Between 2009 and 2015, 42% of members of Congress retired from their position to a cushy job as a lobbyist.
Another 25% took a job at a company involved in lobbying. Almost half of registered lobbyists used to work on the Hill.
Government jobs don’t pay as well as high-level private sector jobs, which leads to a revolving door between government and industry. Often, industry will pay a government employee many times their salary after they leave office. This makes it very natural for regulators and lawmakers to go easy on the companies that might employ them later. There is something naturally corruptive about this.
We need to compensate them at higher levels, and then prevent them from going into lobbying after leaving office. Paying legislators enough to free them from influence and the need to take a high-paying job afterwards would likely reduce corruption and be the best investment we ever made.
Problems to be Solved:
- The revolving door between Congress and lobbying firms prevents regulators and legislators from properly reining in private industries.
“Government jobs don’t pay as well as high-level private sector jobs, which leads to a revolving door between government and industry. Often, industry will pay a government employee 5 to 10 times their salary after they leave office. This makes it very natural for regulators to go easy on the companies they regulate. We need to immunize those in charge of government from market forces by compensating them at higher levels and then making it so they can’t go back to their old jobs. Corruption in this case would be diminished by paying government officials more. The government should use its printing press to empower regulators to act on behalf of the people.”
- Ban all legislators and anyone who works at a regulatory agency from working for a lobbying firm for a period of time after they leave office/their position.
- Increase salaries for these individuals to make up for this limitation.
- Provide these individuals with stipends for a period of time after they leave their positions to work in the public sector.
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