Saturday, November 26, 2011

Scott Turow — Suggestion for Occupy

Now that the Occupy Wall Street protesters have been driven from many of their encampments, I have an unusual suggestion for how they should next deploy their considerable energies: work across the nation for a constitutional amendment requiring Congress to regulate the expenditure of private money on elections.
Let me connect the dots. The heart of the protests is a lament about widening income inequality in the U.S., brought about, in part, by a government that seems to favor disproportionately wealthy interests. The Occupiers have focused their outrage on the bailout of banks that reaped huge profits on mortgage-backed securities and are now profitable again, while millions of homeowners have been foreclosed upon or lost their jobs.
The best antidote to this imbalance of income and influence would be to greatly reduce the role of private funding in our elections. Nothing is more empowering to the well-heeled -- corporations, unions, lobbyists, political-action committees, trade associations and bundlers -- than our political leaders’ need to come to them hat in hand for the money to get elected....
Read the rest at Bloomberg
How Occupy Wall Street Can Restore Clout of the 99%: Scott Turow

I agree that this is absolutely top priority. Without getting the money out of politics and locking the revolving door for good, nothing substantial will change and if it does, it will undermined in committee with loopholes or soon be reversed if made law that has teeth.


wilwon32 said...

Naomi Wolf's Nov 25, 2011 article:

The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy

The violent police assaults across the US are no coincidence. Occupy has touched the third rail of our political class's venality

suggests that some/many things about the involvement of DHS manipulation of mayoral decision making indicates that higher powers have condoned such actions.

Dan Lynch said...

I partially agree with Scott, but bear in mind that Congress has NEVER done a satisfactory job of regulating itself. Self-regulation is an inherently flawed idea.

The root cause of the problem is that power corrupts. Fix is to limit pol's power by giving power to the people, in the form of direct democracy.

Tom Hickey said...

@ wilwon32

promoted to post

Anonymous said...

How would these reforms affect the revolving door between a career as a politician and a career on Wall Street?

I agree with Dan, direct democracy is needed, which would eliminate political parties and replace 'representatives' with delegates.