Democracy can be a nasty business risk. It has to be managed. You can manage a risk in four ways. You can assume it, avoid it, transfer it or mitigate it*. A business leader assumes risk by remaining politically neutral. They avoid it by not doing business in ways potentially impacted by political meddling. They transfer it by selling assets or industries that are impacted and they can mitigate it by buying the right political leadership. In this iteration of the American Election Cycle, the two preferred assets to hold in any well-structured portfolio of bought off politicians are Heb and Jillary.
More than 60 ultra-rich Americans have contributed to both Jeb Bush’s and Hillary Clinton’s federal campaigns, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission data by Vocativ and The Daily Beast. Seventeen of those contributors have gone one step further and opened their wallets to fund both Bush’s and Clinton’s 2016 ambitions. (The Daily Beast)
This is because the economics overwhelmingly favor mitigating the risk by buying up the democracy so that it can be effectively exploited to further the wellbeing of their business enterprises. This has been subjected to study and the following results were reported.
We find firms lobbying for this provision have a return in excess of $220 for every $1 spent on lobbying, or 22,000%. …… This paper provides compelling evidence that lobbying expenditures have a positive and significant return on investment.
Nope, you just can’t afford to leave Democracy in the hands of actual voters. So what do you look for when you buy a politician? You go for the mushy centrism. You want a known-name franchise. Clinton and Bush have names. Low-information voters of both parties will zombie on into the voting booth and pull that lever if they recognize the stiff on the ballot. It’s like a Mickey D’s Crapple Burger; it won’t taste good, but it shouldn’t infect you with Ebola.
You want pragmatism and power-lust to overwhelm silly things like principals and loyalty. They can “offer critiques” when we enter into stupid deals with foreign powers that offer up that special daily prayer of ‘Death to America!’ You can “feel concern” when well-connected non-profits sell parts of dead babies for profit because they want a Lamborghini. But you can’t do anything that qualifies as, you know, radical. We mustn’t upset the apple carton over at GE, Tyson Foods, Google or Stem Express. The voters don’t get a voice on important things like the economy, the borders, foreign policy or regulatory policy. Money could be at stake.
This situation is part of what powers some of the recent and vicious criticism of GOP Congressional Leadership. They frankly don’t lead. They carry out predictable kabuki routines that increasingly appear to have been run past approval authorities. It feeds into the appeal of Donald Trump. Sure THE DONALD is trying to buy himself the GOP Primary. It’s more efficient that way. You cut out all the Wall Street and Silicon Valley middle management.
Now that’s not how we want to feel about our country. A certain, low level of corruption is frustrating, yet survivable. It’s just that it seems so all-encompassing. We’re already being told it’s Heb vs Jillary and the fine bouquet of bungholes that bankrolls them each has already straddled the most likely outcomes. It’s a bummer when you feel like your entire political system has been successfully bought out.
*-Also known colloquially as burning down the risk.