December 29, 2010

191 words 1 min read

Despots Use Money to Buy Power

humiliation Politicians don’t seek money. They seek power. They use money to acquire power. Once they have the power, money becomes irrelevant.

Did you see how states behaved last summer? The “Race to the Top” is all you need to know about the relationship between government money, power, and degradation.

The Race to the Top education initiative dangled cash in front of states. Most states, including Missouri, bit. They competed against each other for the privilege of surrendering their sovereignty over education to a DoE overlord.

The fiasco reminded me of a submarine patrol. We got underway a day early—before our Sea Store cigarettes arrived. About half the crew smoked. About ten percent brought their own brands, not available through Sea Stores at $3.00 a carton.

Cigarettes became very valuable. Those with cigarettes sometimes degraded those who craved cigarettes. I once saw my Chief Petty Officer perched on a chair barking like a dog for a Benson & Hedges 100.

Secretaries of US Government departments like seeing the states beg and degrade themselves, too. The states that demonstrated the most pathetic, degrading, obsequious groveling got the money. Obama got their school districts.