Money In Politics
Get Money Out Of Politics

The one factor that is doing the most to destroy our country is our allowing money to be a factor in our political system.  If we want to improve our country's ability to serve the needs of all of us and our descendants, we must get money totally out of politics.  This web page will outline the most visible problems and offer a few solutions.  Also, see: Get Money Out

The Most Visible Problems
  1. All of our elected officials must spend relatively enormous amounts of money to get elected.  The higher the office, the more money needed to obtain it and remain in it more than one term.  Once elected, politicians must be loyal to the ones who supported their political ambitions with financial contributions.  Of course, their contributors expect a financial return on their investment during the political career of any politician, and tax money is the source of that return.  It can be in the form of laws that allow the contributor to make more money at the public's expense, tax exemptions that only the rich can afford to access, and many more political favors.
  2. A first time politician, for any high office, must spend considerable time during their first term building a coalition of financial supporters for the next election cycle.  For this to be successful, the contributor must receive a return that exceeds their contribution during each political term.  The public's problems, therefore, become secondary to what the politician needs to do to remain in office.
  3. This results in hoards of lobbyists that take up most of our politicians' time discussing the desires of those paying for their services.  The companies paying the lobbyists, receive returns as high or higher than 77,500% ($775 for every $1 of investment).  These kinds of returns only encourage more of the same and encourage other companies to join the party with the public footing the bill for such high returns. See: Money & Politics video.
  4. Politics has become the art of manipulating others through their self-interest to get them to support the politician's desire for power.  This results in divisive tactics being used constantly.  Although our country is supposed to be united, the politicians purposely divide us into smaller groups--the opposite of what the politician should be doing.  The fact that we have two primary political parties with a few smaller ones who rarely make any headway toward gaining power is immediately divisive.
  5. When our government is divided by different goals, we find that it rarely serves the common needs of the public.  Each side is continually attempting to create the political environment, through laws and regulations, in which they thrive--at the expense of the public and the long-term health of our nation.

What Can Be Done

Ideally, we would return to the foundations of our nation and begin building our political system from the bottom up while keeping in mind the problems mentioned above.  Unfortunately, the complete rebuilding of our political system would give those needing it to stay in power too much ammunition for not doing anything.  This leaves us with the step-by-step approach that was used to get us where we are today.  To do this, it is necessary to define the goals in principles that apply to all equally.

  1. Government must serve all of its electorate equally to the highest degree possible.
  2. Government must not give itself benefits that are not given to all of its electorate.
  3. Government must provide the framework in society that encourages all members to contribute according to their ability.
  4. Government must never provide a means for anyone in society to be less than they can be.
  5. Government must never assume responsibility for any need of society that can't be accomplished as well or better by a lower level government, private company, or organization (for profit or charitable).
  6. Government must encourage private industry or charitable organizations to serve any sub-group of society.
  7. Government must pass laws and regulations that build the framework for all private industry and organizations to function internally according to the intent of all of these principles.
  8. Government must insure that it serves the intent of all the principles above in unity and not promote one at the expense of any of the others.

Example of using the above principles: Instead of providing money to a set of investors to accomplish a goal the government considers important, the government would offer a bounty to any individual or organization that accomplished the goal.  The Government would provide the specs with target pricing which must be near the current price of accomplishing the goal.  Once an individual or organization provided a solution that met the specs and could be manufactured within the target pricing, the bounty would be paid.  The solution would then be offered to all equally.  Improvements would then be obtained by those who improved on the solution.  Such improvements could be patented.  This approach has the following benefits:

  1. The bounty could be set according to the level of need in society--i.e. green power instead of carbon based fuels
  2. Government could not support a group of investors who then failed just because they contributed to the politician's campaign
  3. The individual's or organization's reward for providing the solution would be the bounty; but they could turn down the bounty and patent the solution if they felt the reward would be greater.  This would lower the risk for the inventor of the solution.

The solution to any problem can only begin once we recognize and admit we have a problem.  Relative to our current political system, this should not be difficult.