50% Of 'Retiring' Senators Now Become Lobbyists, Up From 3% A Few Decades Ago

from the the-influence-business-is-good-business dept

This is from a little while ago, but Hunter Walk alerts us to a buried gem in a NY Times' book review of This Town by Mark Leibovich -- a book about Washington DC that sounds just horrific (not the book itself, but the concept of wanting to know any more about DC). The review notes that Leibovich buried an interesting statistic deep in the book:
in 1974, 3 percent of retiring members of Congress became lobbyists. “Now 50 percent of senators and 42 percent of congressmen do.” No one goes home anymore.
We've talked plenty about the corrupting influences of the revolving door between industries and the government. Not all lobbyists or lobbying is bad, per se, but it's a symptom of the times we live in and the business of influence. It highlights the kind of "soft corruption" that Larry Lessig has been talking about for years, where it's not out-and-out bribery, but merely the promise of a cushy job down the road that can have tremendous impact on the way the government functions.

And, with so much money flowing into lobbying efforts, we're building a system where political entrepreneurship outweighs market entrepreneurship -- and that's exceptionally dangerous for our economy and our future. Political entrepreneurs -- those who manipulate the system for their own benefit -- tend to focus on locking up value, limiting competition and providing themselves with greater control over the market. Market entrepreneurs are more focused on innovation, expanding the pie and economic growth. Tragically, political entrepreneurs, via massive lobbying efforts, like to pretend they're about market entrepreneurship, and we get a system of crony capitalism that actually does significant harm to the economy.

When nearly half of everyone in Congress who is retiring jumps into that business of helping political entrepreneurship, the system is completely broken.

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  1. identicon
    South Texan, 5 May 2016 @ 4:35pm

    Racketeering

    The DEM vs GOP contrived vitriol divides, distracts as our "elected public servants" operate the largest criminal racketeering syndicate in history. This is how they transfer billions a year of hard earned treasury to corporate elitist. They ran out of taxpayer money so they borrow the funds to give away, leaving us with 20 trillion in debt. PORK
    Payoff
    On
    Received
    Kickbacks

    More transparency does nothing to solve corruption. We need to take the money out of politics and politics out of government. The founders said the two party system will destroy our Constitutional Republic, it has. We need to storm the WH and arrest every one of those career criminals, give em life in prison and seize all their assets to pay down the debt. Claw back every dime of taxpayer money that was given to special interest.

    TERM LIMITS
    OUTLAW LOBBYIST, RACKETEERING, BRIBERY
    BAN POLITICAL PARTIES IN GOVERNMENT
    ELECTION BY LOTTERY
    STAND ALONE LEGISLATION
    AUDIT FEDERAL RESERVE, REPEAL FRA OF 1913
    SHRINK FED GOV 75%
    END THE UNMITIGATED DISASTER,WAR ON DRUGS, MEDICAL ISSUE
    OBEY THE CONSTITUTION TO THE LETTER
    LET FREEDOM, PROSPERITY REIGN

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