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posted by n1 on Thursday September 04 2014, @11:32AM   Printer-friendly
from the most-qualified-candidate dept.

Alex Rogers reports at Time Magazine that nearly three months after his historic primary defeat, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will be joining investment bank Moelis, earning $3.4 million for the next year and four months and following in the long tradition of lawmakers profiting on their knowledge of the regulatory and political landscape post-Congress. The move to Wall Street wasn’t unexpected as Cantor, one of the Republican party’s most prolific fundraisers, had close ties to the financial services industry.

But Cantor won’t be making as much as he might have as a lobbyist, as the seven figure salaries of some former congressmen can attest. Billy Tauzin, a Louisiana Republican congressman who retired in 2005, made $11.6 million in a single year in 2010 while helping to craft President Obama’s Affordable Care Act as leader of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Tauzin did “what loads of other politicians have done -- trading on his expertise and connections to amass great personal wealth,” says Sheila Krumholz. “He’s just more successful at it than others.”

Other beneficiaries of the revolving door include former Oklahoma Rep. Steve Largent whose total compensation as CTIA-The Wireless Association’s top lobbyist was reportedly $2.7 million and Former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd who makes nearly $3.3 million a year as the head of the Motion Picture Association of America - a post Dodd took after promising never to become a lobbyist.

 
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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04 2014, @01:02PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04 2014, @01:02PM (#89327)

    It's not what you know it's who you know. He's not being paid that for anything he'll actually do.

    At the million-plus salary level, it's not about what you can do, it's about what you can get done.

    For example, I have all the hard skills it would take to run Ford Motor Company. I understand math and some finance, I can tell people what to do, and I can run a meeting. In a superficial sense I could do that job. The shareholders would be insane to appoint me CEO of Ford Motor Company, because I could not get a damn thing accomplished in that position. I don't understand the industry in depth, I don't have institutional knowledge of Ford, I don't have the confidence of the vice presidents and my professional network doesn't include anyone who can be helpful to the CEO of Ford.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Thursday September 04 2014, @07:34PM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 04 2014, @07:34PM (#89468) Journal

    To sum up, our society is no longer merit based. It was, for a long while when the US was trying to prove itself, show the Europeans that we were for real, and that a person didn't have to be specially bred or educated to run a nation. One of the points of the American Revolution was to set up a more meritocratic government. We couldn't afford to hand wealth and power to idiots too often. That nearly cost us the Revolutionary War, turning one of our best generals, Benedict Arnold, against us. Lot of Civil War generals were "political generals", politicians who wanted to play at leading men into battle. But the stress of war forced us to turn more towards merit, to win. And so in the North a competent person who had made his career in the military eventually rose to the top. In the South, they became so desperate that they were thinking of training and arming the slaves, an implicit recognition that Africans were competent to fight. The Gilded Age was the first move away from the merit based society but then WWI and WWII pushed us back. To win the wars, had to stop shutting the geeks into the lockers. The Cold War kept us focused on merit until the Soviet Union began to falter in the 1970s.

    Many of us here probably could run Ford and all the other large corporations better than the people actually doing it. So why can't we have better leadership? The aristocracy lives on, that's why. The difference is that the people in the executive offices aren't heirs to the naked power of nobility anymore, they're heirs to softer power, the power of great wealth.

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday September 04 2014, @09:20PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday September 04 2014, @09:20PM (#89515) Journal

      To sum up, our society is no longer merit based.
       
      Disagree entirely. What merits are most applicable to a CEO? People skills, networking, etc. Clearly you don't find those skill meritorious but for a CEO they are the entirety of the job!
       
       
      Many of us here probably could run Ford and all the other large corporations better than the people actually doing it.

       
      Or maybe the grass is just greener over there.... Everyone thinks everyone elses's job is easy.

    • (Score: 2) by khallow on Friday September 05 2014, @01:46AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 05 2014, @01:46AM (#89640) Journal

      Many of us here probably could run Ford and all the other large corporations better than the people actually doing it.

      Doubtful. Ford actually has competent leadership. And a lot of the dysfunction that happens with large corporation CEOs is due to perverse incentives. They could run their companies better, but the rewards aren't there to do that.