~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Kling on "financial power"

Inequality and Excess:

What the super-wealthy have that the merely wealthy do not have is more financial power. When it comes to deciding which causes are going to receive money, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have more power than other people. Which is exactly the power that politicians have.

Thus, the comparison between legislators and the super-rich is actually quite apt. Both are able to exert an unusually large level of control over which worthy causes receive money. Financially, wealthy people and politicians have the same type of power. The difference is that politicians have much, much more of it, by orders of magnitude.

Which is why ethics are important. Consider the new phenomenon of international, super-rich Non Governmental Orgs (which need staffers, and the only pool of qualified applicants with experience wielding that kind of financial power are ex-legislators) and one starts to want only "good" men and women holding any kind of public office. Character really does matter in politics. It's not enough to say, "Well, he may be a moral cretin, but at least he's a competent administrator." The stakes are just too high. We're handing over the keys to something just too valuable. We can't afford not to question the character of wannabe politicians.

Today's dog-catcher is tomorrow's judge is tomorrow's senator is the future director of a multi-billion dollar NGO with the power to turn out the economic lights of a small country.

(Via: Insty)

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