Are Rich Pols Less Susceptible to Corruption?

Enormous wealth may inoculate some politicians against the bald-faced greed that has afflicted so many public officials, The Root's contributing editor Jack White writes at the New York Times. But they remain susceptible to a strong sense of entitlement that leaves them out of touch with ordinary voters.

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Mitt Romney (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Writing at the New York Times, The Root's contributing editor Jack White proffers the argument that while enormous wealth may inoculate some politicians from the bald-faced greed that has landed so many public officials in prison, they tend to be out of touch with the electorate. 

... But it is just as likely to infect them with an even more pernicious condition: a bloated sense of entitlement that isolates them from the concerns of ordinary people.

Case in point: Mitt Romney, whose decisive loss to the comparatively impecunious Barack Obama came as close as we are likely to get to a national referendum on the fitness of fat cats for high political office. Stripped down to its essentials, Romney’s argument for why he should be entrusted with -- make that, entitled to -- the nation’s highest office was that he is very, very rich. But as Romney's denunciation of the 47 percent who "believe the government has a responsibility to care for them" to a roomful of equally self-satisfied plutocrats clearly demonstrated, having that much money can trap politicians in a feedback-free bubble, which can mean that their certitude about themselves or their ideas is never really challenged.

Read Jack White's entire piece at the New York Times.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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is a former columnist for TIME magazine and a regular contributor to The Root.

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