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[Nov 28 2014] Moyers & Company: The Long, Dark Shadows of Plutocracy

Nov 28 2014 |


Moyers & Company: The Long, Dark Shadows of Plutocracy
Nov 28 2014

Some people say inequality doesn't matter. They are wrong. All we have to do to see its effects is to realize that all across America millions of people of ordinary means can't afford decent housing.

As wealthy investors and buyers drive up real estate values, the middle class is being squeezed further and the working poor are being shoved deeper into squalor - in places as disparate as Silicon Valley and New York City.

This week Bill points to the changing skyline of Manhattan as the physical embodiment of how money and power impact the lives and neighborhoods of every day people. Soaring towers being built at the south end of Central Park, climbing higher than ever with apartments selling from $30 million to $90 million, are beginning to block the light on the park below. Many of the apartments are being sold at those sky high prices to the international super rich, many of whom will only live in Manhattan part-time – if at all - and often pay little or no city income or property taxes, thanks to the political clout of real estate developers.

"The real estate industry here in New York City is like the oil industry in Texas," affordable housing advocate Jaron Benjamin says, "They outspend everybody… They often have a much better relationship with elected officials than everyday New Yorkers do." Meanwhile, fewer and fewer middle and working class people can afford to live in New York City. As Benjamin puts it, "Forget about the Statue of Liberty. Forget about Ellis Island. Forget about the idea of everybody being welcome here in New York City. This will be a city only for rich people."

At the end of the show Bill says: "Tell us if you've seen some of these forces eroding the common ground where you live. Perhaps, like some of the people in our story, you're making your own voice heard. Share these experiences at our website,"

Video+Transcript: 23:09 min

[Nov 17, 2014] Democrats: The Party of Pablum John Nichols

Nov 17, 2014 |

When Bernie Sanders gets to griping about the Democratic Party, which happens frequently, he asks, "What does it stand for?"

The independent senator argues that, after years of sellouts and compromises on issues ranging from trade policy to banking regulation, and especially after letting campaign donors and consultants define its messaging, the party of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman has become an ill-defined and distant political machine that most Americans do not relate to or get excited about.

His point has always been well-taken, but it was confirmed on November 4. How else can we explain voters who chose Mitch McConnell senators and Elizabeth Warren policies?

That's what happened in Arkansas, where 65 percent of voters expressed their concern about income inequality and poverty by approving a substantial minimum-wage increase on the same day they gave Senator Mark Pryor just 39 percent of the vote. Pryor was one of many Democrats who ran away from President Obama in 2014, and part of how Pryor distanced himself was by announcing his opposition to increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Republican Tom Cotton, who also opposes the federal increase, slyly endorsed the state ballot initiative and swept to victory in a race where what could have been sharp distinctions between the contenders were neutralized by the Democrat.

[Oct 30, 2014] Republicans confident of midterm success as apathetic America switches off by Dan Roberts

Quote: "Don't blame the voters. If you're looking for someone to blame, how about asking the Democrats -- who appear to know why the GOP sucks -- to either lead or get the hell out of the way. They are occupying the opposition spot, but they are unwilling to take the natural positions that their criticism of the Republicans would imply they should take. In fact, the National Democratic Party appears to do AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE to oppose the Republican agenda, while still keeping enough faithful voters around to prevent some other party from taking its place. If there wasn't already such a placebo party, big money would probably invent it."
Oct 30, 2014 | | Comments

BaronVonAmericano , link

Is there a difference between the Republicans and Democrats? Yes.

Is it enough to generate excitement and make the public feel like they are truly charting this nation's course with their votes. Not a chance in hell.

Don't blame the voters. If you're looking for someone to blame, how about asking the Democrats -- who appear to know why the GOP sucks -- to either lead or get the hell out of the way. They are occupying the opposition spot, but they are unwilling to take the natural positions that their criticism of the Republicans would imply they should take.

In fact, the National Democratic Party appears to do AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE to oppose the Republican agenda, while still keeping enough faithful voters around to prevent some other party from taking its place.

If there wasn't already such a placebo party, big money would probably invent it.

StocktonGeographer, link
We live in the media market of Sacramento, CA, and the only TV advertising is for the Congressional district some 50-60 miles north of us, which the Democrat won by a narrow margin two years ago, defeating the sitting republican congressman.

The TV ads are endless, and the money being spent on behalf of the Republican former congressman in the effort to retake the seat seems monumental. There are at least 6 or more other congressional districts covered by the Sacramento TV stations, but not a single ad concerning any of them.

Crazy, and gross, and a mindless distortion of democracy. But there you are; that is modern USA

Eric Moller, link

I hope all those middle class people who are holding those signs have brought plenty of lube ..Because once Congress goes RED be ready for a serious reaming of the Middle Class once again by the GOP ... There not quite done yet siphoning of the what wealth remains in the American Middle Class ..

They got real close during the Wall Street Meltdown but did not quiet get it all .. America is poised to make.... yes the same mistake again and again and again .. Why one may ask ?? Because we are NUMBER ONE and NUMBER TWO .. don't forget lots of Lube ......The GOP will love it it's petroleum product after all ...

SeeNOevilHearNOevil, link

Either way, they argue, the White House loses. "He'll become the president of no," another GOP congressman confidently told the Guardian, revelling in the prospect of reversing the insult that dogged House Republicans when they were the ones blocking Democratic legislative efforts.

These clowns are still out of touch with reality...they keep saying no to everything and believe they're paying no price for it...but somehow if the Democrats say no, that it harms them.

I think you'll find that whenever the Democrats resist Republican pressure like the threats to shut government down, their popularity soars....its not about WHO says the 'NO''s about who says 'NO' to WHAT. They don't get it....

RoyRoger, link

Republicans confident of midterm success ..........

If I was an American citizen (and I'm extremely grateful that I am not) I would not insult/humiliate myself by participating in the Corporate corrupt bought and paid for, White House, politician's Corporate general elections.

It makes no difference who the Corporate America is on the Election list:

Republican's; Democrats; Disneyland; Hollywood; Crime incorporated...

Corporate politics has taken over in Corporate America. Voting is but just a mythical action. Just a load of (taken for a ride) old bollocks.

Because the Republicans just like the Tories in British politics are always in control and New Labour demonstrated this fact in 1997 when they embraced Tory Thatcher's financial philosophy for thirteen years.

A One Party State !! That loves to arm and finance dictators across the world and still clocking up coup d' etat's.


The decision not to vote in an election arises from the mistaken belief that just because things are bad now, that they could not be worse later.

SFChutzpah, link
Will a republican takeover of the senate make a difference? You bet it will! Suddenly, the president (and I use the term loosely) will become the "president of no."

Republicans will set a governing agenda, the country will be better off and in 2016, Romney might be our new president.

Catori Shadi -> SFChutzpah , link

You forgot the step before that. The Democrats have experienced record numbers of filibusters. They are very well-schooled on their use.

As for the Republicans. They have NO POLICIES that they have shared with anyone. What we will see is the continued attempts to be the anti-Democrats.

laredo33, link
1. The "mainstream" media may be ignoring the election because they tend not to report anything that might make Republicans look good.

2. Republicans should not be sure of anything for they are skilled at gaining defeat from what looks to be a sure victory.

3. Local ads against Republicans have used quotes (if you can read the very small print) from as long ago as 15 years and imply they were said yesterday. Some bounce back on that.

4. Interesting that most election story references to "big" money always mention the Koch brothers, but not the likes of George Soros, et al. Locally, the Democrats raised and outspent to Republicans by as much as 12/1.

5. There ought to be a total spending limit for a political campaign and all campaigns should be limited to 60-90 days prior to an election.

6. Too bad we don't have the leadership to create a viable Centrist Party. We need options.

ryan2293, link
Chomsky said it best when he described Obama as a moderate Republican.

The whole scene in America is dragged so far to the right that it doesn't really matter which you vote for. You either have extremist republicans who proudly hate poor people, women, non-white people and people who think guns aren't the answer to everything, or you have the more moderate Republicans who are comparable to British Tories.

And you (quite rightly) thought things were bad here!!

laredo33 -> ryan2293
Interesting that Chomsky 1) made his riches being a capitalist while condemning capitalism and 2) never chose to live in a society that more closely practiced what he preached compared to where he did choose to live.
ryan2293 -> laredo33
1) how is he a capitalist?

2) why should he leave the country? Do you have to leave the country when you don't like the government? If you don't (which you don't) then you're a hypocrite and if you do then you're an idiot, the choice is yours. And there is no libertarian socialist society that he could move to anyway! Where do you suggest?

The American electorate will deserve exactly what they will get, just as the morons in Kansas who swallowed the right-wing nonsense about trickle-down economics, slashing taxes and cutting budgets have seen their state plummet in credit ratings, burn through a billion dollars into massive debt, and debilitate their educational system at all levels.

Yet, the races are still close in that benighted state since its dyed-red voters will vote for the vacuous, destructive and exploitative ideology of the right in spite of all contrary evidence. The broader American electorate is of the same cloth and will reap the same "benefits" as the antediluvian Kansans.

The only way all too many American voters can learn is by experience, since they are incapable of thinking about anything with any reasonable level of knowledge and reason. So I am all for the GOTP taking control, now and in 2016. It will, in all likelihood, benefit me, but not the nation. I am just too weary of trying to get the first world's most politically ignorant, indolent, incompetent and inciteable voters to act in their own interest or that of their nation. Let them reap the whirlwind of their stupidity.

Herman Munster -> PATROKLUS00
Ah, and the democrat states like California, New York and Illinois are just rolling in excess money because they're fiscally responsible. And their education systems are churning out Rhodes Scholars, every child is above average, there's no poverty or racial disparity, majority democrat states are just going great guns.
BaronVonAmericano -> PATROKLUS00

I get your frustration. But I think a big component of the problem is that there is no genuine opposition party. Democrats could contrast themselves with the GOP in ways that would a) get their base excited; b) get independent votes (based on issue polling) and c) be good for the nation. But to do so would conflict with donors.

So it would appear that Democrats -- the only other viable option than the awful Republicans -- would rather sell out their base, sell out the nation, and lose seats in power in order to please their donors.

That probably explains why so many people don't want to vote.

[Oct 29, 2014] Moderate thunder out of Kansas by EJ Dionne

Kansas is one of the most brainwashed state in the country. See What's the matter with Kansas
Oct 29, 2014 | The Washington Post

The several dozen people gathered at a street corner just off the main square of this southeastern Kansas town of 5,600 were polite and friendly in the Midwestern way. They did not look in the least like a band of counterrevolutionaries intent on reversing the direction of the government in Topeka.

Yet the results of the tea party rebellion four years ago have led these civic-minded, middle-of-the-road Kansans to a quiet but fierce determination to take their state back from those who once talked incessantly about taking their country back.

What brought them together this week was a visit from Paul Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor. Davis has generally been running ahead of Republican incumbent Sam Brownback in one of the country's most consequential showdowns on Tuesday's ballot.

Brownback set things up this way by launching what he called, proudly and unapologetically, a "real, live experiment" that he hoped would provide a model of red-state governance. He pushed steep income and business tax cuts through the legislature, insisting that his program would spur unprecedented economic growth. The results have been less than inspiring: large budget deficits, credit downgrades and substantial cuts in education spending, some of which were reversed only because of a court order. Only rarely does an election pose such a clear philosophical and policy choice.

Brownback often cited low-tax Texas as his model, prompting a ready reply from Davis. Voters "don't want to be like Texas," he said in an interview at his storefront headquarters here. "They just want to be Kansas."

What it means to be Kansas is precisely what's at stake, and it's why Davis's campaign uses #RestoreKansas - a traditionalist's slogan, when you think about it - as its Twitter battle cry. The choice Davis is offering is not between liberalism and conservatism but rather between two kinds of conservatism: the deeply anti-government tea party kind, and an older variety that values prudence and fiscal restraint but also expects government to provide, as Davis put it, "the basic services that are essential to the state's vitality."

In his stump speech, Davis emphasizes public education, transportation, Brownback's rejection of the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and a widely unpopular privatization of Kansas's Medicaid program.

What's striking is how many Republicans have joined Davis's effort, including a large group of Republican politicians, some of whom Brownback purged in bitter primaries. Achieving ideological purity in the GOP turns out to have high costs, and Davis spoke of "the many functions we've had where we had more Republicans than Democrats. "I like those," he adds.

Indeed he does. In a state where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by almost 2 to 1, moderately conservative Republicans are the swing voters.

Some are shocked that Kansas is one of this year's battlegrounds, not only in the governor's race but also in the pivotal Senate contest between independent Greg Orman and incumbent Pat Roberts (R). But one person who is not surprised is James Roberts (no relation to the senator), Davis's 29-year-old campaign manager.

In January 2013, the young organizer paid me a visit in Washington to explain why Kansas could swing Democratic this year. Over lunch at a Mexican restaurant this week in Lawrence, I asked him how he knew this back then. "We're a Kassebaum-Dole-Eisenhower state," Roberts said, referring to two legendary Republican senators and the president from Abilene, by way of stressing that Kansas is "a pragmatic, moderate state."

"We're not a state of radical experiments," he said. "Anytime conservatism takes a back seat to raw ideology, Kansans rebuke that idea."

If Republicans do as well nationwide next week as many expect, they should pay attention to the reaction unleashed here by Brownback, a former senator whom Davis regularly accuses of bringing "Washington, D.C.-style politics to Kansas," which he equates with "hyperpartisan politics."

Among those who came out to greet Davis here was David Toland, executive director of Thrive Allen County, a social service and economic development organization. He summarized why the decision here matters so much.

"If moderates are starting to push back against the extremism of the Republican Party in Kansas, I cannot believe they won't be pushing back in other states," Toland said. "This is a state with a strong conservative tradition that's in open rebellion against the policies of its own party."

Conservatism at its finest has been defined by a devotion to moderation. Next week, conservative Kansas may remind the nation that this is still true.

E.J. Dionne writes about politics in a twice-weekly column and on the PostPartisan blog. He is also a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, a government professor at Georgetown University and a frequent commentator on politics for National Public Radio, ABC's "This Week" and NBC's "Meet the Press." View Archive

[Oct 21, 2014] Would Stronger Parties Mean Less Polarization? by Thomas B. Edsall

Much of the polarization is fake and is just a shrewd method to enforce adverse selection conditions on voters.
Oct 21, 2014 |

Ever since they emerged in the early 1800s, political parties have been a target of public scorn. But they have always had their defenders - a smaller, less influential camp that holds that parties are more beneficial than harmful because they play an essential role in mediating political disputes.

The anti-party forces fitfully succeed in enacting laws and rules to restrain party organizations and bosses, including the adoption of referendum and recall procedures; requirements that states pick delegates to the national conventions through primaries and caucuses; bans on closed-door meetings; the prohibition of legislative earmarks; and legislation that restricts the size and source of contributions to the national political parties.

The intensity of polarized politics at every level of government now puts the dispute over political parties at the center of a debate among office holders, political scientists, legal experts and partisan activists. Is it possible that strengthening the parties could lessen polarization?

The pro-party camp contends that many reforms have unintentionally fostered polarization: diminishing the clout of parties and party leaders undermines their role as a force for moderation and compromise.

... ... ...

Thomas E. Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who is a strong supporter of McCain-Feingold, disagrees with Persily and La Raja. At the conference, and in later email exchanges, Mann made a number of key points.

First of all, Mann contends, Republicans are the driving force behind polarization. Their opposition to Democratic proposals is based less on ideological principle than on a strategic political decision to oppose President Obama on every front, even when he takes a position previously advocated by conservatives. Examples of the latter include the individual mandate under Obamacare and end-of-life counseling.

"Much of the acrimony and gridlock is not a consequence" of ideological issues or campaign finance, Mann told participants at the conference. Instead, he argues, "it's strategic – it's all about capturing a majority in the House and Senate, and the White House."

According to Mann,

The Republican Party leadership has largely embraced the ideological positions of Tea Party activists and uses its campaign resources to help elect Republicans wherever they have a good chance of winning, not to favor less extreme candidates or to try to discipline their most extreme or recalcitrant members.

Lifting campaign contribution limits to help them raise more money is unlikely to make much of a difference.

Rima Regas, is a trusted commenter Mission Viejo, CA

The root cause of the problem isn't so much the parties themselves, though they most certainly are an important part of it.

The real problem is that some very wealthy individuals and corporations discovered that, with money, a plan, and perspicacity, they can just buy themselves the Federal government by financing political parties and their candidates. Since the 80's, some of the most perspicacious individuals have patiently, doggedly, and methodically overseen changes to laws that have made it possible to spend almost any sum of money in return for influence over our every aspect of our politics and economics.

President Obama's election came just as the job was nearly done. The consequence of voting in a choice unsanctioned by the oligarchs has come in the form of unrelenting obstruction by the party they are most in control of, and the unrelenting punishment of the electorate ever since through obstructionist policies of austerity at a time when investment is most needed.

So, the political parties didn't start this. Our oligarchs did and the cure for what ails us isn't so much the strengthening the political parties as it is convincing the voters, all of them, that what's needed is their dogged, perspicacious, vigilant engagement in order to restore our democracy.

That's not to say that there aren't problems within both parties. There are, but that's a separate set of issues.

[Oct 07, 2014] Ron Paul: Republican Majority in US Senate Would Not Make Much Difference by Adam Dick

"bipartisan on the wicked things" such as supporting military interventions overseas.
October 2, 2014 |

While Washington, DC politicians and pundits are prattling about whether the Democrats or Republicans will control the United States Senate after the November election, Ron Paul is throwing cold water on the whole brouhaha. Paul, speaking Wednesday on the Alan Colmes Show, explains that, "generally speaking, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference" which party controls the Senate.

Paul, the chairman and founder of the Ron Paul Institute, proceeds to comment that Senate and US House of Representatives leaders like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) are "bipartisan on the wicked things" such as supporting military interventions overseas.

Listen to the complete interview here:

[Sep 02, 2014] The End of Democracy as we Knew it by Bernd Hamm

Sep 02, 2014 |

This paper starts with summarizing the major theoretical elements in the definition of a global ruling class. It then examines how neoconservatives in the US took power and used regime change to install US-friendly governments in other regions. A strategy of tension is used to press the population into conformity. But the real revolution is to what extent factual politics escape any attempt to democratic control. Three case studies show how far the Deep State already goes. Democracy is on the brink of survival.

1. Theory

In an earlier paper (Hamm, B. 2010) I suggested an analytical framework for the study of power as it relates to the future of global society. This outline specifically addressed four questions:

  1. How is the global ruling class structured internally?
  2. Is it theoretically correct to use the term class for the ruling elite?
  3. What are the major instruments of power?
  4. How do these analytical insights impact on the probable future of human society?

Drawing on C. Wright Mills' seminal work on The Power Elite (1956), recent power structure research suggests an ideal-type model of four concentric circles:

  1. In the inner circle, we find the global money trust, the richest individuals, families or clans, all with fortunes well above one billion Euros.
  2. The CEOs of big transnational corporations and biggest international financial players make up the second circle. They are mostly concerned with increasing the wealth of the inner circle, and with it their own.
  3. Top international politicians, some active in governments and international institutions, some more in the background as advisors, plus the top military, compose the third circle. This political class has assignments: organize the distribution of the social product in such a way as to transfer as much as the actual power balance allows into the pockets of the inner and second circles, and secure the legitimacy of government by organizing the political circus of an allegedly pluralistic structure.
  4. The fourth ring will be composed of top academics, media moguls, lawyers, and may sometimes include prominent authors, film and music stars, artists, NGO representatives, few religious leaders, few top criminals and others useful for decorating the inner circles. They enjoy the privilege of close access to those in power, they are well paid, and they will make sure not to lose such benefits (Hamm, B. 2010:1008-9; see also Phillips, P., Osborne, B. 2013).

It appears that the degree of internationalization of the powerful correlates with their status on the ring hierarchy. The two inner circles have always been international. The third and fourth rings, however, tend to be much more nationally bound (by ownership and by elections) than the first and the second. The inner circle is not static but relatively solid. It builds on financial and social capital often accumulated by former generations (steel industry, banking, weapons, or oil barons). The major source of power is being borne to a family of the inner circle (for example, the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Morgans, the DuPonts, the Vanderbilts, the Agnellis, the Thyssens, and the Krupps, to mention a few) [1].

There are also the nouveaux riches. Names like George Soros, William Gates, Warren Buffet, Marc Zuckerberg, Sheldon Adelson, or the Koch brothers come to mind (Smith, Y. 2013), and the Bush-Clan might also be mentioned here (Bowles, W. 2005);

Russian or Eastern European oligarchs like Alisher Usmanov, Mikhail Chodorkowski, Boris Beresowski, Mikhail Fridman, Rinat Ahmetov, Leonid Mikhelson, Viktor Vekselberg, Andrej Melnichenko, Roman Abramovich; then there are Carlos Slim Helu, Lakshmi Mittal, Mukesh Ambani, Jorge Paulo Lemann, Iris Fontbona or Aliko Dangote from the so-called less developed countries.

These parvenus tend to be politically more active, at least on the front stage, than the old rich families: George Soros with his Open Society Foundation and his permanent warnings of the evils of unregulated capitalism is the best known for his liberal leanings, while the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson or Robert Murdoch are aggressively right-wing (Heath, T. 2014; Snyder, M. 2013; Webster, S.C. 2013). The oligarchs of the former Soviet block have almost all grabbed their fortunes during the presidency of Boris Yeltzin who, pathological alcoholic as he was, made room for large scale privatization of state corporations and raw materials after the collapse of the socialist regime. Shock therapy was pushed through under the influence of Western advisors, especially the Harvard privatization program with Jeffrey Sachs as the leading figure, as well the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Jegor Gajdar, Anatoli Tschubais (an oligarch himself) and Alfred Koch [2] were their local executives in Russia (Vaclav Klaus in Czecholovakia, Leszek Balcerowicz in Poland, etc.).

The strategy for the creation of oligarchs and social polarization is easy to understand since it has been practiced by the IMF time and again to this very day as part of their structural adjustment policy (later cynically referred to as "poverty reduction strategy"). What it amounts to is the abolition of all price controls and public subsidies, laying-off civil servants, limiting wages, devaluing currencies, and privatizing public corporations and infrastructure (the so-called Washington Consensus). Widespread poverty is the immediate result, and the other side of the coin is extremely concentrated wealth in just a few hands. If the number of victims multiplied by the gravity of damages done to each of them is used as an indicator, the IMF is certainly the most criminal organization on earth (Chossudovsky, M. 2001).

[Sep 02, 2014] Thoughts on Neoconservatism and Neoliberalism by Hugh

08/19/2012 | Corrente

I got to thinking today about how neocon and neoliberal are becoming interchangeable terms. They did not start out that way. My understanding is they are ways of rationalizing breaks with traditional conservatism and liberalism. Standard conservatism was fairly isolationist. Conservatism's embrace of the Cold War put it at odds with this tendency. This was partially resolved by accepting the Cold War as a military necessity despite its international commitments but limiting civilian programs like foreign aid outside this context and rejecting the concept of nation building altogether.

With the end of the Cold War conservative internationalism needed a new rationale, and this was supplied by the neoconservatives. They advocated the adoption of conservatism's Cold War military centered internationalism as the model for America's post-Cold War international relations. After all, why drop a winning strategy? America had won the Cold War against a much more formidable opponent than any left on the planet. What could go wrong?

America's ability not simply to project but its willingness to use military power was equated with its power more generally. If America did not do this, it was weak and in decline. However, the frequent use of military power showed that America was great and remained the world's hegemon. In particular, the neocons focused on the Middle East. This sales pitch gained them the backing of both supporters of Israel (because neoconservatism was unabashedly pro-Israel) and the oil companies. The military industrial complex was also on board because the neocon agenda effectively countered calls to reduce military spending. But neoconservatism was not just confined to these groups. It appealed to both believers in American exceptionalism and backers of humanitarian interventions (of which I once was one).

As neoconservatism developed, that is with Iraq and Afghanistan, the neocons even came to embrace nation building which had always been anathema to traditional conservatism. Neocons sold this primarily by casting nation building in military terms, the creation and training of police and security forces in the target country.

9/11 too was critical. It vastly increased the scope of the neocon project in spawning the Global War on Terror. It increased the stage of neocon operations to the entire planet. It effectively erased the distinction between the use of military force against countries and individuals. Individuals more than countries became targets for military, not police, action. And unlike traditional wars or the Cold War itself, this one would never be over. Neoconservatism now had a permanent raison d'être.

Politically, neoconservatism has become the bipartisan foreign policy consensus. Democrats are every bit as neocon in their views as Republicans. Only a few libertarians on the right and progressives on the left reject it.

Neoliberalism, for its part, came about to address the concern of liberals, especially Democrats, that they were too anti-business and too pro-union, and that this was hurting them at the polls. It was sold to the rubiat has pragmatism.

The roots of neoliberalism are the roots of kleptocracy. Both begin under Carter. Neoliberalism also known at various times and places as the Washington Consensus (under Clinton) and the Chicago School is the political expression for public consumption of the kleptocratic economic philosophy, just as libertarian and neoclassical economics (both fresh and salt water varieties) are its academic and governmental face. The central tenets of neoliberalism are deregulation, free markets, and free trade. If neoliberalism had a prophet or a patron saint, it was Milton Friedman.

Again just as neoconservatism and kleptocracy or bipartisan so too is neoliberalism. There really is no daylight between Reaganism/supply side economics/trickledown on the Republican side and Clinton's Washington Consensus or Team Obama on the other.

And just as we saw with neoconservatism, neoliberalism expanded from its core premises and effortlessly transitioned into globalization, which can also be understood as global kleptocracy.

The distinctions between neoconservatism and neoliberalism are being increasingly lost, perhaps because most of our political classes are practitioners of both. But initially at least neoconservatism was focused on foreign policy and neoliberalism on domestic economic policy. As the War on Terror expanded, however, neoconservatism came back home with the creation and expansion of the surveillance state.

At the same time, neoliberalism went from domestic to global, and here I am not just thinking about neoliberal experiments, like Pinochet's Chile or post-Soviet Russia, but the financialization of the world economy and the adoption of kleptocracy as the world economic model.

jest on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 5:55am

I'm now under the opinion that you can't talk about any of the "neo-isms" without talking about the corporate state.

That's really the tie that binds the two things you are speaking of.

With neocons, it manifests itself through the military-industrial complex (Boeing, Raytheon, etc.), and with neolibs it manifests itself through finance and industrial policy.

For example, you need the US gov't to bomb Iraq (Raytheon) in order to secure oil (Halliburton), which is priced & financed in US dollars (Goldman Sachs). It's like a 3-legged stool; if you remove one of these legs, the whole thing comes down. But each leg has two components, a statist component and a corporate component.

The entity that enables all of this is the corporate state.

It also explains why economic/financial interests (neolib) are now considered national security interests (neocon). The viability of the state is now tied to the viability of the corporation.

lambert on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 9:18am

Corporate/statist (not sure "corporate" captures the looting/rentier aspect though). We see it everywhere, for example in the revolving door.

I think the stool has more legs and is also more dynamic; more like Ikea furniture. For example, the press is surely critical in organizing the war.

But the yin/yang of neo-lib/neo-con is nice: It's as if the neo-cons handle the kinetic aspects (guns, torture) and the neo-libs handle the mental aspects (money, mindfuckery) but both merge (like Negronponte being on the board of Americans Select) over time as margins fall and decorative aspects like democratic institutions and academic freedom get stripped away. The state and the corporation have always been tied to each other but now the ties are open and visible (for example, fines are just a cost of doing business, a rent on open corruption.)

And then there's the concept of "human resource," that abstracts all aspects of humanity away except those that are exploitable.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

jest on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 1:37pm

I like the term much better than Fascist, as it is 1) more accurate, 2) avoids the Godwin's law issue, and 3) makes them sound totalitarianist.

Yes, I would agree that additional legs make sense. The media aspect is essential, as it neutralizes the freedom of the press, without changing the constitution. It dovetails pretty well with the notion of Inverted Totalitarianism.

I think you could also make the argument that Obama is perhaps the most ideal combination of neolib & neocon. The two sides of him flow together so seamlessly, no one seems to notice. But that's in part because he is so corporate.

Lex on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 8:28am

Actually, neoliberalism is an economic term. An economic liberal in the UK and EU is for open markets, capitalism, etc. You're right that neoliberalism comes heavily from the University of Chicago, but it has little to do with American political liberalism.

A reading of the classical liberal economists puts some breaks on the markets, corporations, etc. Neoliberalism goes to the illogical extremes of market theory and iirc, has some influence from the Austrian school ... which gives up on any pretense of scientific exposition of economics or rationality at the micro level, assuming that irrationality will magically become rational behavior in aggregate.

Therefore, US conservatives post Eisenhower but especially post Reagan are almost certainly economic neoliberals. Since Clinton, liberals/Democrats have been too (at least the elected ones). You nailed neoconservative and both parties are in foreign policy since at least Clinton ... though here lets not forget to go back as far as JFK and his extreme anti-Communism that led to all sorts of covert operations, The Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Remember, the Soviets put the missiles in Cuba because we put missiles in Turkey and they backed down from Cuba because we agreed to remove the missiles from Turkey; Nikita was nice enough not to talk about that so that Kennedy didn't lose face.

"Don't believe them, don't fear them, don't ask anything of them" - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Hugh on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 3:57pm

I agree that neoconservatism and neoliberalism are two facets of corporatism/kleptocracy. I like the kinetic vs. white collar distinction.

The roots of neoliberalism go back to the 1940s and the Austrians, but in the US it really only comes into currency with Clinton as a deliberate shift of the Democratic/liberal platform away from labor and ordinary Americans to make it more accommodating to big business and big money. I had never heard of neoliberalism before Bill Clinton but it is easy to see how those tendencies were at work under Carter, but not under Johnson.

This was a rough and ready sketch. I guess I should also have mentioned PNAC or the Project to Find a New Mission for the MIC.

Hugh on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 10:44pm

I have never understood this love of Clinton that some Democrats have just as I have never understood the attraction of Reagan for Republicans. There is no Clinton faction. There is no Obama faction. Hillary Clinton is Obama's frigging Secretary of State. Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, both of whom served as Bill Clinton's Treasury Secretary, were Obama's top financial and economic advisors. Timothy Geithner was their protégé. Leon Panetta Obama's Director of the CIA and current Secretary of Defense was Clinton's Director of OMB and then Chief of Staff.

The Democrats as a party are neoconservative and neoliberal as are Obama and the Clintons. As are Republicans.

What does corporations need regulation mean? It is rather like saying that the best way to deal with cancer is to find a cure for it. Sounds nice but there is no content to it. Worse in the real world, the rich own the corporations, the politicians, and the regulators. So even if you come up with good ideas for regulation they aren't going to happen.

What you are suggesting looks a whole lot another iteration of lesser evilism meets Einstein's definition of insanity. How is it any different from any other instance of Democratic tribalism?

Lex on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 11:49pm

Perhaps it should be pointed out that the Clintons became fabulously wealthy just after Bill left office, mostly on the strength of his speaking engagements for the financial sector that he'd just deregulated. Both he and Hillary hew to a pretty damned neoconservative foreign policy ... with that dash of "humanitarian interventionism" that makes war palatable to liberals.

But your deeper point is that there isn't enough of a difference between Obama and Bill Clinton to really draw a distinction, not in terms of ideology. What a theoretical Hillary Clinton presidency would have looked like is irrelevant, because both Bill and Obama talked a lot different than they walked. Any projection of a Hillary Clinton administration is just that and requires arguing that it would have been different than Bill's administration and policies.

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that at that level of politics, the levers of money and power work equally well on both party's nomenklatura. They flock to it like moths to porch light.

That the money chose Obama over Clinton doesn't say all that much, because there's no evidence suggesting that the money didn't like Clinton or that it would have chosen McCain over Clinton. It's not as if Clinton's campaign was driven into the ground by lack of funds.

Regardless, that to be a Democrat i would kind of have to chose between two factions that are utterly distasteful to me just proves that i have no business being a Democrat. And since i wouldn't vote for either of those names, i guess i'll just stick to third parties and exit the political tribalism loop for good.

"Don't believe them, don't fear them, don't ask anything of them" - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

[Aug 13, 2014] America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds by Cheryl K. Chumley

April 21, 2014 | Washington Times

America is no longer a democracy - never mind the democratic republic envisioned by Founding Fathers.

Rather, it has taken a turn down elitist lane and become a country led by a small dominant class comprised of powerful members who exert total control over the general population - an oligarchy, said a new study jointly conducted by Princeton and Northwestern universities.

One finding in the study: The U.S. government now represents the rich and powerful, not the average citizen, United Press International reported.

In the study, "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups and Average Citizens," researchers compared 1,800 different U.S. policies that were put in place by politicians between 1981 and 2002 to the type of policies preferred by the average and wealthy American, or special interest groups.

Researchers then concluded that U.S. policies are formed more by special interest groups than by politicians properly representing the will of the general people, including the lower-income class.

"The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence," the study found.

The study also found: "When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose.

Larry -> Scott Richie81

Stop sending billions to Wall Street and the banks. They don't like us either

Richie81 -> optimistic4thefuture

Gangsters in suits

Shari Peterson -> Richie81

What's the difference? Corporatism is still prevalent, war culture, big brother, militarization of our nation, siding with big pharma/big biotech with ridiculous protections, aligning with oil/gas industries. And so on.

Nothing ever changes. Voting doesn't change anything; if it did they wouldn't allow it.

Sarah Goodwich -> Richie81

Neither, the empire fools them into thinking they have power, when they have none. It's called "keeping the people enslaved by making them think they're free."

Rope_Necktie -> adplatt126

The Tea Party certainly accomplished getting you to bad-mouth them, so they must be doing something right.

adplatt126 -> Rope_Necktie

I didn't badmouth the Tea Party here. And I supported some of its initiatives, particularly early on. I was even at the March on Washington. I'm just acknowledging reality, cold, hard reality. The Tea Party changed nothing. That's not bad-mouthing it. That's just a fair assessment.

I understand that there are honest people out there, all over the country, who banded together and believed in America and believed they could change something. But they can't and they didn't. The corporate owned media will crush any true dissent by whatever nefarious means at their disposal. I knew that from the outset.

What the Tea Party fails to acknowledge as of yet, because they are still wedded to misguided notions of American greatness and fail to see the ways in which business can corrupt many thing from honest governance to functioning democracy, all the way down to basic sense and ethics, is that it isn't big government that is the enemy of ordinary Americans, but the entire government and power structure in America. It's our own government that is the real enemy of America and indeed our primary threat.

That should be pretty obvious to anyone not watching cable television. And if anything good about America is to be preserved, the government must go. It's time for Tea Partiers to accept that whatever country they grew up in, well that country is gone, and it's high time to dismantle this totalitarian nightmare once and for all. I'm talking the whole empire. Anyone still harping on R and D, left and right, is behind the times.

A lot like still debating phlogiston. Reality has moved on. It's time for Americans to move on from their conceptions of "America" as well, because this nation has no governmental or for that matter civilizational connection to the America of the past.

The social Marxist value system of the elite class and now the bulk of the citizenry is much closer to that of the Soviet Union than anything America traditionally has been. These are revolutionary times pal.

gobnait -> adplatt126

How could they when they met opposition from their own party, Einstein?

adplatt126 -> gobnait

"From their own party"? You mean the banks, banksters, multi-nationals and criminal thugs that own the country and most of both parties? I thought that was my point. This is tyranny. There's no choice.

adplatt126 -> Dennis

No, many of the prescriptions are BS. But their message is not entirely wrong. This power structure is beyond criminal and this government is beyond tyrannical. It should be immediately dissolved for the good of everyone in the country. They're not wrong that Americans have no say. That's not BS. This paper virtually proves this truth.

Dennis -> adplatt126

"It should be immediately dissolved for the good of everyone in the country" And be replaced by what??? This form of Govt is still the best ,flawed, still the best ..... Fix the problem term limits ,don't allow the politicians to gain wealth while in office, no retirement.... etc

adplatt126 -> Dennis

Nope, not the best. Not even functioning. No democracy remaining really. This government is literally mandating by law social decline on a historic scale. It should be replaced by autonomous, ideally demilitarized regions. An extreme form of federalism perhaps. The key component is that power, military and monetary is completely decentralized. The best way to achieve that is to dissolve the government and permit new currencies and districts to arise organically and by market processes. Local elections need to be instituted so that government can actually be managed instead of doing literally all of the managing, which it's currently doing, and there should be both proportional representation and public referenda to veto dangerous criminal legislation. I could go on, but at the end of the day, the end of the Republic is the beginning of something better. Because it can't get any worse than this government. This government is systemically corrupt. The U.S. is better than nothing. It's a banana republic with tremendous military power and a citizenry as deluded as the perfectly controlled totalitarian nations of old. Which makes it a very scary banana republic. It should be dismantled post haste. It's already turning its weapons and its tactics on its own citizens through paramilitary campaigns and massive psychological operations, not to mention mass surveillance. Dismantle it and do it now.

Dennis -> adplatt126

Dude you might as well go to a far off wilderness and stay off the grid .... as they say Aint happenin...the direction this country is going will change...But all this info of big corporations in control ,which I dont believe, is no different than the 1800-early 1900's when the Hurst. getty's and the tycoon's of that age had influence

adplatt126 -> Dennis

Nonsense. Did Hearst set up a surveillance state rivalling perhaps only the Nazi state apparatus? Did Rockefeller contrive a massive system of thought and speech control like Political Correctness for ensuring everyone accept at all times and completely Lysenkoist propaganda? Did Carnegie let the whole third world flood into the nation and then prevent states from defending themselves from a foreign invasion? Did a mere 17 percent of the American population of the early 20th century believe the Federal Government ruled with the consent of the people?

Over 1100 fat cats went to prison for their role in the crash of '29. In this most recent crash, only one man, one (who turned himself in and confessed ironically) was sentenced. One. The country will not change.

It will only get worse until the power structure that is perpetuating this totalitarian system and insulating itself from its own crimes, is dismantled. Even if it's held up by wealth and historic advantages for a bit, its utter criminality is no less criminal. Nor should anyone for any moment claim that those who speak out against it are merely speaking to themselves or doing so futilely. Besides, it's only futile on television. And the primary purpose of those on television is to deceive the people into thinking an illegitimate government is legitimate, and that any noble resistance to it is madness, silly, insane, hopeless etc.

The pundits serve first the state and its tyrannical designs. In private circles on the other hand, everyone with a head knows something is terribly amiss. They're gradually figuring out how amiss but they don't know what to do about it. I'm providing a rational solution. Secede, resist, dissolve. Do not bow. Do not comply.

Dennis -> adplatt126

you confuse the 2 subjects I said......"But all this info of big corporations in control ,which I don't believe, is no different than the 1800-early 1900's when the Hurst. Getty's and the tycoon's of that age that had influence"...... pertaining to the story. No I dont like what the feds are doing conserning to ILLEGALS and to PC correctness....but again I see the pendulum swinging the other way...... AND from what i read there was no one that went to prison for the 29 crash......"Did anyone go to jail for precipitating the 1929 collapse?

No. The rampant speculation and eventual crash of 1929 weren't caused by fraud or illegality, but by unreasonable optimism and loose financial regulation. Federal prosecutors eventually brought charges against a couple of the era's most important and aggressive bankers, but the lack of pre-existing rules undermined the government's efforts". so it seems that the last crash was from illegal means BUT it was started by the demorats demanding that banks loan to people with bad credit

Richie81 -> Dennis

If you don't believe it than get your head out the sand and pop your lil bubble as well. 6 companies own every single thing you read in a news paper, see on the news and on the web. There is a reason for that. Don't be naive.

Dennis -> Richie81

Again it is no different that before and no one person/group controlled the USA ....... The news agencies have been filled with one type of mindset ,they have refused to hold "their" guy to the standards that was once there ....... No one is digging into the mess that is there like they did with Watergate,,,, Which at that time was really not that big of a story..... until it exploded

Richie81 -> Dennis

Watergate is nothing compared to the things Bush and Obama have done. Read this if you still dont think so.

Dennis -> Richie81

Ooh please Bush never harassed the Libs with the IRS he NEVER sold guns to the Cartels ......I'll give you the part of the NDAA.....

Richie81 -> Dennis

Which had nothing to do with terrorist or 9/11 and that war killed 1 million innocent woman and children. The economy also did crash on his watch. One is not better than the other. At the top they are all the same and have the same policies. Thats why Obama has nearly doubled down on all Bush's FAILED policies.

Dennis -> Richie81

I knew that if you talked long enough I would see where you were coming from..... Iraq had wmd's even clinton said so.... the democrats also voted to go into Iraq after hearing the same thing..... 1 million that's BS with a capital ..... you are starting to sound like the Liberal BS talking points.... why don't go further and say that 9-11 was done by Bush know you want to

Richie81 -> Dennis

So because Clintom said so its true? There were no WMD's found in Iraq and that id a fact? If there were please tell me whem and where they were found??? Yes the democrats did too, that should show you right there that at the top Dems and Reps are for the same major policies when it comes to banking, wars and spying.

1 milliom is another fact. It had to do with the sanctions as well. Before you argue you should really do some research. There is a video of a reporter asking Madeline Albright if the killing of these woman and children were worth it and she says yes.

I will tell you this about 9-11, I dont know what happened but I definitely dont believe the official story. Your telling me a guy (OBL) who drove around in trucks with AK47s strapped to the top of them and lives in a bunker in a mountain was able to bypass the greatest military to ever exist and bypasd the most guarded airspace on earth? Now that's a conspiracy if I ever heard one. Don't forget the guys with box cutters too.

Dennis -> Richie81

because "they" didn't find them..... so it means Saddam never had them ...... Great logic..."Saddam realized, this time, the Americans are coming," Sada said. "They handed over the weapons of mass destruction to the Syrians." go one believing what you want.... I dont believe in conspiracies....I know OBL did try what 2-3 times to damage the WTC ...he finally found the way to do it ....remember that hijacking and ramming planes into buildings had NEVER been done like that before...... The enemy are the extreme Muslims ...But I have said that ANY muslim will become extreme.....they just need to become a radical believer

Richie81 -> Dennis

He did invade Iraq after 9/11 off of false pretenses.

Richie81 -> Dennis

Flawed??? Are you kidding? It's a disgrace to what this country was founded on. There is a reason the founding fathers had so many quotes about times like these. There is also a reason why they are not taught in schools. They'd rather you pledge allegiance blindly.

Dennis -> Richie81

So what would you replace instead of this Constitution and this form of Government??

Richie81 -> Dennis

I wouldnt replace the constitution. I would re-enforce it line by line. The reason we are in this mess is because we are getting away from what our founding princioles were. To big to fail is fascism not capitalism. Corporations arent people and should not be able to bribe politicians. We should have more choices than just two (Dem&Rep). We need term limits on ALL politicians.

lihartke -> adplatt126

Like ANY NEW political party you will NEVER win every race. Trying to beat out powerful incumbents with the full force of the establishment against you is not an easy task. If you think there are MIRACLE candidates out there you are mistaken. One by one there will be a wedge put in this gov't until they are forced to do the will of the people. Democrats shoved healthcare down our throats when we clearly said no. A leader who is supposed to be representing the people but votes against them should be HUNG. GOD BLESS THE TEA PARTY. You go ahead and be enamored by your party and I will sit and laugh at you as you are told to sit down and shut up while they steal us blind and tell us to eat cake. Enjoy the Empire we have built for them -FOOL.

contrarian35 -> adplatt126

Well, in fairness, the Tea Party had no prayer of meaningful legislation because they held a minority. But they sure did block a lot. I actually believe that the conservatively minded are our last bastion of hope, and hope that they clean sweep the Senate with this election. But believe fundamentally that Soros has a firm rig on the elections, so I am not holding my breath.

And even if they do sweep in, there will still be GOP establishment fighting for big business, so either way, you're looking at a fight. It is not all lost, though, until they have our guns too. And that is not going to be a fight won easily. Of this, I am absolutely sure.

Sarah Goodwich -> Jimtaryon

It makes no difference which despot holds power, it's still despotism.

The USA has been an oligarchy ever since Lincoln, since that's when the People lost their consent to government; and now government holds all the power, since their elected officials aren't bound to obey them; and the People can't do a thing about it other than elect someone ELSE who's not bound to obey them.

But no one will dare fault Lincoln, so we're screwed.

AceTrace -> Sonshine

And look no further than our diabolical Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for that. He's corrupt down to his bone marrow, amassing wealth & power for himself, his family and his cronies. The rest of us be damned.

Richie81 -> AceTrace

All of them are corrupt at the top. From Bush to Obama, they are all the same. It don't matter though, because most American are to naive and will just continue to fight each other over political parties while be screwed and laughed at by both.

Edward98 -> AceTrace

Both parties are in this together.

Richie81 -> Edward98

Yes they both are and its sad to see the left and right bickering at each other instead of their own parties who are actually responsible for all this.

AceTrace -> AceTrace

From the article: "One concluding finding in the study: The U.S. government now represents the rich and powerful, not the average citizen, United Press International reported."

RightWingFoamControl -> Sonshine

Money is being used to undermine all American citizens political power. Congress has gathered so much power that it no longer cares about what the American people want.

Larry Scott -> Sonshine

CONGRESS? your mean that bunch of sycophants on sale to the highest bidder? Neither the right or left can trust them. Maybe if Putin invaded Long Island they could get together long enough to vote something for the USA as they did for Ukrainians. Billions of dollars for them while we taxpayers can't get them to do anything but call each other names.

[Jan 22, 2014] Apocalypse Again The Boom-and-Bust Cycle of Bipartisan Politics

The great irony is that the man who ran on the campaign slogan of Change failed to deliver it in any meaningful way

The Democratic Party has the bad habit of coming on to voters like the neighborhood mafia extortion team. The Democrats have the incurably bad breath of reliably broken promises. They collar and corner us with mobster charm, they pick our pockets while pretending to pick our brains.

Then as the big election day draws near, they lean heavily upon us and whisper an almost romantic confession: "Sure, we spit in your faces and ask you to pretend it's rain. But the other guy is a real brute and would also break your arms."

[Jan 12, 2014] Congress is a Millionaires' Club. Why that Matters...

Economist's View
William of Ockham:

John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

George Washington:
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force.
Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

Thomas Jefferson
"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories."

Thomas Paine
"Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."

Andrew Jackson
"It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes."

Thomas Jefferson
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

William of Ockham -> William of Ockham...
When private sector money is allowed to influence government at any level you have a tremendous potential for corruption.

Patriots who loves their country must to rise to end this dispicable realtionship between the private sector and government. If the Government refuses to end this dispicable practice then the goverment must be defeated and a new one appointed of the people, by the people and for the people.


Back in the 70's, my father (twice) attempted to run for Congress. We were living in Scranton, Pa....

NEITHER party apparatus (R or D) would even entertain him running against the well-entrenched Joseph McDade. After all, my dad was just a modestly successful business man and had few political connections.

He ran as an independent (I), garnering less than 2% of the vote after spending nearly $50k of his own money (no small amount for our family, I assure you). Not only that, business suffered for a few years afterward. Lesson learned.

Many have said this: "We sure do E-lect our leaders but we don't get to SE-lect our leaders."

Larry Signor:

What is unexpected about Nicholas Carnes study? Political power breeds wealth, wealth enhances political power. The cumulative effect is a lack of political and economic representation for a plurality of Americans. This dovetails into most of our economic stories today: SNAP, UI, the attack on SS, the minimum wage, immigration, EITC and block grants, etc.

[Jan 12, 2014] Congress is a Millionaires' Club. Why that Matters...

Economist's View
William of Ockham:

John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

George Washington:
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force.
Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

Thomas Jefferson
"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories."

Thomas Paine
"Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."

Andrew Jackson
"It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes."

Thomas Jefferson
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

William of Ockham -> William of Ockham...
When private sector money is allowed to influence government at any level you have a tremendous potential for corruption.

Patriots who loves their country must to rise to end this dispicable realtionship between the private sector and government. If the Government refuses to end this dispicable practice then the goverment must be defeated and a new one appointed of the people, by the people and for the people.


Back in the 70's, my father (twice) attempted to run for Congress. We were living in Scranton, Pa....

NEITHER party apparatus (R or D) would even entertain him running against the well-entrenched Joseph McDade. After all, my dad was just a modestly successful business man and had few political connections.

He ran as an independent (I), garnering less than 2% of the vote after spending nearly $50k of his own money (no small amount for our family, I assure you). Not only that, business suffered for a few years afterward. Lesson learned.

Many have said this: "We sure do E-lect our leaders but we don't get to SE-lect our leaders."

Larry Signor:

What is unexpected about Nicholas Carnes study? Political power breeds wealth, wealth enhances political power. The cumulative effect is a lack of political and economic representation for a plurality of Americans. This dovetails into most of our economic stories today: SNAP, UI, the attack on SS, the minimum wage, immigration, EITC and block grants, etc.



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