Tuesday, April 27, 2004
One sure sign that powerful interests are pretty happy with our current crop of politicians is that they are spending way more money schmoozing with incumbents than they are trying to get a bunch of new people in office. You can bet that if we had a bunch of independent thinking elected officials who stood up to special interests, that those interests wouldn't waste their time lobbying them but would instead work to unseat them.
Today's Washington Post has an article talking about how lobbying firms are getting bought out by bigger and bigger companies because they have become so profitable. Harris Diamond, a CEO in the lobbying biz says its a "good growth arena." Kenneth Rietz, another CEO, says that "generally speaking, our government-related businesses are more profitable than our other U.S. businesses." Big lobby firms can make a 25% to 50% profit on their work -- tell that to your corner grocer or neighborhood auto mechanic who has to struggle to make a living doing honest work.
Maybe the rest of us should quit our day jobs and just invest in lobbying stock. It might not bring much moral satisfaction at the end of the day or contribute much to society, but that doesn't seem to worry the lobbyists.