Being generous with the people's assets

From DimPost, not a quote you expect to see there, but very relevant:

In January 1904 the first ten tram cars arrived from England . . . Everyone wanted a ride on the glamorous trams – preferably not paying the regulation fare of a penny a section. Travelling gratis on the trams became the ultimate perk. Councillors voted themselves free travel. Passes’ made of gold’ were later designed and handed out to all councillors, the Town Clerk and the City Engineer . . . A culture of being generous with the people’s assets began to develop.

Also read Reason #5786 - Why this country is broke.