The U.S. Congress: Rich folks telling you what’s right

Just saw an interesting news item on CNN about the median net worth of the U.S.’s congresspeople. I looked on their site to see if they had a post about it so I could double-check the numbers, but I can’t find it, so you’ll have to trust my memory (I scored 142 on the WAIS-IV scale, so don’t worry, I’m good for it):

  • Republicans: $953,000
  • Democrats: $879,000
  • Avg American: $96,000

The crazy thing is that the congresspeople’s net worth did not include houses owned! (Net worth is the sum of your assets–including houses owned, usually–less the sum of your debts.) The average American only has a net worth of $96,000 including their house!

For me, this seems to highlight a major issue in the American political system: only rich, well-connected people can get elected. It seems like whoever raises the most money wins the race, and it’s easy to raise money if you’re well-connected, and the best way to become well-connected is to become rich. This is why there is such a disconnect between our leaders and the average American: the people in congress usually haven’t been average Americans for quite some time, if they ever were.

I suppose if you don’t like these numbers, you could always vote Green in November.