Essay:Politicians should wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers so we could identify their corporate sponsors

From Mises Wiki, the global repository of classical-liberal thought
Jump to: navigation, search
Essay.svg This essay contains the opinions of one or more authors and does not necessarily represent the views of Mises Wiki or the Mises Institute. Mises Wiki essays may sometimes contain opinions that are not widely accepted by Austrian school thinkers, but nonetheless reside on the site to help stimulate critical thinking, constructive dialog, and an open-minded process of creative problem-solving furthering the growth of the body of Austrian school thought.

Here is a modest proposal: Politicians should wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers so we could identify their corporate sponsors. This would allow them to raise campaign funds by providing a potentially useful advertising service rather than by assisting with rent seeking. If, say, Goldman Sachs is going to fund Mitt Romney,[1] it would be better if he were to pay them back by wearing their logo on his sleeve and thereby helping them increase their revenues by raising customer awareness of their products, than by creating burdensome taxation and regulation designed to give the company an unfair advantage. A politician who refused to wear the logo would then cause people to wonder, "What kind of service is he providing instead in exchange for that donation?" A libertarian candidate should not be ashamed to wear such logos, if his intent as a politician is to help not only those sponsors but all people who will benefit from the free market policies he endorses and that he will help implement if he becomes as an officeholder.

Of course, some people might find the image of the U.S. President making a solemn speech while wearing the Nike logo to be a bit crass. This seems silly; people engage in all kinds of activities, including many that are serious, while wearing corporate logos of one kind or another on their clothing. There is nothing undignified or unseemly about participation in, or affiliation with, the organizations which capitalism makes possible. What makes it seem as though business should be divorced from politics is the assumption that governments should be nonprofit organizations. The problems with this assumption were addressed in Essay:Where libertarians erred in their assessment of which demarcations are important.