Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Corporatocracy owns us

Holiday weekend so not much news. Best reading of the morning is Frank Rich on the corporate takeover of our government. By all means, read it all but here's the salient points:
As John Cassidy underscored in a definitive article titled “Who Needs Wall Street?” in The New Yorker last week, the financial sector has paid little for bringing the world to near-collapse or for receiving the taxpayers’ bailout that was denied to most small-enough-to-fail Americans. The sector still rakes in more than a fourth of American business profits, up from a seventh 25 years ago. And what is its contribution to America in exchange for this quarter-century of ever-more over-the-top rewards? “During a period in which American companies have created iPhones, Home Depot and Lipitor,” Cassidy writes, the industry reaping the highest profits and compensation is one that “doesn’t design, build or sell a tangible thing.”
And of course, it is a bi-partisan bugaboo:
Such is the ethos in his own party that Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia, complained this month that he “couldn’t even get a vote” for his proposal for a one-time windfall profits tax on Wall Street bonuses. Republicans “obviously weren’t going to vote for it,” he told Real Clear Politics, but Democrats also demurred, “saying that any vote like that was going to screw up fund-raising.”
Our election process has been corrupted by the endless campaign cycle and the need to raise money to finance it. There was a time when I thought putting a spending limit and a time limit on them would help. However, now with Citizens United skewing the rules, that fix won't work. Some days it really does feel hopeless and the best days of our republic look like they're behind us forever.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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