Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Political Jobs for Life

From Opinion Journal's Poltical Diary (link requires subscription):

Somewhere around the 1930s a not so subtle shift began in the character of the typical elected office holder. The growing power of the legislative officeholder and the resulting prospects for personal advancement turned a short-term
altruistic contribution to society into a long-term political career opportunity. Hanging on to a political office gradually became a more important incentive in itself... The twin shocks of the Great Depression and WWII launched an expanded federal, state, and local government involvement in society that went from less than 5% of GDP to something like the current 35%. The power of the elected legislators grew proportionately. The fallout, thus far, has been bad and it is likely to get worse. Since getting re-elected is now a do or die situation for ones political career, the Professional Political Class have tried to stack the election process in favor of incumbents. And they have pretty well succeeded. About 98% of incumbents are re-elected when they stand for office.
That's why I reluctantly support term limits.


Blogger Lance Christensen said...

Unfortunately, term limits have only exacerbated the problem within the capitol domes. Elected officials who are life-long politicos now are more willing to hop from one office to another, they limit their vision to 18 months down the line before the next campaign and they leave a career staff in the building to do the real and lasting damage. We don't need term limits, we need a part time government. When the government is the sole source of income for a thrid of the electorate, we can correctly identify who wants their job more. 

Posted by Lance Christensen

Friday, March 17, 2006 10:15:00 PM  

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