Greece used to run on “connections”. It worked out well for them. How will it work for us:
Congressional staffers and the revolving door to lobbyist firms Congress continues to operate as a farm team for future lobbyists. Staff build up contacts and policy and political expertise. Then they often go “downtown” and cash in, taking their expertise and networks with them….When staff leaves to lobby, their former offices must find somebody new and usually less experienced. And offices who lack staff with policy expertise and political relationships often must rely more on outside lobbyists, who are only too happy to fill the gap.
Some of our best and brightest tread the staffer and corporate lobbyist path. Who knows what they might have achieved if their energy had been directed to value adding within a commercial marketplace, rather than influencing government. Political lobbying aims to change the system of laws and regulations or how they are applied to favor selected groups or even to directly subsidizes them. It does not of itself create value. Its focus is more akin to the distribution of existing wealth, rather than the creation of new wealth. Indeed, in distributing wealth it also of necessity destroys some component of it. That said, I highly recommend Thank you for Smoking.
Obviously the insider trading perk is insufficient reward for our elected officials:
Jon Stewart Examines Congress’ Insider Trading Problem: You know how it goes, you learn some confidential information in a Senate hearing or something and then use that knowledge for your personal financial gain. Hey, it happens all the time. The only problem is that when the regular non-Congress types try do that it is called insider trading and people go to jail. Oh well.
Of course our law makers are above the law. They rule by divine right. Or more accurately, they often behave as if they do.