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Emolument, (the Emolument Clause, aka the Foreign Emoluments Clause) -- e·mol·u·ment. A formal noun, its plural being emoluments

An emolument is a nearly obsolete word meaning a salary, fee, or profit (used in it's widest sense) from employment or office. A legal term which refers to all wages and other benefits received as compensation in return for holding an office or performance of an employment. As defined by Merriam-Webster it means "the returns arising from office or employment usually in the form of compensation or perquisites."

Synonyms include salary, pay, payment, wage, earnings, allowance, bribe, stipend, honorarium, reward, premium,etc.

It's a late Middle English word originating from the Latin emolumentum, originally probably meaning ‘payment to a miller for grinding grain,’ from emolere ‘grind up,’ ‘out, thoroughly’ and ‘grind.’ It is "bezüge" when translated to German.

While rarely, if ever, used today it's contemporary "fame" arises from the United States Constitution's Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 which states in whole;

"No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."

The clause is most likely the decendent of the earlier Articles of Confederation's Article VI which attempted to protect the character of the newly formed United States from improper, corrupting foreign influences.

However, its specific meaning is vague compared to many other clauses and the Supreme Court has never directly considered the scope of the clause or its enforcement, and there are no historical analogies to help understand how it should apply... whether to a president who owns a large international business enterprise or to instances like Benjamin Franklin's acceptance of a richly bejeweled box from the King of France and never asked to be, or was authorized by Congress. Hence, it has been largely honored in the Breech by all three branches of the United States Government.

In practice its purpose, to protect against improper foreign influences, has seldom been enforced or needed given specific statutes making espionage, piracy and other acts involving foreign emoluments illegal, with some punishable by death.

Unfortuately for the vast majority of citizens lacking power or wealth, the United States Constitution has no similar clause barring a much greater danger, domestic emoluments, a matter of much more relevance and commonality, possibly due to the Framers' naive assumption that government officials would somehow be immune to greed, but more probably as part of their common ethical beliefs it was not considered being necessary. However, in reality domestic emoluments are widespread and generally considered either ethical violations, illegal being barred by various statutes or just the normal way of doing business in much of the United States Government and include such things as some "lobbying" and many political "contributions."

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