by Brian T. Lynch, MSW
For most American’s, democracy is dead. A Princeton study found that if over 90% of us support a bill or policy idea in Congress, it has about a 30% chance of passing. BUT, if over 90% of us really hate a bill or policy idea in Congress… it has about a 30% chance of passing. Why? The system is corrupt. Our democracy is broken.
So here is a novel idea.Make corrupt political practices illegal. On the federal level alone the top 200 most politically active companies spend over $5.8 billion a year funding politicians (buying our democracy), often promising politicians high wage jobs after they leave office. All of this allows the lobbyists to write the laws that congress actually passes, sometime without even reading the bills first. In exchange for all this political cash, these 200 politically active corporations receive over $4.4 trillion in favorable tax supports. That is equal to a 75,900% return on their political investments. It’s a racket and it’s all perfectly legal.
As the video below explains so well, that mean that 90% of everyone in the lower economic groups in America has “a minuscule, near zero, statistically insignificant.” influence over what laws our representatives pass in the Federal Congress.
Watch this video that explains the finding of a scholarly study out of Princeton. [Note: prior link was incorrect. This is the corrected link]
Copy and paste link to your browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tu32CCA_Ig&spfreload=1
The creator of the above video have a possible solution which they explain in their second video, How to Fix Corruption in America. The fix is to make political corruption illegal though passage of a simple law. But getting anything passed in the Federal Congress to fix the way they do business now is impossible. So the strategy is to start by passing the law locally and then statewide so that federal representatives elected from these states aren’t already tainted by corrupt politics. Once enough states pass the anti-corruption law, there will be enough congress people from those states to pass a federal anti-corruption law. Here below is the video:
Copy and paste link to your browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhe286ky-9A
And so, like all politics, the solution to make our voice count once again is in our hands if we act locally while thinking globally. All politics is local. Let’s make local politics the place where we restore democracy in America.
If you are disturbed by these facts, please do your part in getting this information out to your friends across the internet. and get active locally to start turning things around. The level of political corruption is inversely proportional to the level of citizen involvement.
Since legislating this is all but impossible–after all, technically corruption IS illegal–I recommend that we take an alternate route. I suggest that we make corruption a moral issue. We need to do what MADD did, back in the 80s and 90s. Sure, drunk driving was illegal, it was also a party joke–nudge, nudge, “I was so drunk that….” Mothers Against Drunk Driving put a face on the real costs. It was a maturational moment in our country when the boys-will-be-boys had to sit up and look at results. (Girls, too.) It can be done. We need to identify incidents of corruption and go crazy with letters to the editor, with blogging and tweeting. We need to made “politics-as-usual” visibly as ugly as it is. The rise of Bernie Sanders tells us that the electorate is ready. We are tired of always getting the short end of the status quo. Only when we start throwing the bums out of office, will we get a better sort of bums in office. Start by getting angry about money in politics.