With Great Power Comes… Great Power

Sometimes I wish that I was a politician because then I could vote myself a raise whenever I wanted one:

MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) – The Minneapolis City Council last Friday approved a pay raise for all its members and the incoming mayor starting in 2018, according to public documents.

Though the resolution was not previously on the agenda or passed through any standing committees, outgoing Council President Barb Johnson proposed the measure at this year’s final meeting to give each member of the Council and the mayor a $10,000 salary increase, with annual raises matching those given to other city employees through collective bargaining agreements. The proposal passed unanimously, though no period of public comment was noted in the meeting’s minutes.

Politicians who vote themselves raises like to make any number of excuses. The most common excuse is that any vote for a raise doesn’t take effect until after the newly elected politicians take office so they’re not actually voting themselves a raise. However, with such a high incumbency rate in this country voting for a raise for the next set of politicians is usually the same as voting themselves a raise so that excuse is incredibly feeble. Other politicians try to justify giving themselves raises by claiming that they do a hard job. But robbing people and forcing them to do their bidding isn’t terribly hard since they have an army of uniformed thugs willing to do their dirty work.

Of course the denizens of Minneapolis could always opt to replace the entire city council but the next set of politicians will do the exact same thing because almost nobody is going to turn down the opportunity to give themselves a raise. This is what democracy looks like.