The System Really Is Rigged !!!

Posted by lwwahlert 2 years, 9 months ago to Politics
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System Not Rigged?
100 Lobbyists
Per Politician.

Two weeks ago in Sign number 333, I mentioned about how our political system is rigged and I used a term from Fredrick Bastiat called "legal plunder". He coined the term in 1850 in his book "The Law" about politics in France. He defined "Legalized plunder" as: "if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives to others persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime." He said that it can take many forms such as: "tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on." He went on to say that "All of these plans as a whole - with their common aim of legal plunder - constitute socialism."

Basiat could of wrote the 2016 Democratic platform. Note that he also foresaw that new forms of 'encouragement" would develop such as the "Clinton Foundation" which is just another form of legal plunder. When Trump and other say that the "system is rigged", they are really saying that legal plunder is institutionalized in our system of government and politics.

Legal plunder and a rigged system is not just done by politicians alone. Everything mentioned by Bastiat (tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on) affect almost the total US population and almost all businesses and special interests groups. A professional lobby group emerged to influence politicians.

The term "to lobby" is from the British Parliament which had an intermediary room (a lobby) outside the main hall where people pushing an agenda would try to meet with members of Parliament entering or leaving Parliament. Today the term lobbying generally means a paid activity to influence public officials including bureaucrats toward a specific action often related to specific legislation. In 2015 there were 10,498 lobbyists registered in Washington DC. with a budget of $3.2 Billion . With 432 Congressman this is 24 lobbyists per U.S. Congressman. However the Lobbying Disclosure Act does not capture massive marketing efforts by special interest groups, corporations and grassroot initiatives such as the AARP. In addition CEO's and state and local government officials do not need to register as lobbyists. James Thurber who heads the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies estimates that there are about 90,000 lobbyists lobbying Washington DC which does not include staff. That is 208 Lobbyists for every congressman in Washington DC. In addition every state and major cities have there own lists of registered lobbyists. I used 100 as an estimate in the sign of lobbyists per politician.

The dirty little secret about politicians and lobbyists is they often form secret deals and alliances and agreements to hire a politician if they leave politics or is not reelected. Lobbying firms and corporations are politician's insurance policy. It was reported by RepublicReports.org that when a Congressman becomes a lobbyist, he receives a 1,452% raise on average. They reported "Since those deals are done in secret, legislators are largely free to pass laws, special tax cuts, or earmarks that benefit their future employer with little or no accountability to the public."

Lobbyists are just a symptom of our rigged system, they are not the cause. The cause of our rigged system is the over reach of Federal Government to be involved in almost every aspect of our lives. Lobbying is a constitution right from the first amendment to be free to speak and to be free to petition the government to redress grievances. If the Federal Government followed the Constitution and the limited power delegated to it by the States, there would be only a limited need for lobbyists. The growth of the lobbyists industry is caused by the growth and the overreach of the Federal Government.


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