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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rent Seeking for Fun and Profit

While rather prurient speculation has dominated the coverage of the Guergis-Jaffer train wreck, the real story is the influence peddling Jaffer is alleged to been involved in:

Jaffer, as he often does, told businessmen that he and his company, Green Power Solutions, were experts in obtaining government money. “I can get it, no problem,” he said. His company’s promotional material boasts a “thorough knowledge of government policies and incentive programs.”

“I have access to a green fund,” Jaffer said at the table.


“As most of you may have heard, we had a rather earth moving experience last night at dinner with Rahim Jaffer and Dr. Chen. Mr. Jaffer has opened up the Prime Ministers’ office to us and as a result of that dinner – he today advised me that is just as excited as we are and joining our team seems to be the next logical step,” Gillani wrote to a dozen close associates.

I very much doubt - and certainly the PMO has hotly denied - that a spent force like Jaffer had much influence with the Prime Minister, or senior ministers, after his shock election defeat in 2008. In losing to the NDP in Edmonton-Stratcona he denied the Tories a clean sweep of Alberta, and the defeat was blamed on Jaffer's lackadaisical approach to his re-election campaign. Having been retired by the voters it looks that Mr Jaffer had set himself up as a lobbyist - ex-MPs are exempt from Accountability Act passed by the Tories in 2006. That the influence Jaffer is alleged to have peddled involved government financing of environmental projects is a touch beyond satire. Big government breeds rent-seeking. With or without the aid of "busty-hookers."

Posted by Richard Anderson on April 13, 2010 | Permalink


Of course rent seeking goes with big gov't. They have entire classes in MBA programs to teach students how to be good rent-seekers (thieves?).

Posted by: Charles | 2010-04-13 10:09:26 AM

Being opposed to rent seeking within a corporation in Canada is career limiting. The mixed economy which is a cultural and political article of faith can produce nothing less. "Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal" was non-fiction.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2010-04-13 11:37:36 AM

Both Charles and John Chittick are spot on!

Posted by: Alain | 2010-04-13 8:14:22 PM

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