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Guest Post: Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University Says Politicians Are NOT Prostitutes … They Are Pimps

By George Washington of Washington’s Blog.

Preface: My apologies if this is offensive.  As always, Yves Smith is not responsible for this content, does not necessarily agree, sponsor or endorse it.

Many people have called politicians prostitutes.

True, Obama has received more donations from Goldman Sachs and the rest of the financial industry than almost anyone else.

And Summers and the rest of Obama’s economic team have made many millions – even recently – from the financial industry.

And Congress has largely been bought and paid for, and two powerful congressmen have said that banks run Congress.

So yes, they have certainly sold their goods to the highest bidders.

Indeed, at least some people trust prostitutes more than elected officials.

But the prostitution analogy is inaccurate.

Specifically, as the chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University (Donald J. Boudreaux) points out:

Real whores, after all, personally supply the services their customers seek. Prostitutes do not steal; their customers pay them voluntarily. And their customers pay only with money belonging to these customers.

In contrast, members of Congress routinely truck and barter with other people’s property…

Members of Congress are less like whores than they are like pimps for persons unwillingly conscripted to perform unpleasant services.

Consider, for example, agricultural subsidies. Each year a handful of farmers and agribusinesses receive billions of taxpayer dollars. These are dollars that government forcibly takes from the pockets of taxpayers and then transfers to farmers.

The customers, in this case, are the farmers and agribusinesses. The suppliers of the services performed for these customers are taxpayers, for it’s the taxpayers who possess the ultimate asset — money — that farmers and agribusinesses lust after. And the intermediaries who oblige the suppliers to satisfy the base lusts of the customers are politicians. Just as pimps facilitate their customers’ access to prostitutes’ assets, politicians facilitate their customers’ access to taxpayers’ assets.

We taxpayers have less say in the matter than we like to think. Sure, we can vote. But if even just 50.00001 percent of voters cast their ballots for the candidate proposing higher taxes, the assets of not only our pro-tax citizens, but also those of the remaining 49.00009 percent of us anti-tax citizens are put at the disposal of our pimps’ customers. (And note that many of those who vote for higher taxes are not among those persons actually subject to higher taxation)…

Politicians force taxpayers to pony it up — just as the services rendered for a pimp’s customers are rendered not by that pimp personally, but by the ladies under his charge. The pimp pockets the bulk of each payment; he’s pleased with the transaction. His customer gets serviced well in return; he’s pleased with the transaction. The only loser is the prostitute forced to share her precious assets with strangers whom she doesn’t particularly care for and who care nothing for her.Also like the ladies under pimps’ power, taxpayers who resist being exploited risk serious consequences to their persons and pocketbooks. Uncle Sam doesn’t treat kindly taxpayers who try to avoid the obligations that he assigns to them. Government is a great deal more powerful, and often nastier, than is the typical taxpayer. Practically speaking, the taxpayer has little choice but to perform as government demands.

So to call politicians “whores” is to unduly insult women who either choose or who are forced into the profession of prostitution. These women aggress against no one; like all other respectable human beings, they do their best to get by as well as they can without violating other people’s rights.

The real villains in the prostitution arena are those pimps who coerce women into satisfying the lusts of strangers. Such pimps pocket most of the gains earned by the toil and risks involuntarily imposed upon the prostitutes they control. No one thinks this arrangement is fair or justified. No one gives pimps the title of “Honorable.” Decent people don’t care what pimps think or suppose that pimps have any special insights into what is good or bad for the women under their command. Decent people don’t pretend that pimps act chiefly for the benefit of their prostitutes. Decent people believe that pimps should be in prison.

Yet Americans continue to imagine that the typical representative or senator is an upstanding citizen, a human being worthy of being feted and listened to as if he or she possesses some unusually high moral or intellectual stature.

It’s closer to the truth to see politicians as pimps who force ordinary men and women to pony up freedoms and assets for the benefit of clients we call “special-interest groups.”

Note: There are a handful of honest politicians, fighting for the American people. But the exception proves the rule.

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About George Washington

George Washington is the head writer at Washington’s Blog. A busy professional and former adjunct professor, George’s insatiable curiousity causes him to write on a wide variety of topics, including economics, finance, the environment and politics. For further details, ask Keith Alexander… http://www.washingtonsblog.com

34 comments

  1. John

    Re: “if even just 50.00001 percent of voters cast their ballots for the candidate proposing higher taxes, the assets of not only our pro-tax citizens, but also those of the remaining 49.00009 percent…”

    Ummmm… I guess I should know better by now than to expect a professor of economics to be able to handle simple arithmetic. Math is hard!

  2. rkka

    “We taxpayers have less say in the matter than we like to think. Sure, we can vote. But if even just 50.00001 percent of voters cast their ballots for the candidate proposing higher taxes, the assets of not only our pro-tax citizens, but also those of the remaining 49.00009 percent of us anti-tax citizens are put at the disposal of our pimps’ customers.”

    His insights into politics are pretty pathetic too. Obviously, he fails to understand the central principle of rethuglican governance: Borrow and spend.

  3. Advocatus Diaboli

    I always thought the prostitute analogy was not right, because most prostitutes are honest and give what they exchange money for.

  4. koshem bos

    The distinction between a whore and a pimp is silly in the context the fact that the poor and the middle class of this country are screwed.

  5. bob

    Love it, and you are completely correct. To call politicians whores is doing a dis-service to whores.

    Difference between a pol and a whore? The pol always comes back looking for more.

    The pimps in charge are not even providing a safe working environment, prophylactics. They should be forced to wrap themselves completely in plastic wrap before they are allowed to bend their constituents over, OHSA and all. This may make breathing difficult, which could be a benefit.

    Regulate and tax it. Make all of the pimps register and pay for the well being of their hiram. Health care would be a start.

    They already dress the part. For those who have not had the pleasure of seeing pictures of the NYS Senators, please look them and their mis-deeds up. One of the leaders of the senate, State Sen. Hiram Monserrate is a good pimp example. He handles his women, including his wife. He was convicted of smashing a glass in her face, thankfully that was just a misdemenor and he can continue to fuck us all on a regular basis.

    One word- bitchbetterhavemymoney

    NY pol partly acquitted in attack on girlfriend

    NEW YORK — A freshman state senator was acquitted Thursday of smashing a glass into his girlfriend’s face, but was convicted of a lesser charge for dragging her bleeding from his apartment in a violent scene caught on videotape.

    State Sen. Hiram Monserrate, a Queens Democrat, would have lost his Senate seat if convicted of second-degree felony assault. He faces up to a year in prison at his sentencing Dec. 4 on a misdemeanor count of third-degree reckless assault for injuring Karla Giraldo while pulling her through a lobby as she resisted, crying and latching on to banisters.

    While a misdemeanor conviction doesn’t automatically force Monserrate to vacate his Senate seat, it opens the door for colleagues to consider passing a resolution to either censure or expel him. That would require a 32-vote majority following a committee investigation. Republicans hold 30 seats and would need just two Democrats to join them to remove Monserrate, whose term runs through 2010.

    Monserrate, 42, said he tripped while holding the glass, and rushed her to a hospital. Giraldo also said it was an accident. The wound above her left eye required between 20 and 40 stitches.

    “A terrible accident occurred to my girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, a person that I love, and I have to live with that forever. There were no winners here,” Monserrate said outside court after the verdict.

    The outcome of the case rested mainly with Giraldo’s testimony.

    She said on the witness stand that her language barrier (Giraldo’s native language is Spanish) prevented her from communicating properly with the staff at Long Island Jewish-North Shore Medical Center.

    But she also dodged the prosecution’s questions, sometimes answering only when the judge ordered her to and often contradicted previous statements she made. Assistant district attorney Scott Kessler said during closing arguments that she wasn’t credible, and she lied on the witness stand to protect her abusive boyfriend.

    But Judge William Erlbaum, ruling in a non-jury trial, said Giraldo’s testimony carried more weight than that of the medical personnel, and it had to be taken at face value.

    “There are two people who have actual knowledge about what happened in that apartment,” Erlbaum said. “Can one know she’s not being forgiving or that she’s not being compassionate? One can’t know that.”

    Prosecutors said Monserrate — a Marine and ex-cop — smashed Giraldo’s face during an argument at his apartment Dec. 19 sparked by another man’s card he found in her purse.

    Surveillance tape shows Monserrate take the card to the trash chute outside his apartment, wave it at Giraldo, and toss it down. They spent the next two hours fighting, according to testimony from a downstairs neighbor who said she banged on the ceiling with a broom to get them to quiet down. She heard a woman crying and a thump.

    Grainy surveillance footage later showed Giraldo making a beeline for the neighbor’s door, as Monserrate grabbed her and dragged her downstairs.

    District attorney Richard A. Brown, speaking after the verdict, said the conviction justified the trial without Giraldo’s cooperation. Almost 75 percent of domestic violence victims refuse to participate in criminal proceedings, said Scott Kessler, who prosecuted the case.

    “Today’s decision holds a batterer accountable,” Brown said.

    Brown wouldn’t say what sentence he was considering. “I think he’s got to face his colleagues in Albany,” he said.

    Sen. John Sampson said the Senate Democratic majority’s leaders were discussing “the potential for further disciplinary action.”

    Sampson, a Brooklyn lawmaker who heads the Democratic conference, said the incident has been “troubling,” but that “the Senate will continue to move forward and fulfill its duty.”

    Senate Republican conference spokesman John McArdle said the GOP expected Sampson and Smith “will deal with this in an appropriate fashion.”

    During the trial, members of the State Assembly sent letters urging Erlbaum to convict Monserrate.

    Just weeks after the incident, Monserrate was sworn in to the state Senate, and named chairman of the consumer affairs committee. This summer, he and fellow Democrat Pedro Espada Jr. brazenly ignited a coup in the Senate by joining a Republican-dominated coalition that overthrew the majority. The deadlock lasted a month before it was resolved.

    A restraining order remains in place until sentencing. Defense attorney Joseph Tacopina said he didn’t expect Monserrate to serve any jail time and that the order would be lifted.

    Associated Press writer Michael Virtanen in Albany, N.Y., contributed to this report.

  6. yoganmahew

    “Note: There are a handful of honest politicians, fighting for the American people. But the exception proves the rule.”

    I object to this caveat. It is nonsense. Exceptions don’t prove rules. They disprove rules. You are questioning the dishonesty of politicians as a species, but you are questioning the wrong thing.

    The question should not be why are there corrupt politicians. The question should be why are there honest ones? Why are they elected? Who are their electorate? How do we get more of them? How do we get more honest politicians than dishonests ones? And once we have an honest politician who goes ‘bad’, how do we get rid of him?

    @John
    The rest are the “Hey, I ordered a cheeseburger crowd…”

  7. Francois T

    Politicians are also very similar to condoms; they give you a sense of security while being screwed.

  8. Kevin de Bruxelles

    If you want to make this john-pimp-whore analogy for wealthy elite-politician-common taxpayer to work, you have to follow through and be clear who is playing which role. The wealthy elite would be the johns since they are the ones who are looking to exploit someone and are willing to pay a little to get what they want; the politicians would be the pimps (as your post stated) since they are getting paid to make the connection; but of course that leaves the taxpayers to play the role of the whores since they are the weakest link who are getting their rear ends reamed with force while at the same time being so doped up on media bread and circuses that they are unable to do resist their pimp’s demands to service their johns.

    I don’t know though; the analogy seems a little forced. The wealthy elite are stealing the taxpayers money with the help of the politicians so the whole sex industry comparison has some weaknesses.

    Personally, I think a simpler analogy is that in democracies, politicians play the role the clergy used to play in the Middle Ages; their job is to add legitimacy to sacrifices demanded by the aristocracy in order to convince the serfs to willingly submit to their overlords so that outright violent coercion can be kept to a minimum.

    As for the few honest politicians, they play the same diversionary role that the Jon Stewart show does for television: they shine just enough light of integrity that many people are convinced to reist throwing their political system/televisions into the pit of oblivion.

  9. craazyman

    This is an essay that demonstrates the problem of the singularity, which in mathematics was only solved by the absence of itself.

    Now the good Professor also demonstrates another class of characters who have a repute far in advance of ther contribution to society. Namely, college professors.

    College breaks the minds of youth like stun guns break the brains of cows in a slaughterhouse, and it sends them to the meat packing wharehouses of MBA programs and then on to the supermarket meat counters at Goldmint Stacks, J. Pee. Morgan and etc. and etc. We know that story already.

    And they are charged tens of thousands of dollars for the bludgeoning. Now THAT is PIMPING! And it proves the proposition that one man’s cost is another man’s revenue, which is always the foil of the absolute-ists.

    Most products of the university never recover their wits or their souls.

    No, instead of efficiency we need inefficiency, dreams, laziness and contemplation, sluggishness and the wasting of time, while the great mind cloud collects the water that bursts like rain, finally, into something truly worth doing in a human life. Not the product of didactic monstrosities, copied from the rantings of dim wits and morons, but something from inside, rare and pure. We’d have no crises of money or governance and we’d have all the efficiency we’d ever need.

  10. EmilianoZ

    Very funny and very true. However my main gripe is with the mainstream media. Without them the pimps/politicians could never have maintained this facade of respectability. Those pimps have very good PR. I absolutely despise the MSM. I hope the internet will kill the newspapers.

  11. Bill

    If this guy is the Chair of the econ department at George Mason, you have to wonder what type of indoctrination the students are getting. Sounds like a wingnut.

  12. Jesse

    The politicians are the cops who are paid to look the other way.

    The Wall Street banks are the pimps.

    Their enablers are the whores.

  13. Hugh

    Boudreaux misses the point. Both parties compete to do the bidding of corporations and Wall Street. So in most of the time, we have no real choice. And sure we are getting stiffed on some farm subsidies, but it is a vanishingly small amount compared to what the banksters have looted. A very strange post.

  14. timbo

    I love me some bank-hatin – but this analogy not up to par.

    Pimps do provide a service(protection), and while some do expropriate resources via force, this is not the preferred business model of s successful pimp.

    In short, pimps that underprovide services on the dollar are quickly weeded out, and lose earning power from their hoes.

    In the ultimate unregulated labor/management dispute, those that don’t meet market demand (pimps or hoes) suffer the economic consequences.

    Stangely, Congress does have, in theory a mechanism whereby those that don’t meet market demands suffer. This historic mechanism used to be called the voter.

    So why haven’t we acted? Good question. The only answer is that we as a people don’t get how badly we are being screwed.

    I’ll leave you with two quotes from MY favorite pres. Andrew Jackson

    “One man with courage makes a majority.”

    “Gentleman, I have had men watching you for a long time, and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in thebreadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families and that will be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out. ”

    Keep fightin

      1. Michael Hawk

        I’m really unimpressed with your work here.

        There is little value to sensationalizing these matters with base accusations of whoring and pimping. The analogies provide no insight whatever. The article amounts to nothing more than trying to decide what names to call the bankers and their friends.

        Much of the commentary following your article has been crude, uninteresting, and beside the purpose of this site.

        It is also an insult to people working in the sex industry to treat them and their profession as if it were the worst thing to exist. I make no defense of so-called pimps, but treating sex work as a ready-made trough of infamy with which to smear others is unacceptable in my book. That attitude supports systems of exclusion and humiliation that makes sex work more dangerous than it needs to be.

        I believe we must all adhere to principles of quality journalism. Sometimes that means avoiding language and subject matter intended to do nothing but inflame passions.

        1. timbo

          Agree with much of what you just posted, but maybe, just maybe we need some healthy inflaming of the passions. No?

      2. timbo

        They are like like flat out rapists. That take what they want from vulnerable people and are untouchable (so they think) under the law. They provide nothing.

        They voted TARP right in the publics face. They bailout everything under the sun. They borrow money to fight questionable wars. They debase our currency. They allocate resources to the highest bidder. They punish savers. They steal money from workers.

        As far as i’m concerned, many people had better wake up to the fact that these people in Washington don’t give a rats ass about you. Sorry folks, Obama, like GW Bush is a wuss. It took me about 3 years to give up on Bush, about 3 months to give up on Obama. Don’t listen to what they say – watch what they do.

        I love this country. Don’t forget to set ur clocks back!

    1. bob

      Awww, come here baby, I didn’t mean to hurt you, gimme your credit card and I’ll go buy you a nice HUD grant….

      1. Skippy

        OK, but only if you stop bedding with Ms A. Rand. You know how those wannabe screenwriters are, especially after a bit of success, one novel one hit wonder, always goes straight to their groin.

        Skippy…If you cheat again I’m going to join a feral bikie gang, and tell them your a pedophile.

  15. public_choice

    ‘you have to wonder what type of indoctrination the students are getting.’

    Trust me, you don’t have to wonder at all. GMU has a long and proud history of prostituting itself, from the Til Hazel days on. But as a certain joke points out, what is the difference between a prostitute and the person in charge of an university? There are some things a prostitute won’t do for money.

  16. Edwardo

    I’m really unimpressed with your work here.

    There is little value to sensationalizing these matters with base accusations of whoring and pimping. The analogies provide no insight whatever. The article amounts to nothing more than trying to decide what names to call the bankers and their friends.

    -On the contrary, there is plenty of value in deciding what function our elected (and non elected) officials play. The lurid aspects under discussion with some relatively minor quibbles on details) happen to dovetail with the known facts. That is unfortunate to say the least, but there it is, whether you find it distasteful or not.

    Much of the commentary following your article has been crude, uninteresting, and beside the purpose of this site. It is also an insult to people working in the sex industry to treat them and their profession as if it were the worst thing to exist.

    -The sex industry may not be the worst, but it is far from the best.

    I make no defense of so-called pimps, but treating sex work as a ready-made trough of infamy with which to smear others is unacceptable in my book.

    -I think you miss the point entirely -which has been made more than once in the commentary- that, on its own terms, sexual prostitution has an inherent honesty, if not necessarily decency, that does not appear to exist in sufficient quantities in the realm of public officialdom, And that is a realm that, at, least nominally, is supposed to comport to higher ideals and conduct than are aspired to in the flesh for FRNs trade.

    That attitude supports systems of exclusion and humiliation that makes sex work more dangerous than it needs to be.

    -Here you probably have a point, but I wouldn’t press it too much. Sex work is most dangerous to most sex workers in ways that have little to do with bodily harm, though there is enough of that as well.

    I believe we must all adhere to principles of quality journalism. Sometimes that means avoiding language and subject matter intended to do nothing but inflame passions.

    -Perhaps. But your sort of journalistic piety just doesn’t seem awfully compelling right about now. I suggest one might do better to inquire into why the sort of expressions you object to so much are so easily and eagerly engaged in by so many, rather than excoriating the expressions themselves.

  17. Dave Raithel

    I’ll second those objecting to the construct for its indelicacies. A more specific objection to the construct would be the prof’s use of agricultural subsidies in the example – those are easy targets (setting aside his conflation of the interests of actual farmers and the industrial food complex that takes their output to make the garbage we find at the store…)

    A more difficult case would be the kind of re-distribution that sustains national defense or law enforcement. These are the traditionally permissible functions of government still defended by the Grove City College crowd, the “Austrians” and the rational reductionists. Are legislators pimps and taxpayers whores when money is redistributed for those functions? I know I cannot opt-out from the Stupid War on Drugs or the Stupid War in Iraq or the Stupid War on Peasants in South-Central Asia, but I really doubt I’m getting as roughly screwed as unemployed black teens hustling dope or dead Muslims.

    One can either accept the GENERAL point put by Hobbes or Locke, that government is necessary if we mean to be anything more than hunter-gathering tribes or isolated valley dwelling agrarians, or not. We can debate all the other details later, IF we first agree on the general point.

    If we agree on the general point, we have to agree how to pay for the governors, the enforcers, the judgment makers the rule makers, the … Deciders in Chief, the people whose livelihoods are dependent upon a redistribution of material goods and services they themselves did not create.

    That second agreement is not easy, and we bicker all the time. But if the profs argument against the particular outcomes of the bickering equally defeats the justification for even having a government at all, what’s his position?

    Blackwater, whether you accept its jurisdiction or not, because you cannot purchase protection from them? Nope, that don’t work in Libertarianland ….

    So what we got here is a salaciously disguised agenda: Those re-distributions to which he objects are bad, the doings of pimps for johns; those re-distributions to which he would give approval are good … but not the doings of pimps for johns exploiting whores?

    Hey, is it possible to be both a whore AND a pimp? Aren’t those people called “propagandists”….?

  18. Expat

    We are all fundamentally crooked. Find me an honest man and I will happily admire his gravestone. Yet, few of us swear an oath to protect and preserve the laws of our land. Our elected officials do. They voluntarily shoulder the burdens and responsabilities of public office.

    They should necessarily be held to higher standards for this reason alone. Additionally, they have been given our trust and money. It is indeed ironic that so many public servants are deemed to be above the law because they supposedly work for us.

    It has been my long-standing belief that any public official found guilty of abusing his office, power, or privliege should receive a life-time ban. Any elected official convicted of a felonly committed in any way involving his public function or privilege should receive the death penalty.

    Would that mean lining up the entire population of Washington against the wall after a hasty (water-boarding gleefully included) trial? You bet! And want tickets to the show!

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