“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Lessons of Bell, California

Last month, a weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal turned a spotlight on the aftermath of the discovery of grossly-inflated salaries that the town's council members had paid themselves and selected city employees.

Perhaps the best passage from the article is this one,

"How was it, they ask, that Bell residents didn't know that the former city manager was being paid $800,000 a year?"

The lesson is fairly obvious, isn't it? Sunshine, transparency, call it what you will, still is the best disinfectant. And apathy, carelessness, disinterest on the part of voters to require and review the most mundane items, such as annual city budgets and compensation levels, bring about this sort of corruption.

Whether at the micro-level of Bell, California, or the federal government, in a republic, we always get the government for which we vote, and which we deserve.

For better or worse....and there's nobody else to blame but ourselves.

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