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  • Illinois Legislators’ Lincolns

    Posted by Carl from Chicago on September 21st, 2013 (All posts by )

    Way back in the day when LITGM used to do a bit more of the political type articles I wrote about Illinois representatives’ automobiles. I confused the Lincoln Navigator that Danny Davis (district one) drove vs. the Ford equivalent that Jesse Jackson Jr. drove, and a bit of web hilarity ensued.

    Recently I saw another politician’s car and the first thing I did was look it up – and this Lincoln is owned by a Republican in the 6th district, which happened to be Henry Hyde’s old district. It is a matter of how jaded I’ve become that the fact that an elected official drives a Lincoln is barely worth a web peep.

    While American’s think that “big money” has captured politics, it is literally nothing compared to the wealth of China’s politicians. This WSJ article describes how wealthy the top Chinese politicians are vs. the USA…

    According to the Hurun Report, as cited by Bloomberg, the 70 richest delegates in China’s National People’s Congress have a combined net worth of 565.8 billion yuan or $89.8 billion. That’s more than 10 times the combined net worths of all the members of Congress, the Supreme Court and the President. (Their collective riches are only $7.5 billion.)

    Thus I can only imagine the rage I’d have over the same type of rich trappings if I were Chinese. Unfortunately, they can’t vote, and protests tend to go down badly with authorities. As bad as our system is, in terms of being captured by the interests of the wealthy, it is a comparatively egalitarian route compared to our largest economic competitor.

    Cross posted at LITGM


    8 Responses to “Illinois Legislators’ Lincolns”

    1. David Foster Says:

      I’d argue that the $7.5B number for the Congress, Supreme Court, and President seriously understates their wealth because it does not consider the value of the “Real Options” that they possess to turn their political background and public recognition into cash via speeches, lobbying, book deals, etc.

      Obama alone will probably be able to pull down a billion or so post-office.

      Still a lot less than those Chinese officials, though.

    2. Jonathan Says:

      Sort of puts a new spin on the phrase, “Land of Lincoln”.

    3. veryretired Says:

      It’s not the corruption of our politicians that worries me, as that is to be expected, but rather the “low rent” nature of it all.

      It is a bad combination to have easily bought pols in charge of a state with its fingers in everybodys’ pies—everything ends up for sale at bargain basement prices.

      When you look at what’s happening to this country, what simpler explanation does Occam need than incompetence for sale at every level?

    4. MikeK Says:

      Well, it stands to reason that, as they debase the currency, they will require larger bribes.

    5. carl from chicago Says:

      Ha ha… Land of Lincoln… that is much cleverer than me!

    6. Richard Says:

      [Just FYI, and not intended to diminish your point.]

      In Italy (in area slightly larger than Arizona) chauffeured luxury cars for the political caste – government officials and politicians – known as auto blu are an hot button political issue.

      Italy in dire financial condition has the most in the world, and the US is second.

    7. PenGun Says:

      I dunno. I drive a Lincoln and I’m a destitute hippy. I do have very good taste though. ;)

    8. Michael Kennedy Says:

      PenGun, Ford thanks you,. The estimated profit on the Lincoln Navigator is $14,000.