Corporations and Wall Street own the country
Americans have learned the hard way that when rich organizations and wealthy individuals shower Washington with millions in campaign contributions, they get what they want.
We hold elections, knowing they are unlikely to produce the policies favored by the majority of Americans. We speak, we write, we advocate – and those in power turn deaf ears and blind eyes to our deepest aspirations.
During the prairie revolt that swept the Great Plains a century after the Constitution was ratified, the populist orator Mary Elizabeth Lease exclaimed: “Wall Street owns the country … Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags. The [political] parties lie to us and the political speakers mislead us … Money rules.”
That was 1890. That’s now the norm, and they get away with it.
GOP once again means Guardians of Privilege. [On the other side] Barack Obama criticizes bankers as “fat cats”, then invites them to dine at a pricey New York restaurant where the tasting menu runs to $195 a person. The President has raised more money from banks, hedge funds, and private equity managers than any Republican candidate, including Mitt Romney. Inch by inch he has conceded ground to them while espousing populist rhetoric that his very actions betray.
Our politicians are little more than money launderers in the trafficking of power and policy – fewer than six degrees of separation from the spirit and tactics of Tony Soprano.
[Excerpts of a speech by Bill Moyers, PBS]