Prediction: Only Campaign Contributors Will Matter
This dependence on cash is the single greatest threat to our democracy. Even good politicians are forced to chase cash from special interests. It’s the root cause of the financial crisis and terrible legislation like SOPA/PIPA. It also explains the disparity between what’s good for voters and what’s good for the real customers – campaign contributors. They’re the ones who get face to face meetings to bend policy their way, not voters.
– How Americans Lost This Election…and 7 Ways to Start Winning Again (Forbes) Nov 2012
Influence for Sale …in the U.S., we think nothing of hundred thousand dollar corporate donations to candidates or political action committees…It even has a prettier name: lobbying.
…The motivations of donors vary, but I’d imagine few believe big money has no strings. Ever get a $100,000 gift from a total stranger whom you never saw again? … No matter how noble the candidate, it’s hard to imagine raising that kind of dough without owing a few favors.
Dependence on money with strings is not a recipe for representative government or sound economic decisions; it’s a puppet show. In 2010, influence got supersized as the Supreme Court gave corporations the same rights as actual humans to contribute to candidates and political groups. Shortly after the decision, companies showered $300 million on candidates. Corporations dwarf all others in spending power, but unions and other special interests are no strangers to the influence game.Buckets of cash have a way of creating distortions that lumber through our economy with all the grace of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. As a result, some industries get special perks and privileges.
2. An average citizens’ policy preferences have a “near zero-level” impact on the U.S. policy debate.
3. Even if a majority of Americans are in favor or against a particular policy, they will lose the debate against a wealthy and organized interest. “When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites or with organized interests, they generally lose.”