I was listening to the audible version of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples: The Birth of Britain today and it was implied that the power of church of early Britain was restricted by enforcing vows of poverty. That might be a misunderstanding of mine because I was driving in heavy traffic at the time and wasn’t giving the book my full attention. But anyway, that suggested something to me.
I wonder if requirements of poverty and perhaps chastity for politicians would improve the character of those who seek public office. They currently take an oath of office to uphold the U.S. constitution. But that is ignored by 99+% of them. In part because what the constitution “really means” is subject to interpretation and opinion. It can’t really be measured with numbers all that easily. Income can be measured much less subjectively. The indirect bribes of “stock tips”, “loans”, and “donations to the foundation” would be more easily detected by the lifestyle they live if they were required to live a life of poverty after gaining public office.
Of course the downside would be that very capable people would be self deselected from the potential candidates. But if one is to claim that politicians are self serving and government is too large and powerful. Such a requirement would change the character of the politicians in many that is in the generally correct direction.