Free and Equal: Rawls' Theory of Justice and Political Reform

By Joseph Grcic | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 12. EXPAND THE RIGHT TO RUN FOR POLITICAL
OFFICE

“… [T]here is a natural aristocracy among men…[of]… virtue and
talents… There is also an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth
and birth, without either virtue or talents…a mischievous ingredi-
ent in government, and provision should be made to prevent its
ascendancy.”

— Thomas Jefferson (Letter to John Adams)

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg (net worth estimated at $16 billion) spent nearly $250 million of his own money when he ran for mayor of New York City in 2009 and won. Governor Jon Corzine (received $400 million when he left Goldman Sachs) spent over $100 million of his own money and won when he ran for the Senate in 2000 and later for governor of New Jersey.381 Lawyers make up 43% of Congress while 2/3 of senators and 39% of representatives are millionaires and both houses are overwhelmingly white and male?382 Primarily because of gerrymandering where voting districts are designed to favor a party, only 10% of the 435 seats of the House of Representatives are truly competitive. The cost of national campaign elections have skyrocketed so that the average winning House campaign costs $1.1 million and the Senate campaign estimates at about $10

381. Kocieniewski, David, “Corzine’s Wall Street Resume Loses Value for Voters”, The New York Times, 10/5/09, pp. A17-18.

382. Seelye, K., www.newyorktimes.com, 4/7/95; R.Cohen 8/5/09.

-177-

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