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goobster  ·  945 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Barack Obama's $400,000 speaking fees reveal what few want to admit

It's only "weird" because we liberals have this odd mental construct that there is some sort of line between politics and business, and there simply isn't.

You can't get to a senior level in any major corporation without dealing with stupid regulations, and policies and laws that make you scratch your head and ask, "what the fuck were they thinking?!?"

So you complain to your friends about it at a dinner party, and they say, "Yeah! I was thinking the same thing!"

Then you decide to Do Something About It, and now you are meeting with the Chamber of Commerce and they connect you with politicians who have similar/dissimilar beliefs, and you debate it with them.

And, if you are fiscally well-off enough to be able to sacrifice several years of your earnings and corporate-ladder-climbing to earn a piddling wage in public service, you run for office, get elected... and now you have ALL issues to contend with, not just the ones that were pissing you off.

But what do you know? The business you were in.

So you look for experts to consult with on the stuff you don't know much about.

"Gravel pits? What the fuck do I know about gravel pits?!?"

So you talk to the owners of a couple of gravel companies and trucking companies, and some experts on transportation issues in the state (hint: these are called Lobbyists), and you form an opinion, and someone hands you a pre-written policy that pretty much deals with the core problem of the Gravel Pits, and ...

A grassroots campaign gets you ousted from office because you killed off the last breeding pair of Thompson's Turtles anywhere in the state - who happened to nest next to the gravel pits - and now you are out of a job because someone else got elected to do the shit work of a politician for $13,000/year.

What now? You have a lot of knowledge about the business you were in before you ran for office, you now have a lot of connections in government, and you STILL WANT TO ADDRESS THAT FIRST GODDAMN THING that got you involved six years ago.

And it turns out that your surfacing the issue and championing it in the political arena, well, it earned you some friends. So they pay you an annual salary to keep dogging that issue, pushing it, using your connections to talk to friends and educate them on the thing and ...

Guess what? You are now an accursed "Lobbyist".

And you make excellent money. Way more than $250k/year. And you get to affect public policy without having to be elected. And you set your own hours. And you get to accept all the benefits you want, from anyone who wants to give them to you.

"Bob! I hear you are going to Minneapolis to talk to the Governor there about Gravel Pits. Tell ya what: My plane is going there to get its annual service, so why don't you just jump on and fly out there? It'll take a week to finish the full service, but I've got a condo you can crash in, and there's a couple of people I'd like you to meet who have this new Gravel Pit technology that is just going to change the industry. Interested?"


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