The more money you have, the more you can do what you want. The more power you have, the more you can do what you want as well. Perhaps ideally, you have so much money and power that you're able to consistently be above the law.
Here at Financial Samurai, we're able to help readers build wealth over the long term. Sometimes we get lucky by calling bottoms in the short term. But what Financial Samurai isn't capable of doing is directly giving you power. Then again, knowledge is power.
With all the double standards that have involved politicians since the beginning of time, I've got a solution for all of us to become more free. Befriend more politicians.
After all, if you can't beat politicians, you might as well join them.
Example Of A Politician Doing What He Wants: Chris Christie
In July 2017, then New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ordered beaches to be closed due to a budget shutdown. But he and his family were then caught enjoying Island Beach State Park alone after his order went into effect.
Christie commuted to the beach from Trenton via state helicopter while his family was staying at the official governor's residence there. His spokesman said that he “didn't get any sun” because he was wearing a baseball cap at the time of the photo. Hilarious!
When asked in an interview about people being upset that he was at the beach when they were unable to visit the beach, Christie responded, “‘I’m sorry they’re not the governor'”.
Chris Christie embodies the mantra, do what you want. He couldn't give two turds about what anybody thought.
Example Of A Politician Doing What She Wants: London Breed
Here in California, we're developing a habit of electing politicians who do what they want, regardless of what they tell the public to do.
For example, in mid-November 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom decided to dine at expensive French Laundry indoors, after he had prohibited the public from doing the same. As a result, Gavin then faced a recall.
You would think all politicians would have learned from Gavin Newsom's mistake. But just in September 2021, London Breed happily posed maskless indoors at a nightclub. And before the picture, she was dancing the night away maskless too.
Just the fact that London Breed willingly posed for a picture without a mask indoors meant that she didn't think twice about violating her own mandate. In other words, she did what she wanted to.
Personally, I don't care what she does on her own free time. If she wants to attend a crowded indoor event for hours with her friends, then awesome! She doesn't have children or immunocompromised family members to worry about.
However, just in August 2021, Breed mandated all residents must wear a mask indoors while not eating or drinking. Therefore, it is disappointing she isn't leading by example and following her own mandate.
Do What You Want All The Time
Although some politicians continuously disappoint the public with their hypocrisy, we should find a way to harness their power for our own good. After all, we'd all love to do what we want all the time as well!
I cannot fully explain how much happier I am not having to report to a boss. My happiness steady-state has permanently ticked up by 1 or 2 points since I left work in 2012.
This permanently higher state of happiness is why developing enough passive income by saving and investing is so crucial. Not being beholden to anybody is a priceless feeling. So is being able to speak your mind whenever you want without fear of repercussion.
Therefore, I don't fault some politicians for being hypocrites. They could certainly be more discreet while violating their own mandates. However, I get it. Once you have a lot of power, it starts getting to your head.
And if you inherited your position, as London Breed did when the previous mayor unexpectedly passed in 2017, then it might be even easier to take your privilege for granted. This is a lesson for all of us, especially parents, about the pitfalls of getting something for free.
How To Befriend A Politician So You Can Do What You Want
The easiest way to befriend a politician is by donating to their campaign. A politician's main job is to stay in power by selling themselves to the public. The more support they get from the public, the longer they can stay in office.
Unlike the Executive branch, there are no term limits for members of Congress. Therefore, once in office, Congresspeople can theoretically stay in power for the rest of their entire lives.
Politicians are always fundraising so they can spend more money to amplify themselves. Therefore, private citizens always have the opportunity to donate money to any politician they like. Just be aware of the political contribution limit per year and per candidate.
Once you donate money to a politician, you join their warm circle. The politician's team will keep your name in their database for future fundraising events. The more you donate, the closer to the inner circle you will get.
Fundraising events can be small and intimate, like when a private citizen hosts a fundraising event for your city's mayor at $500 a pop. Or, fundraisers can be much larger, such as during a presidential election when a seat might cost $30,000 or a dinner table might cost $500,000.
Strategically, you want to give enough money so that the politician actually knows you by name and has you in their phone's address book. That level is generally $10,000 and up per year, depending on the politician.
Strategic Investing In Politicians
You should view “investing” in politicians like any stock or individual real estate opportunity. Some will turn out to be great for your wealth, while others might end up duds. Therefore, it's good to do as much research as possible on each politician before making an investment. Researching their character is especially important.
If you are really bullish on a politician, invest in a politician sooner in their career. The earlier you can get them, the greater returns if they ever make it big. Most people won't forget the people who believed in them when few would.
If you don't have the foresight to invest in a politician like a successful venture capitalist, at least invest in the politician at the beginning of their time in office. Investing in a mayor during the last year of her second term won't provide the same return as investing in her first year in office.
Finally, you may want to seed dozens of politicians from all parties at various stages of their career. As some gain in prominence, you can then increase your investment in each of them accordingly.
Benefits Of Befriending A Politician
Besides being able to bypass pandemic mandates, befriending politicians offer a number of benefits.
- Association with power elevates your social status
- Ambassadorships if you can fundraise a certain amount of money
- More business contracts
- Getting the inside scoop regarding how legislation will play out to help you invest and run your business accordingly
- Letters of recommendation to get your kids into various types of schools
- A nice word to help you get a better job
- Easier to raise funds for your business if you have politicians on your board, e.g., Theranos' board had Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, and James Mattis
If you have money and continue to crave more status, donating money to politicians is a no-brainer. By associating with politicians, you slowly become untouchable as well.
Think about it. Let's say you are caught trading securities based on some gray area insider information. Given members of Congress and the Federal Reserve conduct gray area insider trading on occasion, you will likely be protected by your politician friends. Or, they might scurry like rats to minimize collateral damage.
Ideally, you want to befriend your mayor, your governor, a congressman, a senator, and the president. If you can't befriend these politicians directly, it's strategically wise to befriend their close friends and family members.
Buy Or Start Media Companies For Influence
In addition to buying the friendship of politicians, the very rich often buy media companies to spread their influence. For example, Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post. Lauren Powell Jobs bought The Atlantic, among other media companies.
These billionaires didn't have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy these publications. They could have easily bought a monthly subscription just like you and me. What they really wanted is the status of owning a media company and the ability to voice their beliefs to a wider audience.
Being relevant and influential are intoxicating attributes.
Of course, they can't just tell all the editors and writers what to say. Instead, the buyers must say that all its workers have the autonomy to continue operating as usual. But when their paychecks and careers are at stake, eventually, the new owner’s influence will spread.
If you don't have enough money to buy a major media publication, you can always start your own site.
Financial Samurai is tiny compared to The New York Times. However, with over one million organic page views a month, it can still sway public opinion. The site can also put someone on blast if attacked.
Always Enjoy Your Freedom
I have rich friends who are unhappy because they have too many people to manage. They cannot do what they want because a subordinate is always messing up or wanting their time.
I have poor friends who are happy because they get to play tennis every day at 11 am. Even though they don't have million-dollar 401k plans, they get to mostly dictate how they choose to spend every day.
I'm too old to start befriending politicians to gain more status, money, and freedom. However, if you're still relatively young, buying political capital is one way of getting far ahead of others.
Remember to watch what politicians do, not so much what they say. While they talk about the benefits of public schools, they send their children to private schools. While they talk about helping the poor, they're dining with the rich. There are a lot of inconsistencies with some politicians.
Money is already intoxicating enough, which is why some extremely rich people continue to grind away every day in misery. But once you combine money and power, I dare say most people won't be able to resist thinking they can always do what they want. Therefore, you might as well latch on until they get removed or leave office.
Once you have a contact list of rich and powerful people, you can become a puppet master in the shadows. Then you can really always do what you want.
Related post: Don't Let Honor And Pride Keep You On Hard Mode Forever
Readers, have you been able to befriend any politicians to make your life easier? What other type of people have you been able to befriend/buy to give yourself more freedom? What is better than being able to do what you want all the time?
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