The Minimum-Bribe Act of 2014

Wolf here: Michael Gorback, a Wolf Street contributor, emailed me his comment on Bill Bonner’s article, Is it Time to Invest In Marijuana?, which I’d published here on August 14. Bonner’s article is funny – though it’s also very serious. And Michael is taking the theme (funny and serious) to the next level. So I want to share it:

Bribes, better known as political contributions, are too cheap. I arrived at this counterintuitive realization after reading a piece by Bill Bonner  on a putative attempt to legislatively corner the marijuana market by enacting restrictive licensing such we have for cable companies or cellular networks.

Bonner quotes a proponent of this scheme:

“We have made substantial investments in political contacts”

This says it all. You don’t invest in making a better product or a less expensive product. You invest in buying an unfair advantage. Our politicians are cheaper than CapEx. They can be purchased for a mere fraction of what a Saudi Prince would charge.

We have been looking at the problem of buying favors through the wrong end of the telescope. We’ve focused on limiting bribes, but what we really need to do is price them out of existence. Maybe we should set a minimum bribe that is so high that making a better product or providing a competitive service would be cheaper than paying the bribe.

I therefore propose that all political contributions be set to a minimum of 100% of the book value (or net worth, for an individual) of the donor.

Some may object that it violates the First Amendment. In that case we can just get an Executive Order. By Michael Gorback.

Here’s Bill Bonner’s Is it Time to Invest In Marijuana?

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  4 comments for “The Minimum-Bribe Act of 2014

  1. jim.glau@gmail.com
    Aug 16, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Why does the American voting public continue to contribute to the “parties” and their hand selected candidates? I say take all of that money being wasted and hire some high powered lobbyists and buy the legislation that we want.

    • Aug 16, 2014 at 9:02 am

      As voters, we should get a big discount! Non-voters, foreigners, and corporations would have to pay full-pop retail sticker.

  2. jeb
    Aug 16, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Good stuff! It’s kinda like my plan to get an international law passed requiring that the first two casualties of war be mandated to be the two politicians that sign declarations of war. After all, if it’s alright for other countrymen to die for what the leader of XYZ country believes in, why shouldn’t he be the first to die… after his death, the rest of will go about fighting the war.

    • Orlando
      Aug 16, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      This is brilliant on all sides. Yes mandate ‘full’ cost INDIVIDUAL political contribution and Individual WAR participation. Unfortunately, the people who create these illusions of wealth, can also create scenarios that seriously UNDERSTATE their wealth. So buyer beware. And then of course, there is the all too common debacle of using debt to fund contributions.

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