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(11,641 posts)
Fri Apr 15, 2016, 10:20 AM Apr 2016

Congress & the president should be paid like CEO's. Pay them well or corporations will

Our elected officials make decisions involving the spending of TRILLIONS of dollars. Yet we pay them paltry salaries in comparison to to the private sector. Then we expect them to represent us rather than corporations that have billions to spend on them to influence their decisions. How naive is that?

50% of Senators now become lobbyists after leaving office. 42% of House members become lobbyists.

Pay them big salaries but create strict laws to prohibit the corrupt culture that currently exist.

Some say a person's desire to serve should be based on altruism and money shouldn't be part of it. But just look at the reality. Money is a part of it but it's corporations paying their salary and in turn they get to control the government.

For those that are altruistic create a matching fund for those willing to give up part of their salary. If the president is paid $10 million per year but wants to take $5 million let the government match the other $5 million five to one for a project dear to the president's values.

I don't expect this is a popular opinion but the current situation is unsustainable. Maybe you have a better solution to stop the corruption but at this point the corruption is rampant. And it's not getting any better even after 8 years of a Democrat in the White House.

MY 2 cents.

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Congress & the president should be paid like CEO's. Pay them well or corporations will (Original Post) think Apr 2016 OP
There are a number of things wrong with this proposal... malthaussen Apr 2016 #1
Please feel free to elaborate. Sure even if we pay more they could still be corrupt think Apr 2016 #2
You are aware, presumably, that the rationale for paying legislators... malthaussen Apr 2016 #3
Singapore did that and made corruption laserhaas Jun 2016 #4


(17,410 posts)
1. There are a number of things wrong with this proposal...
Fri Apr 15, 2016, 10:57 AM
Apr 2016

... but I'll simply confine myself to noting that for some people, there is never such a thing as "enough."

-- Mal



(11,641 posts)
2. Please feel free to elaborate. Sure even if we pay more they could still be corrupt
Fri Apr 15, 2016, 11:03 AM
Apr 2016

But if you pay them well and create laws prohibiting members from working for, speaking to, and colluding with corporations it should make it better for the people and much more difficult to get away with corruption.

Basically a person has to make a choice. Get paid well to work for the people and sacrifice your ability to work for companies that lobby the government or just work for those companies. You can't do both.

I'm sick of the corruption. You don't like my solution I am open to yours.

But if you don't pay them well you know they will get the cash from the corporations.


(17,410 posts)
3. You are aware, presumably, that the rationale for paying legislators...
Fri Apr 15, 2016, 11:50 AM
Apr 2016

... is precisely so they will be independent of influence? That, initially, legislators were not paid anything, and that one of the key propositions of Reform in Britain and similar laws in the U.S. were to ensure that legislators would be paid well enough to make them independent and thus avoid corruption? Yet it appears that that has not worked as planned, and so you propose to pay them more? It is generally considered a bad idea to reinforce failure.

Furthermore, it is a matter of faith in the corporate world that huge salaries and bonuses are necessary to hire the "best" people. Yet when these people make costly errors, they still receive high salaries and bonuses, or if their error is too costly to ignore, they are awarded golden parachutes in millions of dollars. This sort of thing is one of the reasons why our economy tanked a few years ago: there was no penalty for failure, so no reason not to take irresponsible risks. Do you think the "best" people are hired in the corporate world? For whatever value of "best" you please? Or might it be that influence is more important than "qualification" for most non-technical applications, and legislating is definitely a non-technical field. And since influence comes down to being connected to the people with the power and the money, how can you have an effective legislature without any influence?

Then we have the laws. Are there at present no laws against corruption? Is there not a standing committee in Congress with the brief to ensure ethical conduct among its members? How is that working out? What incentive do you think would make it work better? You may say that ultimately the solution rests with the voters, yet despite the lowest-ever ratings for Congress, the voters re-elect 90% of them. How do you propose to police the legislators? As Juvenal asks, quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

There are some other problems with your proposal, but these should be enough to be going on with. The central issue, as I see it, is the mechanism by which you will keep money from influencing politics. After all, it has been known and understood since political theory was invented that corruption is the key problem with politics, and we have been struggling with that for a couple of thousand years. Would you prohibit all overt lobbying? Fine, but what about covert lobbying? Do you propose that legislators never be seen in the company of captains of industry, or even lieutenants? Do you propose that if it is discovered that they have met with such people, they be prohibited from ever holding an office of trust or profit in the government again? But then, doesn't that place undue limits on their liberty? And what can be done about the fact that government does require interaction with corporations, to build bombs and roads? Somebody has to talk to these people, so somebody, inevitably, is going to be tempted by them.

Of course, you're just theorizing, and not making a concrete proposal. It's when one gets down to the niggling little details that he begins to see that the difficulty is, perhaps, greater than was immediately apparent. I'd be interested to see if you can devise a way that government and business can efficiently interface without the latter unduly influencing the former.

-- Mal

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