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December 04, 2005


Tim Worstall

Or we could look at the number of people who want the job. 5,000 or so stood for the 650 odd seats in May. They’re way overpaid.


If we paid them much less, more of them would have to take part-time jobs and thus learn something about the realities of life. Seems a good idea to me.

Robert Schwartz

The argument for paying politicians is if you do not pay them enough, they will take to stealing.


I forgot to say that we could pay them their marginal product - but in most cases this is heavily negative.


How do we incentivise lawyers to stay away from being MPs or ministers? There is way too many of them.

If by raising their wages we could tell them to get their snouts out of various troughs such as arms company directorships etc etc then it would be worth it perhaps?

Is there any such thing as a politician who isn't corrupt? (in however a small way...)

John East

There's been no mention of paying them in proportion to their effectivness.
How about coming up with an equation relating Crime figure reduction, NHS effectivness (however defined), per capita wealth, tax reductions etc. to their pay.

This would have the added advantage that most of the buffoons would end up owing us money.


I rather think of politicians in terms the Groucho Marx comment that he "wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have him as a member". My view is that any politician prepared to do what it takes to get elected is totally unsuitable for high office. One could argue that the intolerable culture spin is the logical conclusion.

The Moai

Your blog is very, very interesting, and I hereby link forthwith.
Two other considerations should be made for a comparatively high rate of pay for MPs:
- unlike most people, they can decidee their own payrate
- paying them to stay in the job keeps them off the streets and away from jobs where they could do REAL damage eg. surgeon, pilot, nuclear engineer

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