The "Get Money Out" movement
Has anyone else seen this? What are your thoughts? I for one, think it's a great idea to get money out of politics. When you have people in power who are being payed off (bribed) by corporations and special interest groups, it makes for corrupt politics. This is obvious. I think we need politics to go back to being public service, not self service, or service to the highest bidder.
See Dylan Ratigan's rant which put some momentum behind this movement:
Dylan Ratigan (rightfully) loses it on air - YouTube
If you don't know who Dylan Ratigan is, he used to be on CNBC and was a co-creator of the show Fast Money, which is still on the air (Just before Cramer's Mad Money). He now works for MSNBC, and is one of the leaders of this movement.
The Get Money Out website:
Get Money Out
"Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."
- Ronald Reagan
Now this is something I have been screaming for the last few years. I totally support this and will sign.
I'm not from America, but I think that it occurs everywhere, whereby politicians pull some sort of trick on peoples brains that makes them forget that they are supposed to be working FOR them...the people.
They start doing whatever they want and the authority they hand down brainwashes people into thinking it's the other way around, when it's not!
We employ them, they work for us! Technically that means we have every right to pull them aside and tell them off for doing a crap job and being cheeky employees.
An ally of the Get Money Out movement, professor Lawrence Lessig, was on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and discussed the problem. Check it out!
Lawrence Lessig Talks Money in Politics on The Daily Show | United Republic
I have recognized this as the most serious problem in American politics since I was in my teens, and have been talking about it to this day.
....but do you think they give me any credit? Noooo :p
Seriously though Just the simple act of getting rid of lobbyists alone would probably fix most American government problems, and that's before even dealing the campaign contributions, or laws that count corporations as people.
To me that seems like a proposal froma solution from someone who doesn't really understand the problem.
Honestly, I'm not nearly as educated on politics as some here I'm sure. I used to keep up with them quite closely, but I found it just stresses me out. You have to have a self given, nearly college level education to discus them intelligently and there is always someone who is going to jump on you with some "fact" (that's often not even correct, and represents the viewpoint of a specific side or politician so you have to know a plethora of very nuanced details as well as bigger picture issues to be informed) you don't know or have wrong.
However, yes I have a good basic understanding of the American government works, and I stand by my statement. It is the exact thing they are talking about. It's pretty simple if you are a politician and there is a group of people who want one thing, and another group of people who want the opposite thing,, but the second group of people will give you millions of dollars (in one form or another) to agree with them, throw you a party at strip club, GOP Lobbyist Found Guilty Of Bribing Hill Staffers With Strip Club Party | ThinkProgress do you agree with? It's not like this is an isolated incident, it's that this incident was too obvious not go after. This is day to day operations in the capitol. It is how the American system works.
I understand that you Brutha are maybe someone with integrity and would do the right thing as would I, but unfortunately that is not the way our system has been working. Influence is bought. Congress votes for whoever funds them, and their campaigns. Corporations, and often many corporations banded together to represent their entire industry, who make more money in an hour than I will make in an entire lifetime can buy a lot more influence than I can, and you end up with a government that represents special interest instead of people.
"Get rid of the lobbyists" frames this in a way that, at best, fails to get to the heart of the issue.
I would also argue that the practical requirement of massive socioeconomic power for access is a fatal flaw in modern lobbying that doesn't have an easy answer.
I am sure many impracticalities could be brought up, but the trick is not to get so caught up in the minutiae of detail. To me this is just like spirituality or personal development. You can keep paying attention to the details and problems and they will never stop coming because the process then becomes about the problems and the details themselves and no longer about eliminating the problem, or you can make the commitment first and let the details work themselves out as part of the process of fulfilling the commitment which is the primary concern.
It's like earlier this year, I made a thread about getting sick pack abs. I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I made the decision and the declaration, and the how worked itself out on the way.
Grassroots email and letter writing campaigns are lobbying. Calling and writing your representative individually is lobbying. Petitions are lobbying. Unfortunately, that doesn't tend to make as much of a mark a limos and strip clubs.
And I do agree that the ability to buy and common practice of buying influence is the biggest problem with American politics.
The idea that somehow the snap judgement that one made as a teen represents serious knowledge.
The work that Larry Lessing does in defining the problem of corruption is very valuable.
"A tsunami killed a lot of people. The fact that tsunamis exist is a problem. We should therefore outlaw tsuamis."
If you start to dig into the problem you might say:
"A tsunami killed a lot of people. The problem was that the people didn't know that the tsunami happened. We should therefore build an early warning system for tsunamis."
There added value into developing a better understanding of the problem.
A well funded think tank with people who spent full time thinking about defining problem and developing solutions has some power.
If the other side on the political debate has a poor understanding of the issues they lose.
Look at South Africa. They succeeded into creating a democracy but failed horrible at reducing economic inequality.
The wealthy people won the conflict because they had a better understanding of the issues involved.
Ignorance isn't bliss. Knowledge is power. Working at defining problems is important if you want to create political change.
"We want to end economic inequality" wasn't good enough when it came to the way the South Africans defined their problem.
You you come into this thread with links to the way Dylan and Larry defined the problem You basically say: "I already know what I have to know about the problem. There no added value into understanding the way Dylan or Larry framed the problem".
Politics shouldn't be complicated. I want easy solutions. That's a dangerous mindset.
There also the issue that a company like Comcast holds 51% of NBCUniversal. Making money with mainstream news media got a bit harder over the last decade.
A company like Comcast can hold NBCUniversal to be able to exchange favors with politicians.
Instead of giving the politician campaign donations they can trade favorable media coverage for political favors.
Every company can also simply take 100 of it's employees and let them sit on a political issue to develop knowledge about how the political issue works. That knowledge can than used to effect the political debate about the issue in the direction of the interests of the company.
A company with massive amounts of cash can trade that cash into other resources and trade those resources for political results. The company doesn't have to spend the money directly.
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