To adapt Don Boudreaux

If Peter Mandelson (or Blair, Brown, Darling, Cable, Benn etc) were, when in government such economic and business hot shots that they knew where all of our money should be invested, then why haven\’t they all made industrial fortunes as economic and business hotshots in retirement?

And it will never dawn on any of these people who Oooo! and Ahhh! in the presence of a former president that if that mortal, who once sat at the big desk in the Oval Office, were really as magnificent and wonderful and smart and wise and productively creative as he and his handlers and party apologists made him out to be while he was in office, he is now nothing but a bum wasting his remarkable talents that could be used to found and operate a private firm (or multiple firms!) that actually puts to a genuine market test the ‘big’ ideas in which he expressed such assurance while spending other people’s money.

The very absence of corporate fortunes made by retired political managers of the corporate economy is rather a telling sign.

6 thoughts on “To adapt Don Boudreaux”

  1. By all accounts Blair is making a packet selling his rolodex to the highest bidder…unfortunately in his case it would seem more a case of rent seeking than honest clever business management and thus your point is made.

    A number of politicians have made fortunes before going into politics, but it doesn’t seem to benefit their electorates – bloomberg, berlusconi to name but two.

    The point is that in an ideal world it woldn’t really matter who the politicians were because their scope for action and role in the economy would be so limited. We don’t need business geniuses. We need honest men, who understand the correct role of government, and that is a lot harder.

  2. cuffleyburgers – “A number of politicians have made fortunes before going into politics, but it doesn’t seem to benefit their electorates – bloomberg, berlusconi to name but two.”

    I don’t know about that. It would depend on the alternative. Seriously – in Italy, or even New York, if not them, who would you vote for?

    The Fascists? The Other even less repentant Fascists? The Quasi-Not-Quite-Fascists-From-the-North? The utterly unrepentant Communists? The Pretending-to-be-but-not-really-repentant-former-Communists? The Too-loony-for-the-Communists? Who?

  3. So much for subtetly: I think you have beautifully (and much more correctly than any journalist) ever captured why Berlusconi keeps on winning elections in Italy

  4. Hey! When I was young the ex-VP was shocked to find that a Wall Street firm would pay him $0.5 million just for his opinion on what de Gaulle would do. And he made enough money to restart his political career. So not all politicians are unable to cut it in the business world.
    S

  5. Secondly a lot of Conservative (and a few Liberal and Labour) politicians have only gone into politics after making enough money in business to fund their political ambitions.
    So it is not a question of politicians in general but of the New Labour in particular

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