We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Mostly lazy glib people who want to feel important in jobs with no heavy lifting. The real non-career pols (Trump is an example) are the ones I admire. Give a few years of public service and go back to the farm.
In general, the kinds of men and women attracted to politics are precisely the kinds of men and women who disdain the reciprocities required for success in the market. Market relationships are inherently co-equal: Because I can buy my car from Toyota or Ford, General Motors has no power over me. When I walk into an automobile dealership (or a supermarket, or a department store, or a restaurant, or a bank, or a brokerage firm, or a hardware store, or any private firm that enjoys no government privileges) I walk into an establishment that has no power to coerce me. The consequence is that the owners of that establishment treat me with respect, for if they don’t, I spend my money elsewhere...
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.". Lord Acton
I used to think that was what happened to politicians but now I wonder if corrupt people are simply attracted to power.
That's one of the best things I've ever read. Great find, thanks.
Someone in the comments wrote:
Economists were born when people learned to ccount.
Capitalists were born when people learned to add.
Socialists were born when they learned to take away.
Politicians were born when they learned to multiply and divide.
Give a few years of public service and go back to the farm. Yes, but some don't want to go back to the farm, they want to remain important. If somebody would tell Obama that ex-presidents simply become, once again, private citizens, it would be helpful.
the Elephant's Child
I disagree almost completely. Honorable men are, by and large, honorable and remain so.
The problem is dishonorable men.
There was an ope/ed in the Wall Street Journal from, perhaps 30 years ago. (That was back when I actually took the WSJ in print form.) The author noted that the problem was that there were many things that an honorable man would not do, depths to which a good person would not stoop.
Dishonorable men, on the other hand, will do ANYTHING to get power, and so in the pursuit of power, the honest men won't do what the dishonorable man will, and so the honorable men are winnowed out of consideration. It is, perhaps, even more true today.
There's a radio talk show host named Tom Sullivan, who also does (or did...) a program on Fox Business. He got into talk radio subbing for his good friend and colleague at Sacramento CA/s KFBK, a many that you might have heard of; Rush Limbaugh. When he was still here in Sacramento, the California GOP folks tried to get him to run for Congress, and Sullivan flatly refused.
He would have been a GREAT Congressman, but he didn't want to suffer the proctoscope that is modern political media.
And so we are governed by our inferiors. Because an honorable man refused to do a dishonorable job.
The reason we have a civilization is that there's a countervailing force: sometimes the best way to get people to join forces with you and do things your way is to show that you can be counted on not to do the dishonorable thing. If we let dishonorable people get away with things because we like the temporary results, where does that get us?
But of course the OP is singing my song with the point about the value of the free market being that it requires consent, and the need to get consent breeds a completely different behavior from the strategy of imposing force. This is just what we've been talking about at AVI's place in his post about bureaucracies, which you linked to recently.
I'm so suspicious of monopolies that I've always been a little hostile to the electric power company, but boy, they sure changed my mind with their professionalism after we recently had a hurricane hit. Certainly they were responding to my usual favorite--free market forces--but this was more like the behavior of a heroic Coast Guard or elite firefighting force. No one does that just for a paycheck.
Our emergency workers came from as much as 1,000 miles away. It was more like a call to professionalism, for them to help their colleagues. We were strangers to them, but very grateful. They needn't have come here to live in motel rooms and work grinding hours for weeks on end. I hope they got paid a fortune.
I feel differently about the idea of gratitude to someone who supplies an ordinary service. That's just a job; when I do a job, I don't expect gratitude, just an ordinary transaction.