How much are Politicians worth?

The Economist reports that Ireland just gave their Prime Minister a raise to $446,000 a year. This is huge for such a small country.

U.S. President makes $400,000 a year and Britain’s Prime Minister makes $389,700. This is obviously on top of the benefits of not having to pay for food, cars, travel, security, and etc.

This begs the question, how much is your politician worth?

The benefits of paying them a higher salary is that you might get more people like a Bill Gates or a CEO coming in and taking the job. It lessens the opportunity cost for someone successful to leave their job and come to the aid of their country. Why would the best of our free market society want to come in and take a pay cut to run an inefficient institution such as the government?

The negative benefits of paying them a higher salary is that it may create an incentive for politicians to lie more to keep their plump job. It could be argued that they do not produce anything worth their pay. They already get expenses paid for so why should the taxpayers pay more. One last point, since our government is full time people can get so wrapped up in their representative job they forget what it is like being to have a real job.

The problem is that you can’t run the government like a business. You cannot say “whatever is left after spending and collecting you get.” That would give the incentive for them to tax and steal a lot. We already see this with Kings, Dictators, and some elected officials.


Published in: on November 23, 2007 at 8:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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