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  • Jim__L

    “The empirical evidence that higher expenditures actually increase a
    candidate’s chances of winning a Congressional race is still equivocal at best.”

    I’m glad at least some media outlets are beginning to notice. You know, I haven’t been hearing much about that these days — during other presidential elections it was a more or less continuous drumbeat.

    Could it be because Trump spent hardly anything?

    • Andrew Allison

      Apples and oranges. Trump’s victory despite the combined efforts of both the right and left, suggests that a candidate can secure the presidential nomination without buying it. Congressional races are a different kettle of, utterly rotten, fish. Gerrymandering has ensured that the candidate representing one or other of the major parties, typically the incumbent (who has to retire, die or be convicted of spectacular malfeasance to be replaced), will be elected.

      • Fat_Man

        Ask Eric Cantor about that claim.

        • Andrew Allison

          Not sure which claim you are referring to, but Cantor resigned.

          • f1b0nacc1

            After he was beaten in the primary by a candidate who spent basically nothing opposing him.

      • Jim__L

        There are swing districts.

  • FriendlyGoat

    The best thing to do with lawyers who monopolize and make too much is to tax the high-end of those lawyers silly. The only reason a 24-year-old is making $180,000 is because his supervising partners are making a lot (LOT) more. They are not in any sense “job creators” for middle-class workers and yet there is not a Republican in the United States who is not dreaming of giving stunningly-large tax cuts to the most elite lawyers in the country, whether ambulance chasers on contingent fee or M&A specialists for the Fortune 500.
    Seriously, not only is the lawyer/legislator game conducive to tax cuts, but every Ben Carson supporter in the country was nodding approval to the idea that if 10% is good enough for God, then a “tithe tax” would be a dandy idea for every white shoe firm in New York and Boston.
    Carson is gone, but Trump isn’t and the bubbas out there who don’t understand why these kinds of cuts are crazy because of who benefits the most from them—–well, they just get a new hat and keep nodding.

    • JR

      OMG, is there any post where your solution is NOT high-end taxes. I get that you have an idea fixe, but still….

      • FriendlyGoat

        Actually, other than CEO’s and financial traders, it’s hard for me to think of a segment less in need of a tax cut than the type of lawyers who are the subject of this article. But, did you know that your preferred party is AGAIN pushing high-end tax cuts for those CEO’s, traders and lawyers in its policy agenda? Why are you griping at ME for having an “idea fixe”. The whole Republican Party EXISTS for almost no other purpose than electing and passing those cuts. I’m just a bit player in the comment section who happens to “get” the scam.

        • JR

          I will be honest, I didn’t bother reading your post. you know why? Because I get it. You are passionate about your religious beliefs. But please understand that there are others who don’t share the same zeal for statism that you do. That is all. Otherwise, continue to rant and rave. Yeah, you get it alright…..

          • FriendlyGoat

            Thanks for pointing out that you are responding to a post you haven’t read. It’s easier to understand you that way.

          • JR

            Why read your over-blown generalities? Like all failed prophets, you think your ideas are a lot more revolutionary than they really are. You worship at the altar of statism, I don’t. I don’t want you stealing my money just because you feel like it. Yeah, wealth redistribution hasn’t been tried before. You still have no answer for the failure of centrally planned economies wherever they were tried. You just want to steal what’s mine, so unless we are redistributing your wealth and taxing you to death, feel free to GFY.
            P.S. Your partisanship used to be a lot less shrill and unpleasant. These days you are just like every other Left-winger who knows all there is to know about the Republican Party.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I actually DO know the purposes and effects of the Republican Party.
            Every time you are reminded of those with a reasoned commentary, you blow another gasket. That’s telling.

          • JR

            You do realize you sound completely delusional, right? I’ve also noticed a lot of compliments you’ve been paying yourself. You are a genius if you do say so yourself. And you do. Repeatedly. The Internet has never seen the likes of you. I’m sorry but I can no longer take you seriously. So I will just make fun of you. Until then, goodbye.

          • Anthony

            FG, human nature (as you well know) reveals itself (consciously or unconsciously) in our need to compare ourselves to others (on any number of categories – left/right, republican/democrat [Sunni/Shite], liberal/conservative, etc.). That is, sometimes we (humans) get upset if someone (you perhaps) we are virtually aware of comes across as prescient. The catalyzing emotion is very rarely acknowledged because it may be socially unpleasant to countenance; so, we sublimate and find an acceptable rationale.

            Intelligence can be a most sensitive trigger point for…. But, you know this and I am interjecting while musing topic polarization.

          • FriendlyGoat

            The unfortunate effect of this is that the more a person tries to dig deep into “making sense” (from either side), the more that person is attacked (and possibly from both sides at once). This stems from the emotional and sociological cat and mouse game you are describing, I suppose, but it ruins the hope of achieving balanced consensus on important matters.

            Fat Man above has written (in my view) a correct analysis of the struggle now faced by larger numbers of lawyers. If I went to JR and Fat Man and pointed out that higher taxes on the higher end would serve to curb excesses without hurting (and probably helping) that larger group of lower lawyers, they would tell me I’m an idiot (again). And yet, neither TAI, nor Fat Man nor JR can explain, as Fat Man put it, “Big Law and the money it collects”.

          • Anthony

            Ridicule is a refuge for the…. And sometimes it’s not about explanation but confirmation; still, I think your contribution and perspective adds (I really respect your Christianity. Here’s something to ponder over: acsh.org/news/2016/06/26/anti-intellectualism-is-biggest-threat-to-modern-society/

          • FriendlyGoat

            Thanks for both your kind words and the link. Dr. Berezow is touching a very important subject—-maybe THE most important subject of our political time.

          • JR

            It is pretty clear you view taxation as a way to punish those you are jealous of. Do you have any notion how old this idea is. It has been used most recently in Venezuela and Russia. I don’t want to live in an equivalent of Russia or Venezuela and am not afraid to express that view. And I will actively fight those who seek to impose that future on me and my children.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, I predicted how you would react. Meanwhile, Anthony sent us a link to a thoughtful article here: acsh.org/news/2016/06/26/anti-…
            which seeks to explain our polarization on everything.
            I hope you will take time to read it.

          • JR

            My reaction to this has been very consistent and thus easy to predict. You’re a statist, and I am not. I will fight you every step of the way as you try to implement your statist agenda.

            “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

            ― Samuel Adams

          • FriendlyGoat

            JR, you are imagining that you are fighting “me”. You are fighting because you are fighting. Your angry assaults on my comments do not negate the value of lack thereof in my thoughts or those of anyone else. I’m an old retiree who could drop out of your sight tomorrow and you would just go harass someone else.
            As for Samuel Adams, he is best noted today for being a beer brand. But you’re at least the sixth or seventh person who has thrown that quote at me—–SERIOUSLY—which proves that conservatives are all feeding themselves the same talking points. I’m not anyone’s dog. I am not in tranquility of servitude. I’m not in chains. I’m not “going” anywhere. And, I’m as much a countryman as you.
            Meanwhile, you probably didn’t look at Anthony’s link, but you should.

          • JR

            Or it could prove that you solicit the same reaction from like minded people. Yes, everyone who hates statism sees you the same way. You think you are special while this episode illustrates that you are anything but. I believe in the free market, you believe in statism. We will never meet in the middle, because your view makes men with guns come to my house and take me away. Like I said, I will fight you with humor, serious discussion, whatever it takes because I’m fighting for something I believe in.
            I read Anthony’s link. Experts believed in global cooling not so long ago. I’m sorry, but appeals to authority do not work on me.

          • Jim__L

            By the way, in my view, corporate oligarchy or monopoly is a form of centrally controlled economy.

  • Fat_Man

    “Lawyers at big firms are able to command extraordinary rates (24 year-old associates now make $180,000) not because their talents are so extraordinarily rare, but because, … the ABA has created a protectionist racket that shuts competitors out.

    Sorry. That just doesn’t wash. The fact is that the “Big Law” firms that pay those outrageous salaries are a very thin layer of the profession. And not even all of them make that much money. I had dinner last week with an old friend who works at one of those firms. He is 60 years old. A few years ago he specialized in secularization, they type of financing that went boom in the panic of 2008. he was hot stuff then. He told me that he makes less than those fortunate rookies. But, he is just happy to stay employed.

    The majority of lawyers work as solo practitioners or in very small firms. Most of them do not make 6 figures. A lot of them earn very middle class amounts $40 to $60 thousand a year. Another big slice are employed by governments and big corporations. They don’t make big money either, but they are very happy for the security of a paycheck and benefits.

    Even 8 years after the bubble burst about 35,000 J.D.s graduate every year, and less than 25,000 land full time jobs requiring them to have passed the bar. There is an enormous and growing reserve army of unemployed and underemployed lawyers.

    It is true that many legal services are excessively expensive and poorly delivered. And the ‘unauthorized practice rules are a culprit. But, they cannot explain Big Law and the big money it collects.

  • Daniel Nylen

    The laws of supply and demand are not repealed by government, only distorted. About 15% of all graduating lawyers start at high salaries with big law firms. These lawyers are the top of the class of the top law schools and have to be able to provide value to the law firm to support that salary. For big companies working on legal matters where small issues mean millions of dollars and cases are often in the billions, there is a demand for top intellect directed by experience in the byzantine corridors of the law. I can’t justify the creation of this situation, but it exists and there are those who make a great living off of it.

    As far as competition, it exists and is incredibly fierce. Firms start, grow and others die in legal battles every year. Technology is already eroding the pyramid scheme of billable hours and all that is left is actually producing the work our crazy but complicated system of laws force the companies to create.

    As long as scores of lawyer lobbyist create more and more complex regulations and laws for companies to use, lawyers that can navigate these pathways will command a good salary. Mind you, their salary is nothing like that of wall street, but it is easily in the upper middle class.

  • Ofer Imanuel

    Author suggests increasing competition by breaking the ABA guild – excellent idea.
    I also agree that paying 180K to young associates is a function of their managers making much more.
    However, there is one more thing we can (and should) do. Lawsuits do not require putting in a significant court fee, which encourages frivolous lawsuits, aimed at settlement. If we required (as in other countries) a 2% of the lawsuit, it may deter some of this, and as a result cut lawyerism profitability.

  • James Alan Groome

    Lawyers naturally find solutions with-in law or with-in writing of laws and/or regulations, this is not a conspiracy, they are a product of their education and work experience. A legislator with business experience will naturally look at solving problems from a different angle, someone with a back ground as a farmer would also have a differing perspective regarding problem solving.
    The problem enters when the overwhelming plurality if not a majority of elected officials are from the same profession, and they occupy all three branches of government.

    100% of the judicial branch are attorneys, Approx 40% of the legislative branch are attorneys, and quite often either one (50%) or both (100%) of the Executive branch are attorneys.

    Pick ANY profession (ditch diggers) and ask this… if 40% of the legislators in congress were (ditch diggers) how do you think the ditch digging occupation would be faring?

    This works with ANY occupation or profession.
    If 40% of the legislators were Bee Keepers… pick any profession ad nauseam and apply the above scenario, however do not fail to remember the following: none of these professions or occupations would hold 1% much less 100% of the judicial branch.

    Why should legislative branch attorneys be able to write laws and regulations which require citizens to hire attorneys thus enriching themselves and their profession?

    While attorneys write the laws and regulations for EVERY other field… why are Attorneys self regulated?

  • Oso_Politico

    The only thing worse than having criminals as legislators is having lawyers. I humbly suggest a Constitutional Amendment barring lawyers from legislative assemblies….

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