Why money makes you lazy

Why money makes you lazy

I never understood why people are so freaked out by money in politics. I have very little problem with it, provided everyone respects the rules and, more importantly, that the data is public and transparent. 

Yes, that means donations should be public, certainly past a set amount. I don’t think $100 is high enough, personally. Maybe $500?

Whatever the threshold, past a certain amount people have a right to start asking questions. If someone gives a candidate $10,000, or half a million, do they feel entitled to un retour d’ascenseur? A little quid pro quo, even? 

When donations are public, voters gain valuable information to help them decide who to vote for. If a corporation that’s known for not treating workers right gives handsomely to one candidate, and you really don’t like corporations that don’t treat their employees right, you’ll know who not to vote for. A contrario, you’ll be more inclined to vote for a candidate who received substantial financial contributions from a person or corporation you admire. 

The question I always want to ask when it comes to the influence of money in politics is, why aren’t we equally freaked out about people who give their time, non-monetary resources or skills to help a candidate? Those are worth something, too. But for some reason we see volunteer hours as selfless contributions, and money as inherently self-interested. I think that’s wrong. One is no more self-interested than the other. 

Besides, having a lot of money is not necessarily an advantage, as it can make you entitled, lazy and ineffective. When you don’t have money, you’re forced to be smarter or more creative than you otherwise would be. 

In this column I give the example of Erin Coffin in Kanata South who decided to start a podcast, which doesn’t cost very much to produce, to reach the largest number of voters possible. It may or may not work, I don’t know. But I love the willingness to try. 

I leave you with wise words from Pink Floyd. And encourage you to vote, please.