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Hello. A Mind Game

August 21, 2016

Imagine I’m a multi-billionaire (or you’re a m-b, if that’s more interesting) living in a city like Seattle (or wherever you live), and I want the city to do something, make it happen.  Something that will benefit me, and a few other people, but not the vast majority of citizens, and in fact we know that the vast majority of citizens don’t want to spend their hard-earned money on it. I want adequate housing for people in my community who can’t afford to own or rent a home.

(“How does that benefit me?” you might be asking. Well, hey, I’m an altruist. I feel better about life when people have shelter and space that they can think of as their own, even if temporarily—children, especially, aren’t thinking very far ahead. What do they know?)

I know, and local government knows, that the majority of voters do not want what I want. Will local gov find a way to get that housing?

Why, yes, it will.

How does that happen? Why does that happen?

Maybe I’m very informative and logical in my argument. I persuade the right people that providing shelter is the only right thing to do. It’s a moral imperative, so to speak. I persuade them that in addition to pleasing me a lot (of course they politely want to know what’s in it for me, they’ve been around the block), it will cause the city to prosper.

Am I going to pay for it? they find an ingratiating way to ask.

“I’m highly respected, I’ll suggest that I think it’s good for the city, now and in the long run. I’ll make a noticeable contribution as seed money. But the tax payers will have to make up the rest.”

“It’s going to be expensive. Not only will tax payers not like the idea, but we’ll have to displace some local owners who will want to keep their properties.”

“It’s been done before.”

“We can do that.”

“Good then. Done. You’ll have my check.”

When I meet with politicians, I like to quote Ronald Reagan: “Hello, I’m a local multi-billionaire and I’m here to help.” I especially like to help local politicians.

From → Uncategorized, wealth

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