On Billionaire Politicians

I’m not going to name any names here; you know who you are. And to that I think I can say with 100% certainty you are not reading this. Even if you did, it wouldn’t matter. Anyway this is more to enlighten others watching the gong show that politics has become all over the world.

Exactly how much you are worth and by what means it is measured is irrelevant. You have a lot of money. The amounts most of us can’t even fathom well enough to dream about. And for some reason you wish to spend it running for office. Especially, but not limited to, the office of President of the United States of America.

Why?

One would hope it was because you have a sincere desire to make things better for your fellow citizens. No doubt that is the reason espoused to the public. Maybe you’ve even convinced yourself it is true. But a critical analysis of facts shows that is a lie, and in all likelihood you know it. Really you want that office to feed your own ego; to win against a fellow wealthy competitor. It’s all one big board game to you people, and the pawns are just there to be slaughtered as needed in order to advance your goal of winning.

For one thing, despite the delusion to the contrary held by some of the holders of that esteemed office, the President doesn’t wield that much power. Within the confines of the Constitution, everything he does is kept in check by the Congress and the Supreme Court. The most autonomy he has is with Executive Orders, and they apply only to existing legal structure; they are not decrees from an absolute ruler. They can in fact be overturned by the Supreme Court. It has happened. Real changes are voted on by Congress and signed into law by the President, and still subject to constitutional review by the Supreme Court if a challenge is made. No law is made by the President alone, so he can neither take credit nor blame for such alterations to the legal structure.

This assumes that the government follows the Constitution. If any branch ignores it and the other branches do not act to correct it then that venerable document is in abeyance. If Americans still had to pass civics exams they would know that their basis of all law has been abused many times over the years, and it seems with increasing regularity and seriousness of offence. Some people in office treat their branch as a personal kingdom, and rule it with power that the Constitution does not grant them.

If all you billionaires want is a chance to sit in on this Machiavellian game of liar’s poker then that just proves my point that the government is no longer functioning as it should. The truth is you have more power to affect change from outside office than from within. What would a truly benevolent billionaire do?

Well he wouldn’t donate the occasional truckload of money to some momentarily popular cause to get his name in the news again and try to massage his ego and appease his conscience over the obscene quantity of his wealth. He would do something real, something effective, something lasting. He would stop being a billionaire, in fact.

Look, it is not logistically possible for anyone to earn a billion dollars. It would require you to work all your life at an average wage of $10,000 an hour. No one has that kind of skill set. It isn’t humanly possible to be worth that much. The only ways to acquire that amount of money are either criminal, unethical, or morally wrong. Accept that. Admit it. Move on to being a better person.

In fact I can show you how to have a decent life on a fraction of what you spend now. It’s all a matter of adjusting your priorities and realizing that having lots of stuff isn’t making you happy. Money tied up in wealth is taken away from the economy, and every $1 million you have in your bank puts one family out on the street. The reality is you’re not happy, and you are making others miserable. Somewhere in your subconscious you know this, and the guilt of it is part of what makes you unhappy.

So what should you do? Just give it away? No, because free money causes indolence. Anything not earned has no value. The purpose of charity is to overcome need, not to supplant ethics. But there are things you can do that will help.

Fund the Team. If the stated goal of your political campaign is to take the seat from the opposition, then understand that one office alone does not rule. You can contribute to campaigns all over, helping to unseat not just one incumbent but dozens. Instead of just you as president, you can help put your party in power. After all, you aver that its position on issues is the right one that will help all of society, don’t you? If not, fund a party that will. The whole point of any society is to look after all its members, not just an elite few. Otherwise you don’t really have a society, just a gang taking advantage of all the other people.

Refinance the Programs. As a member of the opposition, you should take the view that budget cuts made by the current administration are wrong as it takes spending priority away from what you feel is needed. You have billions. You can set up trust funds to provide income to keep these devastated departments going despite the lack of government dollars flowing in. One billion dollars can reasonably provide $50,000,000 per year income, and that can save a lot of lives.

Start new Initiatives. You can see what’s wrong, develop private programs to correct it. You can get a lot of help from wealthy celebrities who seem to have plenty of time and money to devote to complaining about social problems but do little to make any real advancement. Again this is because they too do not want to give up their lifestyle of excess. It is a paradox that not only do the extremely poor never miss what they haven’t got, but so the ultra-rich do not fathom how much they have – and can’t imagine being without it. You don’t think so? A recent survey showed a majority of people would rather do without food than Internet access. Think about that. Society’s priorities are terribly skewed, and it affects all income levels.

Sue the Bastards. I mentioned the tendency for Constitutional law to be ignored by those whose purposes it does not suit. Ultimately such illegality has to be challenged in court, and that is expensive. How difficult would it be to hire some young lawyers looking to make a difference to do the research on each violation and present the cases? And if it turns out the Supreme Court is politically corrupted then the evidence can be presented to the public. Elected and appointed officials need the occasional reminder that there are three ways they can lose their jobs, and the third one is the least pleasant.

I know this whole article is nothing more than catharsis for myself as it will be seen by few, ignored by all, and never ever noticed by those who need to have it shoved in their faces repeatedly until they learn the lesson. But then I’m having trouble shaking this latest downside cycle I’m in, and the venting may help. Not you or anyone else, just me. For your sake I’m stopping now before I go into extensive details and start getting really snarky about specific people.

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