It seems to me that some people are so obsessed with “equality” they also become naive. The narrative below is a good example. One point of view wants members of Congress to be more like average Americans. In other words, not wealthy with stock market investments – more patriotic candidates of average means they say.
A ban on Congress and spouses owning individual stocks sounds appealing – of course, one has to assume we elect people to represent us who are devoid of ethics so not owning stocks matters. 🤔
Sometimes electing people without investments and who received a raise when elected to Congress, even with a good education, is risky business. Consider this from former bartender Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
HJRes23 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States extending the right to vote to citizens sixteen years of age or older.
The prefrontal cortex of the brain performs reasoning, planning, judgment, and impulse control, necessities for being an adult, but is not fully developed in teenagers. Without the fully development prefrontal cortex, a teen might make poor decisions.
House Democrats are close to introducing a ban on stock trading for members of Congress, their spouses, and senior staff members, Punchbowl News first reported, citing multiple unnamed sources.Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/congress-stock-trading-house-dems-close-proposing-ban-report-2022-7
Most of those who endorse a stockholding ban focus on the ways in which such a measure would reduce conflicts of interest and strengthen congressional ethics. But beyond that, a ban could improve of the state of substantive representation’s sibling: descriptive representation. That term refers to the supposition that elected officials should be demographically representative of their constituents. That representation can be conceptualized along axes of race, gender, sexual orientation, and so on.
Descriptive representation has been increasing in Congress for years, but the progress is uneven. While Congress has become more diverse in terms of genderand race with each recent election, the socioeconomic standing of its average legislator has not. Analyses in recent years have pegged the median net worth of a member of Congress at upwards of $500,000, more than five times the median household income of an American family.
And while stock ownership is not a direct stand-in for overall wealth, stock ownership by members of Congress also outpaces that of the average American. As recently as 2011, 92 percent of congresspersons owned some form of stock, compared to 54 percent of the American public (with the vast majority of circulating shares owned by the wealthy). That leaves middle- and working-class Americans underrepresented in Congress.
A stockholding ban could indirectly close that gap, boosting socioeconomic descriptive representation and ensuring wealthy candidates who do choose to run for office are willing to put the public before financial gain. With the affluent harboring much of their wealth in stocks, legislation barring the possession of such assets while in Congress would give candidates a binary choice between retaining those investments and holding federal office. That might dissuade some deep-pocketed candidates from choosing to run and make more room for aspirants of average means.
Rather than punishing the wealthy for their assets and unfairly excluding them from Congress, an ownership ban would merely select for patriotic congressional candidates who hold public service in higher regard than their stock portfolios; that fewer of the ultrawealthy might advance to Congress when forced to make that choice would simply be a result of the overrepresentation of the wealthy among those Americans who own stock and thus see divestiture as a non-starter to mounting a congressional bid.Source: Brookings