Why the rich are different

Shannon wrote a few days ago on social mobility or lack thereof, and how lionizing the wealthy is frankly a bit ridiculous. Those with money have access to a set of advantages, resources and tools that low income families can only dream about, even when trying to get help from the government.

Case in point: Mitt Romney and how he has a lobbyist on contract to help facilitate the construction on his new house mansion in California:

To help facilitate the construction plans, Romney has paid San Diego attorney Matthew A. Peterson $21,500 since 2008 to lobby city officials for the renovation after dropping out of the 2008 GOP presidential primary.

The leading Republican presidential contender wants to replace the beach house with a structure more than three times larger.

The fees, doled out in four installments and detailed in municipal quarterly lobbying disclosure reports, paid for Peterson’s lobbying of four city officials involved in the proposed construction of the Romneys’ home in the exclusive La Jolla section of San Diego along the Pacific coast.

The San Diego Reader first reported in 2010 that Romney had paid $1,000 to a La Jolla architecture firm to lobby city officials for a coastal development permit for the seaside property. The $21,500 paid to Peterson is in addition to those fees.

I am pretty sure that all the clients that CAHS advocates at the Department of Social Services would greatly appreaciate having $20,000 to have a chasing down  their case worker. Pretty sure they can´t afford it.

One of the main reasons to  make sure that the social safety need works well is precisely this: low income families neither have the time or the money to have to deal with paperwork, delays and entry barriers when they are trying to get some help. The wealthy don´t mind bad governance that much, as they can always hire someone to deal with the paperwork. The rest of us can´t do the same.

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