A nation governed by princelings

We should be very grateful to the Democrats.  They give us the opportunity to expand our vocabularies.  In recent weeks, we have heard the word "princeling."  The cocaine-using Hunter Biden, who gets typical salaries of $50,000 per month, is called a princeling.  One definition of princeling is "a petty or insignificant prince."  It was first used to refer to the sons of powerful rulers in China.  Unfortunately, we now have several corrupt countries with princelings.

In Hunter Biden's case, his father was the vice president of the United States.  Even though the vice president officially has very little power, he wields enough influence to steer large amounts of money.  In recent weeks, the more you heard about the Trump impeachment scandal, the more you heard about Joe Biden manipulating $1 billion to get his son Hunter out of legal trouble.  Today, the former vice president still wields power because he has a chance to become the next president.  Even though his chance is small, campaign contributors want to cover all of the bases, including his.

Another example of a princeling is Chelsea Clinton.  After getting degrees in history and international relations, she got a job at McKinsey & Company, a hedge fund manager.  I am sure that her vast arithmetic skills came in handy.  In more recent years, she has been an executive at the Clinton Foundation, which is reputed to be a device to safely bribe her parents.  Since Chelsea's mother greatly benefited from being the wife of a president, perhaps we should broaden the term "princeling" to mean any relative of a powerful government official.

Perhaps the greatest generator of princelings is Joseph Kennedy.  After he made his fortune selling alcoholic beverages at a time when doing so was illegal, his money enabled him to become an ambassador.   His several descendants who became elected officials are President John Kennedy; Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy; Congressmen Joe Kennedy II, Patrick Kennedy, and Joe Kennedy III; Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend; state senator Edward M. Kennedy, Jr.; and Delegate Mark Kennedy Shriver.  I may have missed a few.

The most interesting Kennedy princeling is Ted.  He passed the bar exam in 1959 (really!).  He campaigned for his brother John in 1960.  He was an assistant district attorney in 1961.  He campaigned for U.S. Senator in 1962.  He remained in the Senate until his death in 2009.  This means that during his entire life, he had what most people would call a job with responsibility only in 1961.

The above list of princelings is a small sample.  Princelings can exist only if their parents abuse their political power.  The fact that there are so many princelings in the United States means that this country has a significant amount of corruption.  Whether a country is capitalist, socialist, or a dictatorship, there can be corruption and princelings.  At American Thinker, we spend so much effort explaining the wisdom of capitalism that we forget to discuss the potential damage from corruption.

How do we inoculate ourselves against corruption?  I suggest that we elect only private citizens who would see political jobs as temporary instead of career politicians.  I invite the readers to recommend their own solutions.

I will leave you with one more thought about corruption.  Economist Milton Friedman once said, "The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing."

Image: Lorie Shaull via Wikimedia Commons.

We should be very grateful to the Democrats.  They give us the opportunity to expand our vocabularies.  In recent weeks, we have heard the word "princeling."  The cocaine-using Hunter Biden, who gets typical salaries of $50,000 per month, is called a princeling.  One definition of princeling is "a petty or insignificant prince."  It was first used to refer to the sons of powerful rulers in China.  Unfortunately, we now have several corrupt countries with princelings.

In Hunter Biden's case, his father was the vice president of the United States.  Even though the vice president officially has very little power, he wields enough influence to steer large amounts of money.  In recent weeks, the more you heard about the Trump impeachment scandal, the more you heard about Joe Biden manipulating $1 billion to get his son Hunter out of legal trouble.  Today, the former vice president still wields power because he has a chance to become the next president.  Even though his chance is small, campaign contributors want to cover all of the bases, including his.

Another example of a princeling is Chelsea Clinton.  After getting degrees in history and international relations, she got a job at McKinsey & Company, a hedge fund manager.  I am sure that her vast arithmetic skills came in handy.  In more recent years, she has been an executive at the Clinton Foundation, which is reputed to be a device to safely bribe her parents.  Since Chelsea's mother greatly benefited from being the wife of a president, perhaps we should broaden the term "princeling" to mean any relative of a powerful government official.

Perhaps the greatest generator of princelings is Joseph Kennedy.  After he made his fortune selling alcoholic beverages at a time when doing so was illegal, his money enabled him to become an ambassador.   His several descendants who became elected officials are President John Kennedy; Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy; Congressmen Joe Kennedy II, Patrick Kennedy, and Joe Kennedy III; Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend; state senator Edward M. Kennedy, Jr.; and Delegate Mark Kennedy Shriver.  I may have missed a few.

The most interesting Kennedy princeling is Ted.  He passed the bar exam in 1959 (really!).  He campaigned for his brother John in 1960.  He was an assistant district attorney in 1961.  He campaigned for U.S. Senator in 1962.  He remained in the Senate until his death in 2009.  This means that during his entire life, he had what most people would call a job with responsibility only in 1961.

The above list of princelings is a small sample.  Princelings can exist only if their parents abuse their political power.  The fact that there are so many princelings in the United States means that this country has a significant amount of corruption.  Whether a country is capitalist, socialist, or a dictatorship, there can be corruption and princelings.  At American Thinker, we spend so much effort explaining the wisdom of capitalism that we forget to discuss the potential damage from corruption.

How do we inoculate ourselves against corruption?  I suggest that we elect only private citizens who would see political jobs as temporary instead of career politicians.  I invite the readers to recommend their own solutions.

I will leave you with one more thought about corruption.  Economist Milton Friedman once said, "The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing."

Image: Lorie Shaull via Wikimedia Commons.