The representative form of government derives from two models, neither of which is appropriate to a democracy founded on the unalienable rights of common people. A slave-owning patrician class developed the republics of ancient Greece and Rome, of, by, and for themselves. The patricians agreed on most aspects of state government. They called themselves senators and met occasionally to vote on frivolities like the trim on their official robes. Later, when European barons combined as nations and created monarchies, they called themselves councilors and insisted that the kings suffer their advice. Kings insisted on the power to disband their councils whenever the councilors got on their nerves.
Councilors have been called a variety of names over the years: senator, councilor, burgess, and alderman are just a few. Representative was a late entry in the lists of names.
A representative is usually a person hired to serve the interests of just the one person who hires him. Were he to serve two people with opposing interests, he would be engaged in a 'conflict of interest' and one, the other, or both his clients would fire him. If he was licensed by the state to practice law, a disciplinary commission would review the charges , and might disbar him.
Nonetheless, a long list of licensed attorneys sit in or lobby a long list of legislative bodies pretending they can reconcile the irreconcilable differences of the inhabitants of the various geopolitical divisions of the nation. They tell us that government is the art of compromise. But, when they say compromise, they mean government
can ignore and defeat our unalienable rights to help some of their friends and donors make a buck.
Lawyers should know better. If they didn't write their own tests and make their own rules, their peculiar institution would have expired by now. They've been pimping the American people way too long.
Legislation that peddles cement has been of special interest to Chicago and Illinois for a long time because certain private individuals can get rich selling it to governments.
Author Ovid Demaris devotes many pages of his book, Captive City, to the relationship between Cook County officials and cement. The county owned land from which cement materials could be quarried. Though the county had an obligation to lease the land at the highest possible rent to offset county taxes, county officials chose instead to lease the land for the least possible rent to some friends in the materials supply business.
City and county officials then bought cement from materials suppliers at the highest possible price, and increasing tax bills they had an obligation to reduce.
Most recently, Illinois soybean farmers, acting through ADM and the Andreas brothers, accepted payment in cement for the sale of a large quantity of soybeans to Russia when Gorbachev was in charge over there. Commodities brokers lived and worked in Chicago at the time. (1,2,3)
Cement is useless without guys to frame it, pour it, and smooth it over. Some elected city officials are known for their relationships with construction contractors. Others are known for their relationships with construction industry labor unions. Applicants for construction jobs tend to be young men with a chip on their shoulders. They didn't do well in school and can't train for professions with bragging rights, such as law and management. Employing school failures at taxpayer expense for city projects is a clever way to cover up the lifelong alienation and aversion to reading and writing that many teachers and administrators inculcate in many children.
Construction work is seasonal and the labor unions have achieved pay scales that reflect it. Nonetheless, state legislators have found reasons to qualify construction workers for unemployment checks for the many months of the year they don't work.
Alienation and substance abuse tend to go together. Legislators have also found cause to qualify many drunken laborers for short- and long-term disability paychecks though their accidents on the job were not, technically, job-related.
In short, the representatives of all the people have found dozens, if not hundreds of ways to rob Peter to buy Paul's votes.
Representation (interim file)
2010 February 26
… CEMENT AND
2005 April 26.
(1) Demaris, Ovid
New York: Lyle Stuart, Inc. (1969)
(see sections on Arie Crown and the Chesrow family)
(2) Potter, John E. (postmaster-general)
The United States Postal Service:
An American History 1775-2002
(pages 20-21 establish a time-line link between post office rules for home delivery and cement brokers who profited
from sidewalk construction during and after the great
expansion of densely populated urban and suburban areas.)
(3) Kahn, E.J. Jr.
Profiles: The Absolute Beginning: Dwayne Orville Andreas
The New Yorker, volume 62, issue 52 (1987 Feb 16), p 41-68
(available for a small fee at The New Yorker website)
(Chicago Public Library cardholders can print a copy free
with the microfilm machines at regional libraries.)
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updated 2015 September