselves involved with scandal at some point during their tenure in office. How could it be that so many who seek public service seem to find themselves with their hands in the public cookie jar or accepting things that they shouldn't?  

While I certainly wouldn't claim to have all of the answers, I cannot help but wonder if the two might be related. It calls to mind in fact, the quote that the famous bank robber of the 1930's gave to reporter Mitch Ohnstad during an interview. When asked why he robbed banks, Sutton is supposed to have said, "because that's where the money is". (This quote is purported to have been erroneously attributed to Sutton, but may fall under the category of: 'If it's not true, it should be'.) 

I'm not making accusations here, but if you were someone who wanted to (as Sutton described) be where the money is, one could certainly do worse than the federal government. In very few other places can one throw around millions of dollars with such apparent casualness. Few places indeed would allow someone to manipulate billions of dollars with a mere vote. Almost nowhere else on the planet can one even discuss the use of trillions of dollars, than when talking about the largess of the federal government. 

In fact, I would venture that in only two other ventures could one manipulate such vast sums of money ... Major Corporations and Wall Street. Now some have been known to throw around accusations that power brokers in such fields have manipulated these immense funds with almost criminal intent, and largely for their own gain. 

Could it be that there is a connection between the supposed nefarious labors with such funds in the private sector, and the efforts of those seeking to do what appears to be much the same in the public sector? Could it be that this is in fact the reason that so many with careers in either effort in the private sector often end up in government service at some point in their careers? (Assuming of course, that they haven't been caught and charged with a crime earlier.) 

One cannot help but speculate on such subjects in the days leading up to another election. Neither can one help but speculate on the almost desperate efforts that incumbent politicians on both sides of the aisle make in order to keep jobs that we are told are difficult and not particularly well paying.


Roland Hansen said...

You know, Tim, I have come to the conclusion that governmental officials handle public finances in the same manner as most Americans handle their own individual personal family finances.

Words like spend, borrow, and credit come to mind.

And just as the politicians gravitate to "where the money is" so do freeloader friends and relatives when they approach their financially prudent relatives or friends upon seeking a "loan" to bail themselves out of their self-created financial mess.

To sum up my thoughts, as I have publicly stated before, the American people get the government and elected representatives they deserve! After all, it is "the people" that put these others into office and into power.

Tim Higgins said...

I would tend to agree Roland, but the sums are now staggering and we seem to have lost our fear of yet another three zeroes (trillions vs billions) recently.

I have likewise gained sympathy for voters recently, who are bombarded with statements carefully crafted by professional political handlers, pronouncements from campaigns that are "only true from a certain point of view", and non-stop BS political ads.

Sooner or later we have to blame the people seeking power rather than those attempting to choose the lesser of two evils.