Should we be surprised, that despite rhetoric to the contrary (Obama disavows “conflicts of interests”), many of his transition staff have ties to lobbying firms, or were recently lobbyists themselves. That’s the impression I get from a recent NYT headline: In Transition, Tangle of Ties to Lobbying.
The Obama Camp assures the public that the “necessary safeguards” are in place, to prevent conflicts of interest.
When a proposed political solution necessarily favors one individual (or group of individuals) at the expense of another, is this not a conflict of interest? If you raise my taxes, in order to lower my neighbors, aren’t I harmed? If you impose a minimum wage law that keeps the young and inexperienced from gaining employment, do they not suffer at the expense of the tenured workers? If you impose trade restrictions, are consumers not hurt in order to benefit of domestic producers?
The entire game consists of conflicts of interest. The only choice we really have, is how to address them: with violence, or without.
When I was writing in “Nobody” on my ballot, and filling in that circle, I felt a little bit guilty. I don’t know why, I’m pretty staid in my convictions. I knew what I was doing and why I was doing it. I understood the consequences of my actions in the polling booth far better than probably anybody else who set foot in that building, that day. But a lifetime of propaganda to the contrary is hard to overcome.
We’re all supposed to believe that it’s OK to settle disagreements by forcing other people to take it our way, as long as we can get that hallowed 50%+1.