One of the prices of power is the wall that it builds around #Politicians that separates them from the general population. They live in another world and easily forget the #Day To Day realities of the common citizens. Yesterday the #White House made us remember that power is not the only barrier that separates people.

Earnings

On Friday the White House released the incomes contained in ethics documents for a number of major members of its staff. The figures make for interesting reading and lead to some considerations about those with power and wealth.

Without entering into details, according to the figures reported in the BBC #Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner are worth up to $740 million.

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Gary D. Cohn chair of the National Economic Council is worth at least $230 million, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News chief is worth up to $21.6 million. Press Secretary Sean Spicer was paid $260,000.00 and owns other property. Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway earned over $800,000.00 in consultancies last year. As is also known, other members of the Administration, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, also come from high business backgrounds and their incomes reflect this.

These figures do not of course show the net worth and income of President #Donald Trump who continues to refuse to disclose his income despite promises to this effect during last year’s presidential campaign.

Wall

While people in power are expected to be successful, these figures reveal incomes and lifestyles that few members of the general population would ever hope to reach.

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This realization leads us then to ask questions about the realities of power under these circumstances.

The wall atound these people created by power is made even higher by such income levels. They already have little contact with the day to day realities of the citizens who vote for them and the high income levels only make the alienation stronger. This makes it harder for the politicians to truly understand the impact of their legislation on the daily lives of what were once known as Mr and Mrs Jones.

A case in point would be the replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act presented by House Republican Leader Paul Ryan and withdrawn after opposition from within the GOP threatened its passage through the House.

The simple question would be to ask if the legislators with incomes in the hundreds of thousand truly understand the impact on a low income family of increases of health insurance premiums of a few thousand dollars. The obvious answer would be in the negative.

Representatives

This gap that separates politicians and bureaucrats from the citizens is a fundamental part of the problems now affecting Democracies around the world.

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Those who ostensibly represent the population cannot understand those sections of the population who cannot even dream such levels of incomes, let alone being able to find the way to relieve the difficulties of these citizens. While it would be unrealistic to expect anyone to give away their wages, the representatives should at least make the effort to understand the position of their constituents.

Anger

While political philosophy may justify the wages that philosophy does nothing to relieve the poor or to help a family take care of a sick child or grandparent. Yet these are the very people that laws such as the ACA affect.

As long as this disproportionate gap exists between the general population and the political class the unrest towards politicians will only grow and feed the anger that is now driving populist politicians around the world.

The very name politics refers to people and this is a truth too many politicians forget. It is time that they are reminded that they do not represent only a small section of the population but all the country. As long as this attitude exists the anger towards politicians will only grow.