Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University: Politicians Are NOT Prostitutes ... They Are Pimps → Washingtons Blog
Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University: Politicians Are NOT Prostitutes ... They Are Pimps - Washingtons Blog

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University: Politicians Are NOT Prostitutes ... They Are Pimps

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 1: The best analogy might be a man who kidnaps girls and then sells them into sexual slavery. Such a man does not provide the "protection" that a pimp might provide to voluntary prostitutes.

Note 2: There are a handful of honest politicians, fighting for the American people. But the exception proves the rule.


  1. Who could argue with that? You hit the nail right on the head!

  2. Duh...isn't the solution obvious.

    We need term limits and public financing of elections. Especially harmful is an entrenched, hoary, corrupt congress critter heading an important committee (e.g. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd).

    And insult to injury is Congress obscenely rich retirememt and health benefits. Let's revoke those .... retroactively.

    Keep Congress on a short leash so as to keep them honest. Don't vote for incumbents!

  3. BS. The lobbyist are pimps, the KongressClowns are whores, you can smell it in their breath.

  4. Does the professor think that 50.00001 and 49.00009 add up to 100?

  5. A friend of mine used to run a tattoo parlour in a not exactly too savoury part of town. One day a gentleman, a local by the looks of him, came in and requested a phrase be writ large and permanently across his chest, college varsity style. She and her coworkers had to take turns so as not to laugh openly; she herself found this quite difficult, given how proud he was.

    The phrase?



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