1. How do we determine they are executing their duties per the agreement? Politicians tend to be a little loose with facts. What control do we get for
The same way we do now. Elections. The difference is that politicans no longer have a financial incentive to stay in the system past the point they
cap out on wealth. Currently, they need to be reelected to stay on the train, and that ultimately sends them to the corporations that will pay
thousands/millions of dollars to get their guy elected. By pricing the corporations out of the game as the primary funders of the system, power goes
back to the people. If my suggestion isn't enough to get the corporations out of the game, then double it. We still get improved legislation and
are individually paying very low amounts of money for that. A $10 increase on our taxes is over a $300 million increase for the corporations to keep
up. It's very easy to simply get them out of the system.
The control we get for those dollars is a very real financial incentive for a politician to get reelected. If it's 12 year terms that means a
Senator who wants to make far more money than he would in the private sector must make his constituents happy for his first 6 years to get reelected.
So a senator is working for us 50% of the time compared to the current 0% of the time. A Representative would need to keep his base happy for 10 out
of 12 years, so he would be working for us at minimum 83% of the time compared to the current 0%. By representing corporations to the detriment of
the people, they would simply get thrown out of office. A psychological factor is at work too, and you can see it in the replies to my thread.
People tend to be more critical of those who make lots of money, which makes them more likely to pay attention to the issues and vote, creating more
participation in the system.
2. I have a hard time accepting they are worth that much. Politicians are already full of themselves. Do we want to acerbate the preponderance
of those weak willed individuals at the helm?
It's not about what they're worth. Most jobs in the country don't pay what they're worth. Some pay too high and others pay too low. Low wages
(and yes, $172,000/year is low compared to the jobs they get when leaving office, lobbyists, and most other positions that involve highly important
material) combined with power leads to corruption. The thing about corruption though, is one needs to pay enough to actually change a persons
lifestyle and justify the risk of taking those bribes and gifts. The risk to a congressman right now is minimal. If they're run out of office,
those same corporations turn around and hire the former congressman and throw in a raise. They're incentivized to take the bribes, and the bribes
cost corporations small amounts of money, because the congressmans wages are so low. They can offer him $300,000 over 10 years, roughly equal to two
years of salary, and have that congressman in their pocket on any issue they want. Would a senator accept a mere $300,000 when that's not even 1
months worth of salary though? How many of those that would, would still accept it if by taking it they're facing the very real prospect of giving
up another $60 million term? For those in their second term, how many would still accept it knowing they're going to hit that wealth cap? When they
hit it, they essentially gained nothing, or if they did gain they're taking a very substantial risk (and I would be in favor of extremely harsh
punishments for going over that cap... on the order of that person and their family never being allowed to make more than minimum wage for the rest of
their life, stripping all assets and possessions from them, as well as a jail sentence)
3. We really do not get better people for better money. That concept has a point of diminishing returns. Look at Wall Street. For more money
all you get are greedier sociopaths. This is service, not a get rich proposition. How do you propose to sell this as a good idea with millions of
Americans out of work and so many kids in poverty? 'Let's give them more and they will start fixing things for reelz!'
You're right, we don't get better people. What we do get however are special interests that can no longer financially compete which by default
makes the people better represented. As for being out of work, people in poverty, and so on. We could fix that easily, it's just not a national
agenda for various reasons. One has no impact on the other. Oddly enough, part of making constituents happy would involve fixing issues like poverty
and joblessness. Once politicians have a financial incentive to make things better for the people vs making them better for the corporations at the
expense of the people, those types of situations would improve.
4. Legally, we have no control over their salary. Congress decides for themselves. They do not listen to us now. Why would they listen to this?
Congress will always vote in congress's own interests. Something like this puts almost all of them in a better financial position both short term
and long term and it's not the sort of thing corporations can fight through lobbying. What are they going to do, offer each senator/rep $70 million
in bribes, kickbacks, and gifts to get them to vote against it? That would cost the corporations 37 billion dollars. Congress would see they get a
huge influx of money by voting for this provision, and put it up for another vote because they're greedy, then they would do it again, and again, and
again, and the congress would catch on quick, before long they would increase their pay which would force the corporations to pay even more money
(it's about a 30:1 effect, for every $1 increase in pay to a congressman it would cost the corporation $30 to match). The corporations would not be
able to stop it through lobbying congress. A bill like this is in congress's interest and against the interest of special interests, which by
default makes it in the interests of we the people, because we're the ones that would be voting them into office.