by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
I’ve already written about the term “stakeholder” as euphemism for crony. It is typically used to denote anyone with a “stake” in an issue, except those with the most at stake: the citizens themselves.
As I put it in my newsletter today,
In Lincoln’s memorable description, the American system is “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.” On the other hand, stakeholders tend to be of the lobbies, by the politicians, for the special interests.
I must confess, however, that when I hear the term stakeholder, this is what I think of first:
I once wrote:
Vampires are bloodsucking monsters that live forever but can be killed by sunlight. The impulse to compare them to out-of-control government is certainly understandable.
In fact it’s not at all unusual to compare the destruction wrought by particularly bad policies or practices of government with actual corporal destruction. Taxes and fees either bleed us dry or they cost an arm and a leg, for example.
The Founders even accused George III in the Declaration of Independence of having “erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.”
Bleeding people dry and eating out their substance is the province of vampires; a stake, the bane of vampires.
So in this conception, at least, a stakeholder is someone with the ability to slay policies that would bleed citizens dry. Lord knows we need more stakeholders.