Friday, December 17, 2010

What is the Difference?

With all of the talk about political corruption in Afghanistan I have to ask, how is that any different than the United States?

Many wealthy people donate large amounts of money to political campaigns. Similarly companies and associations have massive lobbying efforts. The difference seems to me that we have laws that restrict and direct the money that any one person can give directly to any politician. However, there is no rule about Company X giving money to charitable or other organization Y run or managed or sincere to politician Z. It buys time for X with Z.

Time is what becomes really important. There is more money in the world than can be used by any one person, but each person only has so much time in life. Dare I say that when it comes to politics a politician's spouse might be the most influential person for that politician. It would be in large part because of the time spent with each other and the trust between the two. The point being that buying time with the people who make decisions that affect you is in your best interests. We do it one way in the United States and they do it differently in Afghanistan. The result appears the same. Sometimes it takes people in other countries to point out facts about us. A fun article about the not-so-rich top 2% middle class. Now I've just been reading too much about taxes and it's late at night...

(Anyway, I was trying to find an article about what I saw on NBC nightly news a few nights ago that 37% of the tax relief of the 2010 tax stimulus bill was going to the top 3% of earners. Yes other money like unemployment goes to those that aren't earning, but for the actual "tax cuts" it was 37%. I couldn't find it, and since I can't cite it I won't say it. Hopefully some professional news agency more diligent than I will find the info and promote it so that I understand what just happened.)

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