Richard Rahn on “Washingtonosis” — The Most Destructive Disease

There’s a great column in today’s Washington Times by economist Richard Rahn on the destructive culture that makes Washingtonians sell out their principles in order to be “accepted” by those in powers:

“Washingtonosis(n): a disease most often found in people working within three miles of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, … It tends to infect elected officials, government bureaucrats, those working in the media, “government relations specialists,” association executives and even top corporate executives.
Symptoms include an overwhelming desire to associate and be seen with those in power or those perceived to have power and/or fame. Those infected tend to lose judgment, values, principles and sense of honesty as well as common sense. They say silly things like, ‘I will vote for (or support) this (1,000-page) bill because it is absolutely necessary to protect the American people and we must do it now’ — having never read the bill, having only a vague idea of its provisions, having no idea whether it will do more good or harm and having no idea of what a billion dollars is, let alone a trillion dollars.”

This explains, says Rahn, why groups like the American Medical Association have endorsed the House health care reform bill and why, back in 1993, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed the Clinton health reform plan, despite the strong opposition of both organizations’ members.  The Washington representatives hired “to help protect” businesses and other organizations “from destructive government actions,” try to befriend those in power, but then too often find it “easier and more psychologically comfortable to pressure the business to accept the policies of those in government rather than vice versa.”

It’s definitely worth reading the whole article.