Complaining about politics is a pastime as old as talking about the weather, but all the complaining has gotten louder these days. The reasons are countless: wars abroad, financial crises, corporate bailouts, high unemployment, health care reform, Social Security woes, and the list goes on. Many a politician has won political office by promising to break down partisanship to reach compromises and get things done, but these promises are all too often broken. Why, and how do we change things? Simple. Money works great in marketplaces, but not in politics, where objectivity, fairness, and the will of the people ought to be the guiding forces.
So, here is the 5-step plan to fix politics:
- Pay all members of Congress the same–twice the income of the average American. High enough to reward them. Low enough to create the right incentives for seeking office. Importantly, a direct linkage between the average American and those who govern.
- Prohibit politicians from “retiring” to become highly paid private sector employees because of their time in office.
- Outlaw lobbyists, period.
- Fund political campaigns 100% from government revenues, and ensure that all candidates get the same amount of money.
- Punish political corruption with mandatory jail time.