In a casual conversation someone quipped, “You know the real problem with politicians…they just won’t stay bought.” There was muted laughter. It’s too true to be funny.
Politician. The word has precise sound to it, as if your mayor had been called by God to run. As if people go into public service like it’s a ministry. For the good of all with pure, honorable intentions. But the job is nothing like that. It’s a lot of arm twisting and ear bending by people all wanting you to do conflicting things. And in the end, nobody’s really happy with you. As Parker and Stone pointed out, the public sees you either as a ‘Giant Douche’ or a ‘Turd Sandwich’. Why would anyone want a such a shitty job?
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This meeting took place between Hank Paulson, then Treasury Secretary and the Board of Goldman Sachs, in Moscow, in secret. This was two months before the collapse and subsequent bailout.
Goldman Sachs was a hugely powerful for-profit investment bank, and there he is, giving private chapter and verse on his opinions about the US and global economy, talking about internal Treasury matters, and previewing an upcoming (and surely market-moving) speech. All in secret, at a “social event” which somehow got kept off his official calendar.