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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

 

Rent Seekers

Today, several law makers 'returned' or donated money received from one of the most influential lobbyists in Washington, after he plead guilty to fraud. Though this story is catching a great deal of media attention for its similarity and complex ties to the recently embattled Senator Delay scandal, one cannot help but laugh at the 'shocked' reaction from the Hill. Is not rent seeking simply a part of our social system of government? After recently reading Ayn Rand's Anthem, I began to wonder what the alternative to this situation would be. Clearly rent-seeking does have a significant negative impact on our rights (Kelo), however, the condition of an honest government would by necessity imply a strong dogma that would compel those running the government to turn away from corrupt activities. However, in the government that oversees the largest and wealthiest economy in the world, such a devotion could only be preserved on the highest scale of fanaticism, which is clearly an undesirable motivator for any government. If the above is true, then is the best we can hope for some middle ground in which we incentivize our politicians with the culturally understood promise of mass bribery yet view the culmination of that understanding with disdain when it offends our notions of propriety?

Comments:
I like the topic. But, I'd like to hear a proposed answer.

Do you think there would be less corruption in politics if the Court was still comfortable with "economic due process?"
 
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