A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“As I get older, I remember all the people I’ve lost. Maybe a tour guide career wasn’t for me” (8/17)
“You should get an employee discount for using self-checkout in a store” (8/17)
“I felt bad, but then I installed a new version of office. It improved my outlook” (8/17)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (8/17)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (8/17)
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Entry from August 03, 2010
“There is no such thing as a cheap politician” (Ferdinand Lundberg’s Law)

"There is no such thing as a cheap politician” is sometimes called “Ferdinand Lundberg’s Law,” after New York University professor and author Ferdinand Lundberg (1902-1995). Lundberg did use the saying in a 1968 book, but “There is no such thing as a ‘cheap politician’” has been cited in print since at least 1957. The law is frequently incorrectly given without the word “no”: “There is such thing as a ‘cheap politician.’”

The law means that even a “cheap politician” (i.e., a bad or corrupt politician) is not really “cheap” (i.e., the politician accepts bribes).


Sage Thoughts for Would-Be Politicians
Ferdinand Lundberg’s Law:
There is such thing as a “cheap politician.”

19 May 1957, Chicago (IL) Tribune, pt. 9, pg. C16:
There is no such thing as a cheap politician.

Google Books
Lifetime Speaker’s Encyclopedia
By Jacob Morton Braude
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
1962
Pg. ?:
There is no such thing as a cheap politician.

Google Books
Scoundrels all:
Being a fulsome compendium of observations, mostly disenchanted and dyspeptic, about politics and politicians and their arcane doings down through the ages, from time immemorial

By Ferdinand Lundberg
New York, NY: Stuart
1968
Pg. 97:
There is no such thing as a cheap politician.

20 February 1977, Chicago (IL) Tribune, pg. A6:
SOMEBODY ONCE said that there Is no such thing as a cheap politician.

Google Books
1,001 logical laws, accurate axioms, profound principles, trusty truisms, homey homilies, colorful corollaries, quotable quotes, and rambunctious ruminations for all walks of life
By John Peers, Gordon Bennett and George Booth
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
1979
Pg. 21:
Ferdinand Lundberg’s Law:
There is such thing as a “cheap politician.”

Google News Archive
31 October 1982, Gainesville (FL) Sun, “No Mumbling on the Ballot,” pg. 4A, col. 1:
Declared Laurence Peter, known best for contriving the Peter Principle, “There Is no such thing as a cheap politician.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Tuesday, August 03, 2010 • Permalink