Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Root of All Evil

I just read an article about a Congressman's wife is acting as his personal fundraiser, and taking a cut of the proceeds for her efforts. It is apparently perfectly legal, but what it says to me is that money is always and irrevocably joined to politics. Attempts to separate them lead either to creativity, as in this case, or, when creativity fails, to corruption.

What if, rather than trying to annul the sordid marriage of money and politics, we simply made them live in a glass house? What if everyone and anyone could donate any amount to any political entity they chose, but that donation would be completely public? What if those political entities could spend their money on anything they wanted to, but everyone penny spent was reported? One could see who was giving money to which groups and how they were spending it, and change one's views accordingly.

It all comes down to transparency. There are times when openness can harm, but secrecy always harms.


Blogger Noumenon said...

I don't know what to say about transparency but it reminds me of all the members of Dennis Hastert's and Trent Lott's family drawing checks as lobbyists. link

4:45 AM  

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