Eliot Spitzer, former Governor and Attorney General for the State of New York, talks with Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia about the so-called revolving door between the public and private spheres. While he doesn’t think the entire concept requires regulatory change, he does feel particular examples have shown an enormous problem of individuals improperly internalizing defenses of the private sector when they go to work for the government. Spitzer feels the issue is more about a person’s capacity to change with their given roles. “Can people separate, emotionally and intellectually, one job from the past job…that’s a very hard thing to do,” he says.
Asked whether the broad discrepancy in pay between private and public sector jobs is making the situation worse, Spitzer points to the non-monetary benefits of working in government. “[Government workers] are a lot happier…lawyers in the government tend to draw their joy and satisfaction not from their paycheck but from, theoretically, the existential joy of what they are doing”, he says.
Spitzer adds that he is “disappointed” in the government’s current slate of regulators, pointing to what he sees as an “overstated fear” of the economic consequences of prosecuting systemically important companies. Spitzer also gives his thoughts on the upcoming mayoral election in New York City.
Published June 19 2013 Bloomberg Law
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