You may know him from his persona of “Kane” in the WWE, but Glenn Jacobs is running for office.
Hopefully, he’ll take a Big Boot, Chokeslam, Flying Clothesline, Sidewalk Slam, Throat Thrust, Tilt-a-Whirl Slam, and Tombstone Piledriver to government.
The following is from our interview with Glenn Jacobs…
LV: You’re currently running for mayor of Knox County, Tennessee. Why should people vote for you?
GJ: Well, if they like low taxes, and for government to stay out of their lives as much as possible, that’s what I’m all about. Free enterprise is the greatest wealth generating machine ever and, I’d like to see… I think if we allowed the market to be unleashed, we could be a beacon the rest of the country and the rest of the world what the free enterprise system could accomplish, and that’s a lot.
LV: You’ve talked about your support for the concept of federalism, where states and localities should have more power in order for the federal government to have less. What powers do you think Knox County should utilize more?
GJ: Oh, gosh. Well, if you look at what powers have actually been granted to the federal government by our Constitution, it’s really not much. Most of the powers have been, are reserved for the states. That’s really where the Constitutional shift of power has occurred in a way from the states to the federal government. There’s just so many things that the federal government currently does, it’s really overarching. What they do, of course, is things for the feds to force their will by taking money from the residents in the states, and then if you don’t go with this particular program, well, we’re not going to give this money back, the federal government implies to each state. In a way they’re essentially bribing us with our own money. That has to stop.
The great thing about America is, under a federal arrangement- and there’s a difference between federal and national… let’s back that up a second.
Federal arrangement means most of the powers are reserved to the states, but national means the states are divisions of the federal government. The great thing is, like Ronald Reagan said, you have states that are competing in this way, allows people to vote with their feet. That arrangement is set to allow, even encourage a greater degree of freedom. You already see this to some extent, you need to know we have income tax, nationally. But lower tax jurisdictions and the jurisdictions which are more business friendly are doing better than ones that aren’t. To some extent, you could replicate that at an even more local level as well. I’d like to see Knox County have more decisions over where the money that we collect through taxation is spent, as opposed to what happens now, where the state still collects a lot of it and then sends some of that back or funds their own programs. I think it’d be better if we had more of a say in where our own is spent.
LV: Last year, you said you’d wait to announce whether or not you’d run until after the 2016 Presidential election. Did that have anything to do with seeing how voters would react to a politician with experience in reality TV but without experience in government?
GJ: Not really. It was simply the fact that, well, that was an important election, of course, and people were concentrating on that. Both for that reason, and well as just the practical– you want people to pay attention to your race. The Presidential race was pretty important and people wanted to concentrate on that. That was more the reasoning, just the timing of the distraction.
LV: You’ve spoken in the past about your identification with Austrian economics in particular. How did you find such an economic philosophy, and could you describe what Austrian economics means to people who may not have heard about it before?
GJ: Sure, Austrian economics is the most free market school of economics. Though, really it’s more of what I’d call an observatory school, as opposed to a prescription… in other words, the Austrians look to try to understand why things happen, as opposed to predicting how things are going to happen. Because, when you look at the market, there’s so many things you can’t predict because you’re looking at stats, but the study of Austrian economics is the study of human action, so… in a nutshell, that would be the main difference…
LV: Praxeology is sort of a study of human behavior applied to economics rather than…
GJ: Yeah, as opposed to treating people as numbers and putting them into equations and pretending to predict the what people are going to do.
LV: According to the Knoxville county charter, the mayor is the chief financial officer of the county, and the mayor’s responsibilities include developing the country’s annual budget. What is the state of the current budget, and what would you like to change?
GJ: Currently, the county is doing really well. The current mayor, Tim Burchett, I think has done a fantastic job, especially fiscally. The county hasn’t raised taxes in forever, has been able to pay down debt, he’s done a great job and I would just like to build on that. See some more places where we’d be able to eliminate waste through whatever mechanisms. Not saying anything bad about those currently running things, they’re doing a pretty good job, but government is inherently wasteful. Finding more ways to eliminate waste, looking at partnerships with the private sector to have them, you know… contribute or even take over certain functions that he government currently does in a way that benefits the public sector. Taking the burden off the taxpayers, things like naming rights at certain government facilities, partnering with business with certain programs. You have to be careful, I realize, because often what happens is that those arrangements benefit the private sector but not public sector, and we’re keenly aware of that. Those arrangements would need to be made in a way that’s ethical, transparent, making sure the taxpayers are getting their money’s worth for that. But the current administration has been doing a very great job.
LV: I definitely appreciate you taking this time with me, and want to thank you for that. I’m sure you’re pretty busy right now, selling some tee shirts and gearing up your campaign, so I should let you get to it.
GJ: Hey man, no problem. Have a good day, bud.
For more information on his specific platform or what he proposes to offer Knox County, check out his website.
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