Freitag, November 13, 2009

Cui prodest?

That is, of course, Latin for "Who Profits?"

It is also the title of a article by Владимир Ильич Ленин, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, published first in Pravda #84, April 11th, 1913.

The core statement is:

When it is not immediately apparent which political or social groups, forces or alignments advocate certain proposals, measures, etc., one should always ask: “Who stands to gain?”

The man, monster that he was, did get that one right: it is an excellent basis for critical analysis of political events. Follow the money and you see where the real interests lie (and yes, that is a deliberate pun...).

In the IBD, Grace-Marie Turner has done exactly this: she's taken a look as to why the AARP is clearly acting against the interests of retirees in the US.

Surprise, surprise, surprise:

The AARP takes in more than half of its $1.1 billion budget in royalty fees from health insurers and other vendors that market services with the organization's name. Medicare supplementary policies, called "Medigap" plans, make up the biggest share of this royalty revenue.

The AARP has an interest in selling more, not fewer, Medigap plans, of course. But there is a competitor on the block. A growing number of seniors are enrolling in a new form of Medicare coverage — Medicare Advantage — where they don't need Medigap.

In other words, the AARP is supporting legislature that will take money from the pockets of senior citizens (by cancelling $400 bn of Medicare spending) and put it into their own pockets instead.

The AARP isn't a lobbying group or interest group for its members: it has become a parasitical business preying on them.

Corruption indeed takes many forms. This is a particularly perverse one.

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