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Guest Post: Why Things Never Change

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Doug Ross of Director Blue blog,

Historical chart illustrates the biggest problem in America today: Congressional Recidivism

Many fine writers have observed that there exists a de facto Ruling Class in Washington. Once men and women get to Congress, no matter how inept, inane, or diabolical they prove to be, the power of incumbency makes dislodging them akin to prying a Reese's Cup from Michael Moore's pudgy fingers.

An exhaustive study -- "Reelection Rates of Incumbents in the U.S. House" (PDF) -- performed in 2006 illustrates the dramatic changes in reelection rates since America's founding. It aggregates the results of every House election cycle between the years 1790 and 2006.

Over the years, the reelection rate of incumbents has increased steadily, likely the results of pork, quid pro quo funding to campaign contributors, and legislative skulduggery (the McCain-Feingold bill, for instance, could have been called The Incumbent Protection Act):

Until the Woodrow Wilson era, incumbent reelection rates hovered between 70 and 80 percent. Since then, however, massive wealth redistribution programs at the federal level -- the New Deal, the Square Deal, the Fair Deal, Great Society, etc. -- began cementing incumbents in place. Constituents dependent upon federal largesse became permanently addicted to these programs and the incumbents who fueled them.

Had the various branches of government shown fidelity to the Constitution, none of these programs would have come to be.

Term limits are one option to resisting incessant federal power grabs, but so too would be leveling the playing field for challengers.

Only a return to Constitutional government will solve the Congressional Recidivism problem.


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Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:21 | 3318202 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

Term limits. I say one and done.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:33 | 3318229 MrX
Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:04 | 3318300 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

Voting has become utterly useless. The Democrats and Republicans have been co-opted by TPTB and there is only one true agenda, no matter which party is in power. Seriously, how many multi-millionaires are there in the U.S. Congress? And how many have attained that wealth while "serving" their constituents? Do you really think they care one iota for the common man? Do you really believe that they are in Congress for any altruistic and high moral purpose? Do they have courage and honor? Do they have any sentiments of patriotism? Realistically, the fact is that the political elites have only their own self interest to pursue and they do not give a damn about you or I.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:26 | 3318344 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture


OT a little...

Want a good laugh? This should give you all the hilarity you can stand for one evening...


Mon, 03/11/2013 - 05:34 | 3318673 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

the evidence of the graph shown doesn't look (to me) like one state before w. wilson (fascist tool) and another after.  it looks like a decline from an early (1790-1810) state of incumbent reelection like current rates to a low in 1873-1893 followed by a rise to current levels.  

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 05:54 | 3318682 Acet
Acet's picture

The assumption that this is mostly due to patronage is misguided.

It's mostly due to Gerrymandering: the redrawing of electoral districts to make them safe seats.

Gerrymandering has been made easier in modern times thanks to computers and databases of socio-economical status, voting preferences and registered voters. Why do you think the majority of electoral districts in the US have shapes which ressemble abstract works of art, which such shapes that they bring together distant yet similar neighbourhoods while avoiding other areas on the way?

That politicians get to draw their own electoral districts in most states is maybe the single biggest failure of the US voting system (which is probably why the original poster didn't mention it).

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 06:31 | 3318705 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Gerrymandering - Just look at what the California expats did to Colorado.


Colorado - Turn in your shotguns and defend yourself with an extra sharp No. 2 pencil.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 07:01 | 3318745 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

and gerrymandering has it's own political poison: because the Republican party is generally more fragmented in purpose, it profits more from gerrymandering, which leads it to pursuit defend it more strongly

the net effect is that any split or any new party rising is made more unlikely, in the short term

in the long term, it weakens the legitimacy of both major US parties, two rotten beams holding the roof

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 01:33 | 3318568 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

A few do; it's up to us to find more like them. 

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 05:36 | 3318651 Anasteus
Anasteus's picture

Voting itself is a great prerogative of the democratic system. Voting within the double-jester paradigm has become utterly useless yet nearly everyone is still supporting it. Voting for a third party is almost beyond comprehension of average American, even of most intellectually capable people, which is perfectly normal in many European countries. No wonder that America is led by corrupt traitors who are just submissively following the donor's agenda. If people don't care or are not willing to face the trivial truth they don't deserve liberty. So far so good.

Not the voting system itself but the inability or disinterest of Americans to treat it properly and responsibly is what makes America a degenerating society.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 07:05 | 3318749 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

 why is it so? is it inability or disinterest? or is it just the effect of endless propaganda?

I find in discussions here in ZH a generally quite low level of interest on how constitutions and nations work in general, coupled with an understanding that the US constitution is somewhat the pinnacle of creation - without realization that it's a quite old model among others

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 08:31 | 3318828 Anasteus
Anasteus's picture

It's inability of many as well as disinterest of many. And, of course, the endless propaganda takes part. But it seems history has little understanding for any sort of logical reasoning or explanation why it is so. We were given brain, will, ethical perception and ability to act in order to effectively resist the propaganda. Most take liberty rights for granted but they aren't. It took wars and a lot of struggle to win through.

The US constitution is perhaps one of the best ever written. The ideas mentioned out there emphasize freedom, equality and the same opportunities for all members of the US society. I don't understand what can be old in such a model; it's an ideal, a key societal attitude upon which the society was built. And that's why America is/was so attractive and successful. In fact, I rather see those allegedly new concepts being promoted these days the very old collectivist and monarchical relics hidden in deceptive modern clothing.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 08:31 | 3318862 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

perhaps it's one of the best ever written, but may I point out that it allows for the election of one man that holds the whole immense power of what Americans call Administration (and we europeans call government)? even the Romans felt that you need at least two in that position

further, it has no more advanced voting systems than the very, very, old one of first-round-the-post and no provisions against gerrymandering

and don't forget that as a constitution it was designed at a time where the single states had their own militias, collected most taxes and were way more powerful than today, particularly after the amendments of 1913

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 08:42 | 3318883 Bob
Bob's picture

Odd that the rest of the world is so thrilled to copy most of our ways of life, but our constitution has so few interested in imitation:

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 09:26 | 3318994 robobbob
robobbob's picture

Calling the constitution "old" so as to infer that it is obsolete is akin to calling trigonometry antiquated. Particular applications and techniques may change, but certain principles transcend age.

"One Man" is not the problem. it is a symptom. Just as the other things you mention. The constitution must be taken in its entirety to function. The "one man" was to be balanced against the checks and balance system of the legislature and the judicial, and the individual States. At its height, the system worked very well. At this point, all of them can be considered compromised.

The constitution has provisions for changes for what society considered fundamental and critical issues, to be carried out only after careful and protracted reflection. Instead much past hundred years has been the abandonment, distortion, and end running, of the many subtle but important features that made the Con function reasonably well.

The failures of today are not the failures of the Constitution, it is the failure of politicians and special interests to adhere to it, and the failure of the electorate to demand its implementation.


Mon, 03/11/2013 - 10:26 | 3319141 Anasteus
Anasteus's picture

Ok, I got the point. As regards the one man's show model, you're perhaps right.

But... the problem goes deeper. Even this wouldn't guarantee anything. If the parties that should normally control each other (and thus balance the concentration of power) unite upon a hidden agreement of common crony interests fueled by donor's money, every constitution would turn out to be a shred of paper. The problem is the lack of constitutional spirit presented by both the American leaders and the citizens. The leaders have no problems to be, step by step, screwing the constitution and the citizens don't care. It seems that both sides have no problem to give up the rights in exchange for seemingly comfortable life and materialistic way of living... until there is neither comfortable life nor liberty rights.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 09:34 | 3319012 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Don't get Chris Matthews started on 3rd Parties:

Not the voting system itself but the inability or disinterest of Americans to treat it properly and responsibly is what makes America a degenerating society.

This.  So this.  You win the internet for a day.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:59 | 3318283 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Only those who don't want to be elected can run for office.

And ban all political parties.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:30 | 3318516 Future Jim
Future Jim's picture


Mon, 03/11/2013 - 07:07 | 3318752 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Grillo in Italy is trying: movements like his don't have a party structure, just an... internet blog

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:46 | 3318377 holdbuysell
holdbuysell's picture

Agreed. To go a further, set the term appropriately. Give both houses' members a 1-2 year period to learn the job, then give them 2 more years to really contribute. That would put the term for both houses at ~4 years.

Stagger the terms appropriately so that there's always continuity in knowledge/know-how.

Thus, beginning with the end in mind: create a system where continuity of knowledge is ensured and maximum contribution capabilitiy is achieved without tipping into a 'gaming the system' death spiral.

Not perfect, but it's a start.

Of course, this would have the same effect of destroying a horcrux in the eyes of Wall Street and Big Business.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 07:04 | 3318748 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

The neighbor's kid says he wants to go into gubbermint work. Asked why he says,"then I never have to work again, can never be fired and I'll get lifetime health benefits and a fat pension."


Our country's problem is more then economic; it has deep-rooted cultural and political problems.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:41 | 3318529 Mike in GA
Mike in GA's picture

To heck with term limits. Lamp posts. 

One and done.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 03:48 | 3318622 Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

naaah one isn't enough, they should get one in congress and one in prison.

but seriously, we need to repeal the 17th amendment and restore the selection of senators to their respective state legislative bodies instead of the currennt regime, which amounts to six year term popularly elected representatives.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 02:13 | 3318581 ACP
ACP's picture

Fundamentally, I agree, but the Republicrats will find a way around it.

Putin already has, and never left office after assuming it in 2000.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 06:26 | 3318710 I need more cowbell
I need more cowbell's picture

This article doesn't address the real issue at all; they are all sock puppets. The invisible hand, the ones who control everything ( congress, media, schools, commerce etc ) have no limits term or otherwise. Until the proles rise up, nothing will change.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 08:03 | 3318812 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

I say they get two terms. One in office and one in prison.


Mon, 03/11/2013 - 17:35 | 3320710 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

"Term limits. I say one and done."

Yes, and no benefits that add up to more than 50% of Americans (choose your own figure) get in private sector. They pay for their own healthcare 100%. Since the average wage is so low now, probably less than$10 per hour, that ought to make "pubic service" less attractive. A shot to the head if they try to sneak back in.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:27 | 3318210 The Heart
The Heart's picture

Cycles. We are stuck in the endless paradigm of cycles and too collectively dumbed down to be adventurous enough to quest for real change. Welcome to the TV mind-control generation where it is easier to be lacktoast, than to be a pioneer of real changes for the greater of the whole.

Now hear this!

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:27 | 3318213 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

 Parole Board chairman: They've got a name for people like you H.I. That name is called "recidivism."
Parole Board member: Repeat offender!
Parole Board chairman: Not a pretty name, is it H.I.?
H.I.: No, sir. That's one bonehead name, but that ain't me any more.
Parole Board chairman: You're not just telling us what we want to hear?
H.I.: No, sir, no way.
Parole Board member: 'Cause we just want to hear the truth.
H.I.: Well, then I guess I am telling you what you want to hear.
Parole Board chairman: Boy, didn't we just tell you not to do that?
H.I.: Yes, sir.
Parole Board chairman: Okay, then.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:38 | 3318238 Manipuflation
Manipuflation's picture

Francis, you may want to check out my new scope.

I like to keep an eye on things on behalf of my neighbors.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:18 | 3318326 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

I hope you are ranked sharpshooter or better. I don't want to end up listed as collateral damage on the incident report.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:29 | 3318219 Bear
Bear's picture

The only answer ... "The Sum of All Fears"

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:50 | 3318266 Clark Griswold
Clark Griswold's picture

I am with you Bear.....blow it up.



Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:41 | 3318310 PLira
PLira's picture


Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:13 | 3318494 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

I think you are thinking of the Clancy novel where the Japanese pilot dives his jumbo jet into the ongoing state of the union speech, making Jack Ryan president, and deleting all branches of govt....except the fourth branch, the gigantic unfirable administrative state. The sum of all fears just puts an Islamic bomb into the Super Bowl, which does not get the president, nor shorten many terms in incumbentistan, which seems to be what we are on about. Note we speak here of the books, not the movie, and also of a book published well before 9-11 as to the use of commercial jets for mass murder.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:30 | 3318220 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

American people can be convinced to vote these funking wankers back into office time after time after time! CLearly the American people are stupid! How else can you explain them voting for proven crooks, liars and war mongering assholes!

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:41 | 3318244 monad
monad's picture

Election fraud and happy birthday Citizen Murdoch.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:09 | 3318309 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

Jack, you explain it by voter fraud. Do you really think when everything else is built on fraud, the voting process is legit?

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:20 | 3318508 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

What part of it don't you understand? They show up to vote, they cast their ballots. They play the game. They go along with it no matter who wins. They really are THAT stupid. Did you see the DNC and RNC? Those are real human beings. There are millions of them. The fact that they don't think like you and don't agree with you doesn't mean they don't exist.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 04:55 | 3318652 e-recep
e-recep's picture

i don't get why we ought to expect EXCELLENT governence by people who were elected to office by DUMB and IGNORANT voters. something is very flawed with this thing we call democracy.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:30 | 3318221 Intelligence_In...
Intelligence_Insulter's picture

It's past time we throw out the incumbents.  We need real capitalist with morals based off of judao christian values that understand the importance of property rights.  Time to take out the trash.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:35 | 3318233 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

What about the evil episcopalians?

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:37 | 3318239 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture


"Parasitism is a non-mutual relationship between organisms of different species where one organism, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the other, the host...Parasites increase their fitness by exploiting hosts for resources necessary for their survival."

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:40 | 3318241 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

aka: 'Virus'

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:42 | 3318372 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

One of the coolest parasites.

The role of government played by the fungus and the ants, well, they are played by collectivist humans.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:38 | 3318525 formadesika3
formadesika3's picture

There's a fungus among us.

It's called teachers unions. It will destroy itself soon enough once its school district hosts are all dead.

Then the cycle will repeat.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:09 | 3318489 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

But first we need to kill property rights and then give everyone a fair chance at their share under a fair system.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:35 | 3318231 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

This will end badly. Very few will willingly give up power.

<You'll have to pry my Congressional seat from my cold dead fingers.>

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 23:19 | 3318433 Mike7.62
Mike7.62's picture

This will end badly. Very few will willingly give up power.

<You'll have to pry my Congressional seat from my cold dead fingers.>


Works for me.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:33 | 3318232 nmewn
nmewn's picture


Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:36 | 3318235 Intelligence_In...
Intelligence_Insulter's picture


Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:42 | 3318247 nmewn
nmewn's picture


Anyone catch the "80% recidivism rate" for government educated NYC kids before being accepted into a community college? 

Oh this is going just splendidly.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:49 | 3318263 Intelligence_In...
Intelligence_Insulter's picture

Accepted into a community college? You mean their checks clear? Ok, not to worry nmewn, obama has a solution for that.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:59 | 3318287 nmewn
nmewn's picture


This calls for still more "government investment"...its for the chiiiiiildren dontcha know...and who could possibly be against educating children? That would be almost criminal!!! Why...its right up there with keeping them safe from murderous, right-wing gun toters who want to steal their school lunches!!!

Anyways...linking my leftist friends will actually TRY and read it, if they're older than 40 and didn't graduate from NYC public schools of course ;-)

Shocker: 80% of NYC graduates unable to read

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:55 | 3318391 Intelligence_In...
Intelligence_Insulter's picture

Don't knock free lunches man, I got it all through highschool, filled out the application form myself and never told my parents. So not only did I get free lunch every day, I also got lunch money.    You should have seen the application form I filled out, talk about gov bureaucracy, no way a human approved it unless they were laughing their ass off.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:26 | 3318512 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Priorities man, priorities! We have more important things to worry about like banning large soft-drinks and styrofoam containers. Besides, I'm sure the teacher's unions are on top of it.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 06:41 | 3318725 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Thats right, Bloombergs got em right where he wants em, fat & stupid.

I fully expect some asinine edict from him mandating Tuesday & Thursday jogging and what color kicks to buy when doing it...and they will comply ;-)

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:44 | 3318253 Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

***Since then, however, massive wealth redistribution programs at the federal level -- the New Deal, the Square Deal, the Fair Deal, Great Society, etc. -- began cementing incumbents in place.***

I won't argue with you facts, but I will argue with your conclusions. It's not the New Deal, etc. that cemented incumbents, but rather the multinational corporations and their money and lobbyists that have done so. Since Woodrow Wilson, it is the power of corporate money that is keeping these corporate toadies in Congress.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:30 | 3318354 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Without governments there wouldn't be incumbents beholden to corporations.

It is in the nature of most people to give government a pass even though it is actually the root cause.


Mon, 03/11/2013 - 04:43 | 3318644 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

Where the hell does the money to reward crony capitalists (and crony citizenry) come from but the budget!?

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:45 | 3318256 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Hangings would go a long way towards reducing recidivism........

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:54 | 3318275 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Are you talking about our hangings or theirs? Because it appears that short of a revolution the probability of their hangings is significantly less than ours.

<What if they televised the revolution and no one came, preferring the better camera angles and play by play commentary offered on TV?>

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:08 | 3318307 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

I'm revolting...........Are you?

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:19 | 3318329 The Heart
Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:59 | 3318281 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Reagan proved that deficits dont matter
Bush proved that foreign policy mistakes don't matter either

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 04:40 | 3318643 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

... and Obama proved (and Hilary confirmed) that nothing matters.
Throw them all out.
A libertarian for president!

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:00 | 3318289 just a dude
just a dude's picture

Since Woodrow Wilson, aka the advent of the Federal Reserve.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:17 | 3318501 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

WW was a statist, explicitly opposed to the Constitution. He wrote a thick time about his ideals called "The State" if memory serves. An academic. Remind you of anyone?

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:00 | 3318290 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

The dynamics which led us to this place are simple,
and the only palatable solutions are simple, too.

Assuming there is not the collective desire to redefine the mission...

those in control who do not care about the mission need to be escorted out to pasture.

This saturation of pathologically Self-Absorbed persons in leadership roles was to be expected.
Left unchecked, that's the way it goes.  Shame on us.

Regarding the mission, they do not have the wherewithal to understand that they are standing in the way.
Particularly when the going gets tough, they are consumed by entitlement, hang on each other and their sycophants for validation and to temper their fear...
and as little boys, they are now quite frustrated that noboby outside their pathetic circle likes them.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:06 | 3318303 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

Abolish voting machines, go back to paper ballots and carefully screen those that count the ballots.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 03:45 | 3318623 Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

couldn't agree more.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:15 | 3318323 surf0766
surf0766's picture

Stay awake

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:19 | 3318328 bilbert
bilbert's picture


You're telling me that Maxine Waters is still with us NOT because of her sterling intellect, but BECAUSE of her incumbency??

Good luck getting anyone to believe that!!



Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:23 | 3318338 Catullus
Catullus's picture

I bet if you compared the incumbency rate of the US to the former Soviet Union, you'd find the US has a higher one.

You can look back at the data and try to draw some conclusions as to why this is the case, but it's actually just voter theorem playing itself out. The incumbent wins more often than not because what is the choice the voter can make? You can go with the evil you know versus someone who tells you what exactly? They would have done a better job (the Monday morning quarterbacking) or that they're going to do a better job (but have no record to back it up). Ask people why they voted for Obama this past election. It usually goes something like "He hasn't done a horrible job. And I'm not convinced Mitt Romney would have been any better." and that's really the point of these re-election campaigns: just play to a tie and as the incumbent, you win.

BTW, term limits solve nothing. They just make the politicians even MORE short-termist. You get no credit for making good on someone else's promises. You have to write your owns laws or start your own department or your own war or your own social welfare program. Obamacare? Fuvk that, let's tweak it and make it Republicare.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:17 | 3318495 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

"You get no credit for making good on someone else's promises"

That's the whole point of term limits. Service to the people should not be done so that you can get credit for it. That is what career politicians are worried about and what is wrong with the current paradigm. It's more about fame and wealth than pointing the country in the right direction.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 03:54 | 3318628 Catullus
Catullus's picture

And none of that changes with a term limit. You just shrink the window of time for a politician to achieve fame and wealth. In this regard, a term limit would only make the situation worse.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 22:28 | 3318349 masaccio
masaccio's picture

Correlation is so causation.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:39 | 3318522 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Ugh. Causation is so pre-Lehman! Where have you been the lafood our and a half years?

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 23:05 | 3318412 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

Fed and a fractional reserve fiat based monetary system give ample money for a politician to pay for his promises.

Electorate will always vote itself a free lunch.

Politician gets re elected as long as he can pay for his promises.

Politician becomes established, and becomes a magnet for corporate influence money.

The politican gets rich thanks to his corporate "sponsors" , and the corporations get favorable laws in return  to allow them to get richer.

Voila! Facism. Not so difficult to understand.


Lessson: It's not about getting term limits. That is like violating the first law of thermodynamics. You have to find a way to shut off the money from the  3 F's:  Fiat, FED, and Fractional reserve.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:16 | 3318498 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

You can't get the 3 F's gone until you get rid of career politicians. Ultimately it is the 3F's that get them elected.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 23:07 | 3318416 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

As I see it, term limits are another chasing of symptoms rather than causes. I also worry that it seems a big problem we have is a lack of choices to vote for and I blame the political party machines that attempt to preselect our candidates. Term limits would put even more power in the hands of the "deciders" as these relative invisible men behind the curtain still make all the choices. I think the real problem is lack of choice, and political machines that are not interested in a debate of ideas but only personal destruction.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:18 | 3318499 shinobi-7
shinobi-7's picture

Yes but the only, "not so small" obstacle to reform is that those in charge and who benefit from the system must vote themselves out of it (by changing laws in the US). It simply cannot happen. We have the same problem with non elected public servants in Japan. They spend a lifetime to reach the top and once there, at last enjoy the fruits of their labor. What is the chance that these people will change the system at that stage?

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:38 | 3318521 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Talk about rearranging the deck-chairs. Elect horseshit "representatives" then whine when they stick around. Yes, if only we could increase the turnover rate of our abominable elected officials. Then they'd have even less of an incentive to plan for the future (something the government can never do efficiently, no ifs, ands, or buts).

Stop electing morons, thieves, liars, crooks, cronies, etc. If you think they're all elected by fraud, stop tolerating fraudelent elections. It doesn't matter. The whole thing is a sideshow and always was. If a great proportion of the people are willing to tolerate or even encourage a bad government, then a bad government ye shall have, democratic or otherwise. Democracy just legitimizes it, and removes some of the truth of the objection that "the people" lack political power.

Do we have a democracy? Do the people really have power? Should they? If not, why not. If the people can let the democratic republic practically handed to them on a silver platter be so completely perverted and destroyed, why should you or I trust them to better next time, or ever?

Why should we strive for a system that has already failed us, or that has already been failed by us?

Who wants to rule? Who will run for office? Why should we believe that such people will be good leaders, simply because they volunteer for it? 

The problem is less the leaders than the followers, as usual.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:44 | 3318532 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

We are not supposed to be a democracy. The word does not appear in the founding documents, for the very good reasons the founders had for limiting the democratic nature of the republic they created. Democracies always become tyrannical and always collapse.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 01:09 | 3318552 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Ya. What the hell good is a constitution without a government. Why not make our own with the same constitution. Have those crooks arrested. Or rather have the military do it.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 01:32 | 3318566 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

Term limits, for both elected officials and government employees, would seem to be prudent.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 01:32 | 3318567 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

Term limits, for both elected officials and government employees, would seem to be prudent.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 05:01 | 3318654 Mr. Hudson
Mr. Hudson's picture

The two party system is a bigger culprit than the lack of having term limits. We should have a thousand different parties (wouldn't that be a lobbyist's nightmare?), or have no parties at all. Both the Republican and Democrat Parties are completely controlled by lobbyists, so, those who are elected, either must do what they are told to do, or run the risk of not being re-elected.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 06:29 | 3318711 smacker
smacker's picture

Sadly, this phenomena is not unique to America.


In the UK, both major parties -- the socialist Labour Party is by far the worst -- have been pouring largesse into the pockets of constituents for decades. New lines of welfare, more spending on the State health system (NHS), more on this, more on that, tax-breaks for focused groups etc etc. It's no wonder State spending is out of control and cannot be brought down without serious cutbacks & losses at the polls by the same old same old cronies.

The political parties deny it to a person, but the real reason for this is not to improve "fairness" "justice" "equality" as they'd have us believe. It's for two and only two reasons: to buy votes and to justify increases in State power/control. At the expense of taxpayers' money and freedoms.

And you will rarely find a single British politician who ever uses the term "taxpayers money" when talking about spending money on this or that. Their preferred term is "public money" because it conveys the idea to punters that once money is taken thru taxation, the money then becomes the property of The State and thus is now public money for them to spend as they see fit. THEY do not see themselves as guardians of taxpayers money to spend wisely and carefully, and WE the voter are not supposed to question any of this.

Once entrenched, there is no way out of socialism without economic/societal collapse and/or revolution. Because when people vote to get rid of socialism they’re always outnumbered by those in receipt of the State’s largesse, who want ever more socialism.

That is how socialism operates.


Mon, 03/11/2013 - 06:33 | 3318716 e-recep
e-recep's picture

off-topic, but can't resist.

Look ma, al-Qaeda is actually a subdivision of CIA.

Karzai accuses U.S. of collaborating with Taliban




Mon, 03/11/2013 - 07:22 | 3318759 falak pema
falak pema's picture

the hyper corrupt warlord Pax Americana shill is getting cold feet as USA now bypasses him?

The horse tells his jockey what is what? 

Lol, the kettle is telling pot you are as black as that smoke coming out of the Vatican! 

Talibans are just fabricated sons of that is like belling the cat! If you want to squash that you have to go to Riyadh and start reneging the deal, right in heart of hearts of the great handshake of FDR days; become petrodollar nirvana.

Ouch, those oil pangs are so belly churning for first world, "I'll do anything to keep that pipe line flowing, even sleep with the devil or Allah's Kaba protector!" 


Mon, 03/11/2013 - 07:44 | 3318785 Catullus
Catullus's picture

The Taliban is not al Qaeda.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 07:11 | 3318754 falak pema
falak pema's picture

wake up people of USA and become responsible citizens; as the greatest democracy its time to take action and election new blood outisde the mainstream of Dem/REP crony combines. Its the people that define the Republic via democratic actions at the ballot pole booth. Vote out these shills by creating a true popular groundswell. 

Responsible government and balanced budgetry action with entrepreneurial civil society freedom under a regulated economy that is voted into law after debate and definition of paradigm change, societal direction. Open society and transparent action. Justice and living memory, sanctions and reset; not hanky panky behind the curtain to appease corpo lobby shills on Capitol Hill. 

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 07:26 | 3318761 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Trying to guess the timing of the mkt I see. Don't hold your breath.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 09:06 | 3318948 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

What, no gerrymandering??

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 09:45 | 3319041 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

If we had a free press re-election rates would be about 5% today.



Mon, 03/11/2013 - 10:48 | 3319210 Vooter
Vooter's picture

Don't vote, do whatever you want, and then laugh when the place becomes ungovernable...

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 10:52 | 3319214 moneybots
moneybots's picture

It is really laughable that people had such a low approval of congress before the election, then voted those wsame people back into office, so they could maintain their low approval of congress.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 11:54 | 3319326 Ckierst1
Ckierst1's picture

I suppose it is only a coincidence that the inflection point of the visually smoothed trend of the curve is focused on the War to Prevent Southern Independence, which, as everyone knows, was actually fought to free the slaves (sarc - or enlarge the pool of potential slaves of the elites).  It is also interesting to note that, despite the inflection point, the absolute lowest incumbency rate occurs during the grand corruption of the RE-CONstruction.  Clearly, there have been plenty of "keepers" since that time.  Come to think of it, I'd like to strip some from that crowd for "wall-hangers".

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 12:20 | 3319442 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Let me guess, you have never done anything resembling quantitative analysis....

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