Sunday, 16 April 2017

"How Dave's chums are lining their porky pockets"

The Daily Mail does what appears to be a bit of original research for once:

Set in 20 acres of Florida’s ocean-front splendour and with the best suites costing from £6,000-a-night, the Fontainebleau Hotel is in area of Miami Beach known vulgarly as Millionaires’ Row.

This week, one of its guests has been David Cameron, on the latest stop of his post-Downing Street money-making career. He was a star turn at the annual Credit Suisse Global Trading Forum where business leaders discussed ways to enrich themselves and others in the world of finance. His fee was around £100,000.

Next month, the former PM (who quit as an MP very soon after his humiliating EU referendum defeat and thus is no longer obliged by parliamentary rules to declare his earnings) will speak at a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas.

Cameron isn’t the only one cashing in on his six years in Downing Street. His closest former advisers and friends — most of whom he rewarded with gongs and titles — are also lining their pockets in a way that tarnishes public trust in the political system...

The article then runs through a list of all the lucrative stuff which some of his other ex-Number 10 people are now doing, well worth a read just to get your blood boiling.

Maybe I spend too much time railing against certain specific categories of rent seeking, i.e. tax avoidance by landowners and homeowners (in their capacity as landowners; most of them are also workers and thus paying too much tax on their earnings and spending) and the obscene salaries of senior banking employees who piggy-back the landownership system (and enjoy other state-backed privileges and subsidies).

The type of genteel corruption outlined into the article is another symptom of the same thing. Underlying both is the fact that a stable society/nation state with peace and order within its own borders (the more so if it is at peace with its neighbours) enables people to generates far more wealth that they could in some sort of "anarcho-capitalist" system (whatever that is).

Few people are actually worse off for the existence of nation-state, but the extra wealth i.e. rent belongs to everybody and nobody, no identifiable individual created it, so that is what is up for grabs and should be the primary source of government funding, not the primary source of ex-government employees lining their own pockets.

For a nation-state you need overarching common rules and public bodies to enforce them, they usually accrue far too much influence and their budgets swell accordingly. Even the smallest, most streamlined government will need to buy stuff from the private sector, and given the billions at their disposal, it's hardly any wonder that the providers like to bribe those responsible for dishing out the subsidies and enforcing 'standards' which operate as barriers to entry.

So you can never eliminate it, all you can do is keep it to a minimum (taxing land values is administratively easy, keeping the government streamlined is a constant battle and how you police millions of public sector workers even in a streamlined government, I do not know).

The examples in the article show quite clearly that the UK is doing no such thing.

That seems to be the whole point of getting elected or being promoted to a senior public sector job nowadays, for the goodies you can collect afterwards from the people you did favours for while in office (or even while you are in office, see also from the Daily Mail: The 539 town hall fat cats who rake in MORE than the Prime Minister).


Lola said...

The history of mankind is the continual struggle of the common man to get out from under each successive 'extractive class'. In the ME is was the Catholic Church. Nowadays it is the globalists and the huge bureaucracy that serves them well.

IMHO I think that Brexit and Trump are inchoate screams by the Common Man about exactly this.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, showing how successfully the 1% misdirected anger.

A K Haart said...

A fine post. I agree with Lola, but will we hear more inchoate screams?

Lola said...

Mw et al. Serendipity strikes again. Another opportunity presents itself. Where is the YPP going to field candidates?

Mark Wadsworth said...

AKH, ta, we will, and they will be directed away from the culprits to the easier targets.

L, I'll email round. TBH said he'll stand where we live (instead of always me, for a change).