Rent-Seekers Seek Where the Money Is

by Don Boudreaux on October 20, 2009

in Politics, Religion

Here’s a letter that I sent back in June to the Washington Post:

Google CEO Eric Schmidt should not be surprised that Google’s market success “has competitors sharpening their lobbying efforts” (“Tech Titans’ Ties to Washington Grow Closer – and More Complicated,” June 4).

Mr. Schmidt’s father, the late Wilson Schmidt, was on the economics faculty at Virginia Tech many years ago when that university was home to the Center for Study of Public Choice – a group of scholars whose research shows that government serves well-funded and well-organized lobbies far more readily than it serves the public good. That the elder Mr. Schmidt was instrumental in furthering the research that reveals this reality is evidenced by the fact that the Center’s library, now at George Mason University, proudly bears his name.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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{ 13 comments }

BoscoH October 20, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Wanna see complicated? Read this account by NewsBusters of how Al Gore “advised” Google on ways to improve its search. While right wingers focus on whether Google is rigging its results to lean right, the real story here is how Google does is doing its lobbying. They basically set up an “experience” for Gore, centered on treating him like an unpaid “expert” they could learn from. It is a brilliant response to all the campaign finance and even bribery laws. Imagine if a professional football team let the mayor call plays for a game to convince the mayor to support a new stadium. Under strict campaign finance, it’s good to be an elected public official.

BoscoH October 20, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Wanna see complicated? Read this account by NewsBusters of how Al Gore “advised” Google on ways to improve its search. While right wingers focus on whether Google is rigging its results to lean right, the real story here is how Google does is doing its lobbying. They basically set up an “experience” for Gore, centered on treating him like an unpaid “expert” they could learn from. It is a brilliant response to all the campaign finance and even bribery laws. Imagine if a professional football team let the mayor call plays for a game to convince the mayor to support a new stadium. Under strict campaign finance, it’s good to be an elected public official.

Anonymous October 22, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Very interesting read Boscoh, and very informative as well. Thanks.

BoscoH October 22, 2009 at 3:04 pm

You’re welcome. I’m kinda surprised this topic couldn’t bait George into defending cults of cardboard personalities. Oh well.

Methinks October 22, 2009 at 7:11 pm

From a my brief scroll-through, Muirdog is busy uniting the workers of the world against the bourgeois and capitalists on the Rush Limbaugh thread.

Anonymous October 22, 2009 at 8:04 pm

This is still on topic so I’ll go with it.I find it remarkable that so few people understand that Art 1, Sec 5, para 2 of the constitution, “Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings” is the permission we give them to insider trade, to give themselves pay raises without having to vote on them, to dispense favors through committee appointments to any and all comers willing to plunk down the cash…..in other words every detail of corruption in our government can be directly attributed to that simple little phrase in the constitution; and, that nothing can be done to halt the corruption, correct what has passed, or prevent future excesses of corruption until that phrase is over-ridden by amendment and congress brought back under control of the people.Furthermore, that little phrase not only allows for corruption it permits the denial of equal representation which was the goal of the founders.I can’t understand why so few people pass right over the truth that they have been lied to by government from birth about the Social Security Act, a lie that has cost them untold sums of money and puts an enormous burden on future generations, only to go bankrupt sooner or later; and not make the intelligent jump to the question of, “If they lied to me about something so basic and huge, what else are they lying about that is in the same arena….like maybe the income tax?” Why don’t I see any outrage at that lie of the SSN and the implications of other lies?I find it remarkable that these obvious and proven things are posted on this cafe and draw such little reaction.We all have wondered all our lives how people of moderate means get elected to congress and even after just one term seem to retire wealthy enough to be comfortable for the rest of their lives. Well we have a congress that granted itself as “a matter of determining the rules of its own proceedings” that it would be okay for congress people to participate in insider trading and for them it would not be criminal. Neat, eh?

Anonymous October 22, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Furthermore and on second thought, I would not be surprised in the least to learn that each of the dominant parties have as a function of their leadership, an office specifically to keep track of market information that is guaranteed to make money, and uses that information as one more tool to control its membership in their respective houses.

Go along and they get the information shared out to them. Buck the party and they get cut off, or at best diminished access.

But the hypocrisy of doing what when done by others is a crime, and sitting back and saying nothing when someone else is arrested and charged is gut wrenching puke worthy at its mildest.

Gosh, why do I come across as rebellious, can’t think of a legitimate reason myself.

BoscoH October 20, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Wanna see complicated? Read this account by NewsBusters of how Al Gore “advised” Google on ways to improve its search. While right wingers focus on whether Google is rigging its results to lean right, the real story here is how Google does is doing its lobbying. They basically set up an “experience” for Gore, centered on treating him like an unpaid “expert” they could learn from. It is a brilliant response to all the campaign finance and even bribery laws. Imagine if a professional football team let the mayor call plays for a game to convince the mayor to support a new stadium. Under strict campaign finance, it’s good to be an elected public official.

BoscoH October 20, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Wanna see complicated? Read this account by NewsBusters of how Al Gore “advised” Google on ways to improve its search. While right wingers focus on whether Google is rigging its results to lean right, the real story here is how Google does is doing its lobbying. They basically set up an “experience” for Gore, centered on treating him like an unpaid “expert” they could learn from. It is a brilliant response to all the campaign finance and even bribery laws. Imagine if a professional football team let the mayor call plays for a game to convince the mayor to support a new stadium. Under strict campaign finance, it’s good to be an elected public official.

Joshua Maher October 21, 2009 at 12:50 am

Didn’t realize the background of Mr. Schmidt… perhaps he also learned the lesson that appearing to not be well-organized or well-funded garners the support of the people from his father as well…

Joshua Maher October 21, 2009 at 12:50 am

Didn’t realize the background of Mr. Schmidt… perhaps he also learned the lesson that appearing to not be well-organized or well-funded garners the support of the people from his father as well…

Joshua Maher October 21, 2009 at 12:50 am

Didn’t realize the background of Mr. Schmidt… perhaps he also learned the lesson that appearing to not be well-organized or well-funded garners the support of the people from his father as well…

Joshua Maher October 21, 2009 at 12:50 am

Didn’t realize the background of Mr. Schmidt… perhaps he also learned the lesson that appearing to not be well-organized or well-funded garners the support of the people from his father as well…

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