Folks have no bloody idea what a billion dollars can do. When billionaires fund electioneering, what’s democracy?
The idea that Americans are rational in their opposition to redistribution is ludicrous.
Otherwise they’d have been screaming bloody murder for the past 30 years as incomes have been distributed up. You have to be able to explain the change that occurred between, say, the 50’s and the 80’s. We went from steeply progressive redistributive tax rates to nearly flat rates, from high to low taxes on capital, usury laws overturned, etc.
Something happened to the American psyche in the interim. I think it was a result of deliberate manipulation by the plutocrats, but I suppose other explanations are possible —floridation of the water supply maybe or a brain virus placed in our flu vaccines.
We had more than a modicum of fairness in the earlier era. We had an extreme level of fairness, at least relative to what we have today.
From the 40s to the early 70s, average incomes of all five income quintiles went up almost exactly equally, roughly doubling in real terms over that period; right in line with productivity growth. The rising tide lifted all boats; the classic analogy for ‘fair’. Today, in contrast, all but the yachts are taking on water.
Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt says laws are written by lobbyists. Politicians are merely preserving a wealth preference. Shame on us.
Lawrence Lessig says corporations spend unlimited amounts to promote political candidates. Shame on us.
Canada has already reacted. Bill C-24 enacted in 2003 says corporations can’t donate over $1000 to a party and no person may donate over $5000.
Tom Junod says,
“Barack Obama, then, is not the agent of change; he’s the fulfillment of a change that is already occurring culture-wide, in every place but politics.
That’s why the Republicans fear him so much; why, while waiting for him to fail, they just come off as the political party for people who want to hit their kids.”