An Honest Con Artist Essay

1544 words - 7 pages

In “Honest Graft Hall”, the words of George Washington Plunkitt are recorded so that the historical observer can directly observe the ideals of a very opinionated American Politician. Considered “the most thoroughly practical politician of the day” (Riordon , Preface), William Riordon records Plunkitt’s opinion on everything political from honest and dishonest graft to civil service issues. In this book, Plunkitt is able to show us how he has been so successful in politics for forty years and will continue to be. In this paper, I will be taking a look at his stance on several issues such as honest and dishonest graft, liquor and politics, political party bosses, patriotism, and civil service reformers.
At various times throughout the publication Plunkitt leads us to believe that he is only interested in what is good for the community and nothing else. He often mentions the well-educated man who flaunts his education in the political realm as if it were something that validates him being a politician. Even though men may have a good education, Plunkitt believes that education is merely one area of political relations and should not be used in every facet of politics as it may turn voters away from the party itself. He calls these types of people “fancy”. These guys are thought of as the “ornaments” of the organization and are good for special ceremonies, but not necessarily useful for directing city government. Plunkitt portrays his approach as more of a behind the scenes approach when it comes to actual politics and what it all entails. He is the one knocking on doors to get the vote, finding jobs for community members, buying wedding gifts and helping poor families buy their next meal. Despite his philanthropy though, there seems to be a question about his honesty. He is able to obtain a good bit of wealth by holding “four public offices in one year” (Riordon , Preface) while drawing a salary “from three of them at the same time” (Riordon , Preface). Nevertheless, he is also able to thrive in his own business outside of governmental boundaries. This in itself is of no regard, but his business conduct is of concern here. Plunkitt makes no effort to conceal the fact that he is often “tipped off” (Riordon , Chapter 1) about upcoming government projects. He is able to invest in the right land when given information about when the government plans to build next. He then buys the land at a cheaper rate in order to sell it to the government for a profit. Amusingly, he finds it quite enjoyable that the condemnation commissioners often wonder how he knew exactly what property to buy beforehand. Such speculation can ultimately lead to a claim of dishonest graft against him. In Plunkitt’s opinion, there is a clear distinction between honest graft and dishonest graft. He defines honest graft as “politicians who make a fortune out of politics by keepin’ their eyes wide open” (Riordon , Chapter 7) for opportunities. These men tend to look out for the...

Find Another Essay On An Honest Con Artist

Napster Ethics. Essay

991 words - 4 pages may produce a better product in the future. Mr. Fanny is the robber. He his stealing the fruits that others produced for his own personal gain and is giving it away to future customers who could contribute to the artist who are trying to make an honest living and in anybodies eyes, this is stealing. To take the view of this topic form an utilitarianism view point, we not only need to look at this from just the artist or Napsters point of view

The Life of Frank Abagnale Essay

998 words - 4 pages the FBI and has also created his own consulting agency to solve cases of fraud and educate others on how to avoid falling victim to fraud.The Life of Frank AbagnaleFrank Abagnale is one of world's most notorious con artist. He was born on April 27, 1948, in Bronxville, New York (Frank Abagnale Jr., 2014). Frank's parents met during World War II, while his father was stationed in Algeria (Frank Abagnale Jr., 2014).Abagnale's first con was at age


864 words - 3 pages such as this one are extremely viable. However, there are precautions that artists can take in order to be proactive and prevent these cases from occurring. All artists can utilize digital fingerprinting, watermarks, and Creative Commons licenses to protect their work.The first way an artist can protect their work is by using a digital fingerprint. This is an ID that is embedded into the file of the original work, so that all duplicates or copies

Pilgrim Portrait-The Pardoner

1552 words - 7 pages Church, is a con-artist. The appearance of the Pardoner indicates the con-artist nature of the Pardoner. Chaucer the narrator states, “Swiche glarynge eyen hadde he as an hare”, describing the animal-like eyes of the Pardoner. The “Hare eyes” were symbolic of pride, gluttony, drunkenness, impudence, shamelessness, lack of propriety and capacity to mesmerize people. Hares were also considered to hermaphrodites because they were able to sleep with

Psychological Analysis Of Rashoman

1306 words - 5 pages the Rashomon Gate sets the stage for the servant?s internal psychological struggle. We meet the servant, his once fine clothes are now ?worn thin? just like the the gold of the icons. Discharged from his master, he is lost in this new world. He has ?no particular idea? of what to do. He realizes he faces a hard decision: to try to make an honest living and starve, or to become a theif and survive. Akutagawa very effectively illustrates the

The Unthought known

1781 words - 7 pages ransacking the house of Mrs. Thomas Early and stealing several articles, including part of her bridal outfit. Mrs. Early has identified a newspaper picture of Drenth; he becomes angry after her marriage to Early and the burglary followed. (pg.280) Unknowingly his memory has been filled with crude ideas. His father Wilko Drenth is an honest man, whereas he murdered brutally many women and stolen many things. When he

Irony and Characterization in O’Connor’s Good Country People

1092 words - 4 pages , and their chance encounter with the Bible selling con-artist Manley Pointer. It is a story of a few not so, “Good Country People.” The ironic quality of each character’s name is apparent immediately. Joy Hopewell, a woman crippled in a gruesome hunting accident, is depicted as bitter, sullen, and nihilistic. She is anything but well-whishing or Joyful. Her mother named her daughter because she expected her child to be her joy. She hates the name

This is Our World: Art Is In Part of Our Lives

680 words - 3 pages we go home and close the door on the outside world”(Allsion 50). Allsion explains further how people may not be able to mention the truth what we know about our world because we the world brings more dishonesty or unhealthy images to everyone. She always think about the art can change this situation. Her goal was to portray the real truth of the world through art and to also affect others’ lives if it is possible. She is trying her best to encourage and recommend people that every artist makes an attempt to do the same. Art can bring us back to the honest society.

"Six Degrees of Separation" - The Central Theme

699 words - 3 pages attitude towards Paul, and Flan and Ousia Kittredge – a simple, even overrated intrusion by a black con artist. Delving a little further, the idea of racism emerges perhaps.One recurring theme in the film is the idea of “Chaos and Control”, the Kandinsky. The painting is at first displaying the “controlled” side of the canvas – it makes you wonder how often the Kittredge’s actually flip the painting to the “

change of attitude of chrisianity and islam toward

513 words - 2 pages about 70-80C.E. and in the Qur?an at about 620-650C.E. It is written in the Bible that, ?It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.? The Qur?an states that, ?the honest, truthful Muslim merchant will take rank with the martyrs of the faith.? According to the Bible, a man must devote his life to serving God, not acquiring riches, therefore a true Christian cannot be a merchant

Chuck Close's Life and Book Review

2045 words - 8 pages : Life (Prestel Publishing, $35) a more complete biographical perspective than the first volume. This book takes an honest approach in the detailing life of the artist. Rarely do we get a real sense of the artist life behind the scene, but most importantly do we get the complete story. Whenever someone takes the time write a biography of individual without their cooperation it is easy fall into sensationalism, this could be the result of relying

Similar Essays

Kafka's Hunger Artist Essay

653 words - 3 pages Kafka's Hunger Artist   Kafka, in his masterpiece "The Hunger Artist," suggests that humans can never satisfy their desires. This is illustrated through the metaphorical hunger artist for whom nourishment is not being nourished at all. The viewing public's interest is derived from their desire to see the hunger artist cheating, but to view this would put an end to that desire. Finally, Kafka presents this idea while the artist

Lucian's "Alexander The False Prophet": Pagan Culture

925 words - 4 pages himself for money. How does that profession contribute to the fabric of a society?Another quality of a rogue is that they're willing to go to any length in order to satisfy their own desires. Alexander illustrates this in many ways. It flat out says on page 272 that Alexander and his cohort "Nutsy" were "out-and-out rascals who were ready to stoop to anything and stop at nothing." Probably the furthest length that a con artist could go to is to take

Law Making Essay

594 words - 2 pages Politicians and the Law-Making process are not responsive to the people. Things are too easily corruptible in our system of government. People aren't being represented because big businesses are flying them around the world, paying for their campaigns and putting their kids through college.In the movie "Distinguished Gentleman", a con artist becomes a member of congress. He is thrown into a world of politics and coped meals. When Thomas Johnson

Victor Lustig. He Was A Con Artist In The Early 20th Century. Most Famous For Selling The Eifel Tower Twice.

1312 words - 5 pages jail and Lustig gets off free. In 1934 the Secret Service caught on and had a long stakeout. Following there was an arrest made and Lustig couldn't talk his way out of it and showed the officials where the plates and counterfeit money was. He was convicted and sent to Alcatraz where he spent the rest of his life and died in 1947 of pneumonia.It is said that these cons could not be performed today. I personally disagree with this. A con artist is