Robert Moses and LBJ Explained by Robert Caro

Best Question @ 55:55 “We expect our political leaders to be principled and ethical; however to be political effective it appears that politicians must be amoral; can the system be fixed or is this tension inherent in the system”

Is politics going to be continually corrupted? Robert Caro says that we should really understand how things actually work in politics. That the challenge for the next generations in developed western democracy and the world generally. Is there a tension between being a principled leader and do anything to get power for its own sake? The political genius of Moses and LBJ shows us how to get things done, you would hope that people would study their political systems but that’s not particularly in high demand. The more people understand how things really work in politics; the more powerful those citizens become.

Robert Moses was never going to get elected; so he drafted legislation that no one understood. He would bury his power in the legislation to ensure that you would have a bridge toll that directly payed Moses. He created overlapping terms of office, created public relations fees, contracts. He was the locus of corruption but he himself was never interested in money. Moses had overlapping authorities and persuaded La Guardia to approve this legislation: you have to read the contract.

What was revealed about: Moses wanted power for the sake of his dreams. He selected projects that would give him more power. Instead of parks, he built public low income housing. Public housing was where the Federal authority. Moses build 155K housing; he didn’t want lower. Moses was very racist, arrogant. Getting things done was Moses’ skill.

Robert Moses’ response to the 1.2K page biography by Caro: