Political Honesty

However, when politicians do break the law they are often given special treatment.
True, and that should not happen. Nor, IMO, should they be hounded out of office because of personal peccadillos that bear no relation to the performance of their actual job ...
Yeah, I mean,IF you're going to want to attract non-wealthy, smart, able, motivated people, AND you're going to say they can't expect outside remuneration NOR remuneration after they leave office, you're going to have to pay them VERY well indeed. Frankly, if anything, it's the relatively low pay of politicians that makes corruption more likely.
So, we pay them better and prepare for utopia! :lol: I think just being in a position to be corrupt, makes corruption more likely.
However, when politicians do break the law they are often given special treatment.
True, and that should not happen. Nor, IMO, should they be hounded out of office because of personal peccadillos that bear no relation to the performance of their actual job ...I basically agree.
M-A, you may feel the politicians are incompetent but they didn't get there by themselves - the voters elected them. The basic problem is that the voters in general are fairly uneducated about government, rational examination, and critical thinking. Before you complain about the quality of the politicians you should look at the capabilities of the voters in your area and ask what you can do to improve them. Occam
I think this is "work in progress" in many areas. The progress may never amount to much, however.
Yeah, I mean,IF you're going to want to attract non-wealthy, smart, able, motivated people, AND you're going to say they can't expect outside remuneration NOR remuneration after they leave office, you're going to have to pay them VERY well indeed. Frankly, if anything, it's the relatively low pay of politicians that makes corruption more likely.
So, we pay them better and prepare for utopia! :lol: I think just being in a position to be corrupt, makes corruption more likely. Absolutely it does. As was noted before in this thread, power corrupts. But that is a general tendency; one can't assume it in every case. My point about raising pay was somewhat tongue in cheek, but not entirely. When it comes to business, the adage is that you expect to pay up for the best; you don't expect the best people to show up otherwise. Yet for some reason when it comes to politics we assume the reverse.

Given the talk in thread of how much politicians (can) make, I thought this might interest everyone. It’s on the US presidents and how much they are (were) worth.
Richest old bastard = George Washington (~$525 million)
Poorest old bastard = Harry S Truman (<$1 million)
Richest old bastard still alive = Bill Clinton (~$55 million)
Poorest old bastard still alive = Barack Obama (~$7 million)
Kennedy is undetermined.
EDIT
Stuff and fixes

And now Trump, who self-reportedly is worth billions seems to be the most corrupt of all.

 

I guess a person’s net worth or salary is a poor indicator of their demonstrating ethics in their eventual job performance. Tho I agree that a decent salary might have some prophylactic effect in staving off corruption, for someone who needs the money.

Compared with the private sector, the salaries of politicians in my country are modest. Those on the ball earn a great deal more after leaving office. Pretty sure that also applies to the US. I understand president Obama has done very well since leaving office.

Persons elected to local government are not paid in Australia, except for modest out-of-pocket expenses.

Our mandatory voting system does not extend to local government. From as little as 10% of voters vote in local elections , but usually more than 30%.

Local government in Australia is notoriously corrupt. They tend to be boys clubs of local businessmen. Can’t imagine why

February 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm (the legendary) Occam

M-A, you may feel the politicians are incompetent but they didn’t get there by themselves – the voters elected them.

The basic problem is that the voters in general are fairly uneducated about government, rational examination, and critical thinking.

Before you complain about the quality of the politicians you should look at the capabilities of the voters in your area and ask what you can do to improve them.
Occam

I’ve gone and gotten all confused about US domestic politics again.

Just read an article in Huffpost which claims Americans overall, have not changed their opinions about Donald Trump since 2016. IE 48% think of him unfavourably, 36 % think of him favourably. In Oz, a 12% gap tends to indicate the lower scorer stuffed. Yet Trump was actually elected president.

I’m aware that the US has voluntary voting, and that around 40% of eligible voters did not vote in 2016. Could it be that contrary to what one would expect, Trump voters managed to actually register to vote in large numbers? That a 'significant number ’ of anti Trump voters, are so pissed off, so disenchanted with US politics, that they thought "a pox on both your houses"and did not/do not bother to register?–That has happened a few times in Oz in the last decade. Signs are it will happen again when Aussies go to the polls on May 18. I hope I’m right, might get the major parties to pull their fingers out, doing what they’re paid for and concentrating less less on internal power struggles.

-----We can’t get a Donald Trump. Here the voters don’t elect our Prime Minister. That person is the ( already office holding) leader of the party which forms government. That post is elected by the party. The Prime Minister can be removed from office by the party, at any time. This has happened six times in the last 10 years. It is a major reason why so many Aussie voters (including me) are so peeved* .

*peeved is stage two of the three stages of public anger ; “miffed”; pretty annoyed, ‘peeved’ very annoyed and “in a perfect tizzy”; apoplectic.

In US Pres elections, we for all practical purposes have 2 parties that are viable candidates in the general election. A repub and a dem. A % of voters will almost always vote for the repub and a % will almost always vote for the dem. A % of “independent” voters might vote for one or the other. A large % of ppl who could vote, never vote. A % of voters who vote, don’t always vote. With these factors, what generally occurs is that the election for POTUS is almost always relatively close. Sometimes, the Repubs win even when they don’t win the popular vote, as the system of electoral votes goes in their favor.

In 2016 Trump lost the popular vote by a significant margin, but won the electoral college, by winning in enough of the right states. He was assisted, I believe, by various factors. 1st, in retrospect, his opponent did not run the smartest tactical campaign. She also was not particularly inspiring to most Americans. She also had the handicap of decades of VERY sustained defamation by the Repubs. She also had the FBI making statements about her being investigated at key moments in the campaign, that could not have been timed better if the intent were to hurt her campaign. Also there was a sweeping and systematic effort by the Russians to get her defeated and to get Trump elected. The Russian effort was tactically sound, it used sophisticated methods to target voters, and had various aims, including suppressing the vote of potential dem voters, riling up the base of Trump voters, with targeted disinformation, stealing info from the dem campaign and releasing well chosen bits at precisely most effective moments in the campaign to have the most likely effect on the outcome. Trump’s opponent won the popular vote, anyway, by millions, but lost the election.

 

Hilary was in the news yesterday saying the election was basically stolen. She didn’t lose the election, it was stolen. She said she did everything right. God, I hope she keeps that up. It shows just how stupid the highly educated elite are. And that is helping Trump.

The democratic party is looking more like the movie - Idiocracy. A dystopian society where anti-intellectualism and commercialism have run rampant, and which is devoid of intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, and coherent notions of justice and human rights.

and coherent notions of justice and human rights.
Please tell me more about these rights you are talking about. How detaining children is part of this. How firing the people investigating you is part of it. Taking away people's medical care. Whatever you think is justice, apparently I don't know what that is. Enlighten us.

Trump is being defamed more in a couple of yrs, than Hillary was in 30. This is because hers was mostly trumped up crap. Trump has a lifetime of actual scammery and lies to continue to be revealed. His wealth or alledged wealth is based not on basic business skills but on scams and false self promotion. He operates by lying, cheating, bullying, and persistently portraying his “alternate version of facts” (aka shameless lies) as truth.

Winning the 2016 election may, eventually, turn out to be the worst thing that ever happened to him. It certainly has been among the worst things that has ever happened to our country.

"Please tell me more about these rights you are talking about. "

Yeah, please do. I have always had a problem with so-called ‘self evident’ human rights.

 

My perception is that there are no such things as innate rights. There are privileges, which can be, and are, taken away at any time.

The US has a record of ignoring The Bill of rights when ever it feels like it.

EG: The internment of Japanese Americans during WW2.

The McCarthy witch hunt for communists.

The existence of Guantanamo Bay prison and The Patriot Act allow the Us to ignore Habeus Corpus. (Magna Carta Carta 1215) This is a basic 'human right" and is a fundamental part of common law, in democratic countries around the world.

Currently the US has a president who seems to believe the rights set out in the constitution are optional.

I read, but cannot prove that President Obama either ignored or avoided the US constitution on 12 separate occasions. I find that very hard to believe. I mean, he’s a brilliant orator ,and such a good egg. He’s really nice, unlike the incumbent shower, who isn’t nice; he’s a real mean bean…The good news (?) is, that prez Trump makes almost anyone seem downright wonderful in comparison.

Australia is in no position to point any fingers; the treatment of indigenous people has been shameful since first contact. They weren’t even counted in the census until after a 1963 referendum; they had no rights. Their lives were managed by"They Department Of Aboriginal Affairs", which still exists. Australia also had form of slavery. This was done by kidnapping Pacific Island peoples as ‘indentured labour. It began here in the 1860s’ . It was called 'Blackbirding"and continued in Australia until thee end of the nineteenth century. It still exists parts of Central America, at least. The full Wiki articles is worth reading

Currently: Australia is a signatory to various Human Rights conventions. It is policy of both major parties to inter refugees who arrive by boat, in off shore detention centres. Sometimes, for years. This practice has been condemned by the UN and Amnesty International. My government ignores 'em.

 

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((9)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

"Blackbirding involves the coercion of people through trickery and kidnapping to work as labourers. Generally, persons of European ancestry, or others being paid by them, coerced persons of non-European ancestry to work as labourers throughout the Southeast Pacific region. Blackbirders sought labourers for several major industries or plantations.

From the 1860s, blackbirding ships in the Pacific sought workers to mine the guano deposits on the Chincha Islands in Peru.[2] In the 1870s the blackbirding trade focused on supplying labourers to plantations, particularly those producing sugar-cane in Queensland, Australia, and Fiji.[3][4] In the early days of the pearling industry in Western Australia at Nickol Bay and Broome, local Aborigines were blackbirded from the surrounding areas.

The practice of blackbirding has continued to the present day, in certain developing countries. One example is the kidnapping and coercion, often at gunpoint, of indigenous peoples in Central America to work as plantation labourers in the region. They are subjected to poor living conditions, are exposed to heavy pesticide loads, and do hard labour for very little pay.[5] "

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbirding

 

I have an idea. Politicians should be paid minimum wage.

Politicians having to work for minimum wage would be a quick sure way to get the minimum wage increased.

Patrick, u r right about even countries that are supposed to be iconic champions of human rights, periodically failing miserably at that.

Also, our Declaration of Independence, tho not our Constitution, speaks of inalienable rights for all men endowed by a Creator. Considering the times, by “all men” this was likely referring to “all white male property owners” but that doesn’t sound very poetic. Or maybe it was aspirational. Collectively, it seems to me that, we could all decide what we consider to be rights and then constantly aim for that.

Re: my hero, Obama. He tried to be President of all Americans. e.g., It wasn’t clear until AFTER he was elected the 2nd time that the zeitgeist had progressed re: Gay marriage, and that most Americans were fine with it. Obama had never spoken in favor of it. Then Biden did, and Obama realized he could follow along.

Obama wanted to close Guatanamo, but the contingencies of the time prevented it. His use of drones in going after terrorists was rampant, and no doubt innocents got wiped out too, at times. He is a good man who could not be perfect, but more than once he urged us to seek to form a more perfect union.

@LoisL

I think there was a time elected officials were paid nothing. Still the case in Oz in local government. Payment for politicians was introduced so any eligible person could run for office, not only the independently wealthy.

George Washington was not paid a salary as president. Instead he asked for payment of expenses. Reading of those expenses is fascinating. I think congress may have decided it was cheaper to pay a salary to politicians.

Donald Trump donates his presidential salary to charity.

As far as I’m aware,Barack and Michelle Obama have been making a LOT of money since he left office

Relatively speaking, neither US nor Australian politicians are especially well paid. Anyone who enters politics for the pay should be treated with suspicion, imo. The brightest and best minds can receive a great deal more in the private sector.

Of course, having the top job in the country, or even being an elected politician has little to do with money. It’s about power. That doesn’t imply such power will necessarily be misused, although it almost always is. Very occasionally, a great man/woman may get elected, and accomplish great things for his/her country. I have never seen or read about such a person, yet.—all of my life heroes have had feet of clay…

There is also an apt aphorism " pay peanuts, get monkeys"

 

@TimB:

What were the contingencies which stopped Obama closing Guantanamo prison? Its very existence is a breech of basic ‘human rights’, especially of Habeus Corpus and the the right to due process, including a speedy trial. {, as far as I’m aware.} Perhaps you could explain where I’ve misunderstood.

@PatrickD

I think there was a time elected officials were paid nothing. Still the case in Oz in local government. Payment for politicians was introduced so any eligible person could run for office, not only the independently wealthy.

<b>That’s one reason, though for many years only the independently wealthy ran for high office. Even today those running are wealthy. We aren’t going to see a person who works for wages running and certainly not one who’s scraping to make ends meet. </b>

George Washington was not paid a salary as president. Instead he asked for payment of expenses. Reading of those expenses is fascinating. I think congress may have decided it was cheaper to pay a salary to politicians.

<b>Now we pay both, and in the case of Trump “expenses” are through the roof. </b>

Donald Trump donates his presidential salary to charity.

<b>Other presidents also donated their salary to charity. But in the case of Trump he’s probably doing it so he doesn’t have to pay taxes. Meanwhile his expenses are running into millions of dollars a year. The President receives a $50,000 expense allowance each year and a $19,000 “entertainment” allowance. But those allowances are for personal expenses and don’t include an additional $100,000 travel allowance, Secret Service protection for the President and his family, (Retired presidents receive the perk for life and their children are protected until the age of 16. In 2017, the secret service’s budget was $1.9 billion). Then there is Air Force One, which is estimated to cost of $200,000 an hour, and the expense of the Presidential helicopter, which Trump uses to fly to various golf clubs. His expenses at Mar-a-Lago are also covered, as is the fleet of armored cars that carry the President and his family on the ground. None of his expenses are taxable, but, as we’ve seen from recent reports of his federal taxes, that’s hardly an issue with Trump. He is unlikely to pay the taxes even if they were taxable. </b><b></b><b>Trump’s administration is also reported to have spent $1.75 million on new furniture, wall coverings, and a desk at the White House. </b>

<b>While serving a term, a White House doctor is always on call and medical staff accompany the president at all times. The White House has its own clinic with exam rooms, medical equipment, and military doctors on staff, according to the LA Times.</b>

<b>If a president serves five or more years of federal service, he receives priority health benefits and use of veterans hospitals. If eligible and interested in partaking, 75% of presidential health care is covered by taxpayers and purchased through the Washington, DC,</b> <b>Obamacare exchange. These are but a very few of the expenses and perks a sitting president receives. George Washington’s expenses could not have been even a tiny fraction of Trump’s. </b>

As far as I’m aware,Barack and Michelle Obama have been making a LOT of money since he left office.

<b>As private citizens, former presidents can earn money in any legitimate way. They are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for one private speech. All former presidents have earned large amounts of money in this way. Would you suggest a law limiting their private income? </b>

Relatively speaking, neither US nor Australian politicians are especially well paid. Anyone who enters politics for the pay should be treated with suspicion, imo. The brightest and best minds can receive a great deal more in the private sector.

<b>Except in the case of Trump whose estate continues to receive profits for his billion-dollar business investments in the private sector while he’s president. No, presidents seldom enter politics for the pay, but a good case can be made that some presidents may have an eye on their enormous perks while in office and afterwards. In addition, Trump only entered politics as president. He never had one government position, either elected or appointed, before he became </b><b>president. </b>

Of course, having the top job in the country, or even being an elected politician has little to do with money. It’s about power. That doesn’t imply such power will necessarily be misused, although it almost always is. Very occasionally, a great man/woman may get elected, and accomplish great thing for his/her country. I have never seen or read a about such a person, yet.—all of my life heroes have had feet of clay.

<b>That’s apparently another perk of a president. </b>

There is also an apt aphorism " pay peanuts, get monkeys"

<b>Monkeys would be far preferable to the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress. They’d be a lot less expensive, too. But we do have to put up with a lot of monkey behavior, nonetheless. </b>

 

Lausten, this is so simple. I can’t believe you are even asking the question.

Detaining children.

One. Are we a country built on the Rules of Law? Yes or No.

Two. Does America have an open-door policy? Yes or No.

Three. Do we detain people who break the law? Yes or No.

Firing people.

One. Did the people work at the pleasure of the President? Yes or No.

Two. Is it legal for the president to use the people he wants? Yes or No.

Three. Did Comey sign off on the Steele Dossier? Yes or No.

Four. Did Comey know the Steele Dossier was paid for by the DNC and FBI? Yes or No.

Five. Did Comey withhold Dossier information from the FISA court? Yes or No.

Six. Should Comey be investigated for being part of a coup to overthrow the President? Yes or No.

Taking away people’s medical care.

What are you talking about?

Are you saying that people paid for medical care and had it taken away? Yes or No.

I have friends that worked and paid for lifetime medical and then retired and had it taken away by Obama care. Is that what you are talking about?

Whatever you think is justice, apparently I don’t know what that is. Enlighten us.

Simple. You work, you eat. It should not be. I work, you eat and you give me the scraps.