For a Cash Free Politics

The problem is corruption. In Holland we see one minister after another pushing the interests of the fossil industry, only to reverse course after they lose power. Leaders of parties land attractive jobs after their tenure and promote gas or nuclear or airtravel or some other fossil intensive activity. It is “pay later corruption” (as explained by Herman Scheer below) where people with influence get hired to speak for exorbitant amounts. It happens all over the world.

His talk with Democracy Now is worth a listen

We need to get money out of politics. Profit, in many cases is bad, especially when it incentivises wastefull use of energy. In politics time and again we see the abuse of power because politicians can gain money now or later, take from cashflows they have access to. Our democratic leaders should be entirely cashless and maybe be income restricted for the rest of their lives. They are leaders of the dutch population, not hobbyists or creatives invited to have entertaining ideas. We seem to have forgotten that leaders are there to protect us, why else would we hand control over our lives to them?

Governments like that of the US but also of Holland have become completely corrupt. You don’t even have to see money end up in the hands of politicians, it is simply that money dictates policy. Police find they don’t have enough cash to deal with crime because they are not supported, meanwhile the ING bank is laundering billions in drug money for drugs traded in Amsterdam and gets away with a fine. It’s perfectly clear why (according to the minister of justice) “politics” meaning his corrupt party “has been sleeping for 10 years”. As long as we don’t wonder why these representatives move around at banks (one former prime minister, one minister of finance) and energy companies (one party leader) we are not awake.

Now with the salaries and “waiting salaries” for members of parliament that are waiting for something (they still get payed) some politicians have to be exposed to get double income they don’t need. The atmosphere is “who makes the most money” and at the same time the right wing unegalitarian policies create a big pool of corruptable people. This pushes us all into what we think is the universal cause of destruction of civilizations : everyone becomes corruptable, every action and object becomes for sale. Nobody moves anymore unless they are payed. The internal motivation is replace by indignation that one is not getting payed enough to have the same.

The solution is that anyone choosing to become a member of government is also choosing to earn a specific amount annually for the rest of their lives. Total net worth can not rise above a certain level at any time or it will be taxed away. Simply said if there is a reward for being in power, that reward is owed to the voters who granted the politician that power. Its not to say a person needs to live in poverty, but certainly the goal is to make it impossible for extraneous (corrupting) incentives to work. To become a leader you have to put others above yourself, and you can’t do that if you are trying to find the most lucrative job. Our parliament has at least 3 members who are there by lying and misrepresenting and saying what their (industrial) sponsors want them to say. They make a nice buck doing it.

The left wing party lobbied for more cash for assistants to MPs, that makes a lot of sense, and it means you produce/vet/develop your knowledge “in house” instead of getting it offered by industry to adopt in return for future speaking jobs. We want to see more moves towards demonlishing the value of being a MP, more limits to mobility between industry and politics (which have been put in place). Everyone knows what the problem is. Sad thing though is that its likely the right wing parties would completely evaporate. But the goal is that leaders work for an ideology (which implise reward for all), not only for own reward!

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