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I personally have long been of the view that the desire to hold public office is prima facia evidence of unfitness to do so. Your friend's proposal of sortition is not without merit, but would have to be tempered with some form of qualification of fitness for office lest the upper reaches of the bureaucracy end up running the show (see the BBC television program "Yes Minister" for a comedic take on my point). Like most schemes of political improvement, the chances of this happening are of course nonexistent.

If US politicians were required to publicly report their incomes under the same rules as 16-b executives, more than a few eyebrows would be raised; the security, travel and entertainment expenses for most federal elected officals dwarfs their salaries, as does the net present value of their future memoirs, speaking fees, corporate directorships, lobbying fees, etc. The commentator Glenn Reynolds ("the Instapundit")has proposed an excise tax or blackout period on such future employment earnings as one way to deal with the revolving door in Washington, and I see considerable merit in that idea. Perhaps this, in combination with very substantially higher cash compensation, would improve the quality of the candidates for office.

Good points, Tony. The website for TheCommonLot.com include all such specifics of his proposal, which is rather well thought-out. It posits a totally random lottery of literally all citizens where those "winners" must satisfactorily complete a training program before their term of office. That has its own issues, IMHO, of course.

This is wonderful!! Given what goes on in the 'politico arena', I can't imagine that we actually 'pay' these people in real dollars. Have you ever tried to get the street fixed in front of your house? Have you ever tried to 'reason' with the folks who check your shoes and underwear at the airport? It is shocking that we are able to now only find so many people who not only immediately begin to 'complain and object' about everything but they are actually paid for the damage they do.

A few days ago I went to the 'city animal refuge' (a nice name for the most filthy place you can imagine) to try to get back a friends dog. I came '20 minutes before their lunch break' and they told me, "Policy forbids us to begin a customer experience within 30 minutes of a meal break'. So he and I came back 'after lunch'. Well, while they were on lunch break someone put the poor guy's dog to sleep on us.

The person who 'did the deed' was fresh back from a protest at City Hall where they wanted animal caretakers to be paid the same as the highest paid person in the location.

Political pay???? Hooo-HAAAA

That is too sad and tragic for laughter, on many levels. Please offer your friend our sincere sympathy on losing a loved one, Jay.

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