2006-07-27 / Sam Bari

You can't beat a system you can't understand

In search of the really great job
By Sam Bari

Occasionally, astute readers send e-mail asking our crack research department to get the facts on easy ways to make money. As you know from our fantastic track record, if it's Googlable, our Googlamaniacs will "get 'er done." So today, to answer e-mail from Elmo Snarkfussle of Moosenose, N. D., we're going to combine our never-ending quest for making easy money with another installment of our really great jobs series. The results of our efforts will show you, our loyal readers, how you can make serious money without doing much actual work.

After nanoseconds of relentless searching, the Googlemeisters concur that the easymoney job of the day is - lobbying. Yes, despite the stigma generated by lobbyists with reputations for partying to the extreme, liberal spending of cash obtained from questionable sources, and their penchant for socializing as easily with the infamous as well as the respectable, the job can pay handsomely, especially for those without a conscience.

Becoming a lobbyist is fundamentally easy, particularly if you have nefarious skills. Being a lawyer can also be helpful. You can often find lobbyists hanging out in lobbies of government buildings. That's why they call them "lobbyists." This is where they stalk their prey. Just kidding. They call it initiating business by consulting with key government personnel.

Prospective lobbyists must remember that lawmakers fall into two groups, legislators and judges. Legislators actually write legislation, and judges make legislation by interpreting the law to fit their personal whimsy. There are also two kinds of lobbyists, the successful ones, and the burnouts. Both are easily recognized.

Successful lobbyists get the attention of lawmakers by vigorously shaking their hand as they whisper clever things in their ear like, "Got a minute? I have money." The burnouts use a similar approach. However, they say, "Got a minute? Can you spare change?"

To be a successful lobbyist, you must have access to copious amounts of disposable, untraceable cash. Did I mention that? This is easily accomplished by finding clients with self-serving interests or causes that need legislation written in their favor. For the brain dead who can't figure it out, clients make the generous quantities of untraceable cash available to spread as needed to inspire lawmakers to create the required legislation. Stay with me now. This is government work, not rocket science.

The advantages of being a lobbyist are many. Lobbyists have low personal overhead because they have no need for an actual office or place of doing business. They generally make their proposals aboard private jets provided by their clients as they fly to exotic destinations where they can work in a pleasant atmosphere amidst surroundings that are suitable for negotiating their desired legislative needs. An obscenely large yacht on the French Riviera is one of the more popular settings known to afford the right ambience for this purpose. Lobbyists can also add lack of need for a home address to the no office required perk because all of their, shall we say, personal essentials are provided for at a variety of desirable locations around the globe. Sound good so far? We thought so.

The "work" part of lobbying is easy. All a lobbyist is required to do is ask a lawmaker to write some "long-needed legislation for the good of his constituents," and push the bill through the necessary channels to make it official. The lawmaker will usually suggest that all things are possible. However, his term in office doesn't allow enough time to pass the desired legislation. If he isn't re-elected, the law will never see the light of day. For successful lobbyists, this is not an insurmountable obstacle. These situations are tailor-made for the use of the private jet, copious amounts of disposable cash, and other necessary tools needed to get the job done.

Now, we would be more than happy to explain the details of how to use those "necessary" tools, but if you really want to be a lobbyist and can't read between the lines or at least take a wild guess about what to do with the available resources, there is a small problem. You don't have the nefarious skills that we talked about earlier. Unfortunately, they are essential if you want to succeed at the lobbying game. If this bothers you, I'm sorry, but you are probably just another one of those people with a conscience who lives in a system very few of us can really understand. You are more than likely destined to (shudder) work for a living, unless, of course, you do something like become a newspaper columnist.

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