Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market Real Estate Crash The Next Shoe To Drop – Part II - Chris_Vermeulen
2.The Coronavirus Greatest Economic Depression in History? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.US Real Estate Housing Market Crash Is The Next Shoe To Drop - Chris_Vermeulen
4.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications and AI Mega-trend Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Are Coronavirus Death Statistics Exaggerated? Worse than Seasonal Flu or Not?- Nadeem_Walayat
6.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications, Global Recession and AI Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Fourth Turning Accelerating Towards Debt Climax - James_Quinn
8.Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Britain's FAKE Coronavirus Death Statistics Exposed - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Commodity Markets Crash Catastrophe Charts - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
The Beatings Will Continue Until the Economy Improves - 6th Jul 20
The Corona Economic Depression Is Here - 6th Jul 20
Stock Market Short-term Peaking - 6th Jul 20
Gold’s Major Reversal to Create the “Handle” - 5th July 20
Gold Market Manipulation And The Federal Reserve - 5th July 20
Overclockers UK Custom Build PC Review - 1. Ordering / Stock Issues - 5th July 20
How to Bond With Your Budgie / Parakeet With Morning Song and Dance - 5th July 20
Silver Price Trend Forecast Summer 2020 - 3rd Jul 20
Silver Market Is at a Critical Juncture - 3rd Jul 20
Gold Stocks Breakout Not Confirmed Yet - 3rd Jul 20
Coronavirus Strikes Back. But Force Is Strong With Gold - 3rd Jul 20
Stock Market Russell 2000 Gaps Present Real Targets - 3rd Jul 20
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Big Pharma Stock for Machine Learning Life Extension Investing - 2nd Jul 20
All Eyes on Markets to Get a Refreshed Outlook - 2nd Jul 20
The Darkening Clouds on the Stock Market S&P 500 Horizon - 2nd Jul 20
US Fourth Turning Reaches Boiling Point as America Bends its Knee - 2nd Jul 20
After 2nd Quarter Economic Carnage, the Quest for Philippine Recovery - 2nd Jul 20
Gold Completes Another Washout Rotation – Here We Go - 2nd Jul 20
Roosevelt 2.0 and ‘here, hold my beer' - 2nd Jul 20
U.S. Dollar: When Almost Everyone Is Bearish... - 1st Jul 20
Politicians Prepare New Money Drops as US Dollar Weakens - 1st Jul 20
Gold Stocks Still Undervalued - 1st Jul 20
High Premiums in Physical Gold Market: Scam or Supply Crisis? - 1st Jul 20
US Stock Markets Enter Parabolic Price Move - 1st Jul 20
In The Year 2025 If Fiat Currency Can Survive - 30th Jun 20
Gold Likes the IMF Predicting a Deeper Recession - 30th Jun 20
Silver Is Still Cheap For Now - 30th Jun 20
More Stock Market Selling Ahead - 30th Jun 20
Trending Ecommerce Sites in 2020 - 30th Jun 20
Stock Market S&P 500 Approaching the Precipice - 29th Jun 20
APPLE Tech Stock for Investing to Profit from the Machine Learning Mega trend - 29th Jun 20
Student / Gamer Custom System Build June 2020 Proving Impossible - Overclockers UK - 29th Jun 20
US Dollar with Ney and Gann Angles - 29th Jun 20
Europe's Banking Sector: When (and Why) the Rout Really Began - 29th Jun 20
Will People Accept Rampant Inflation? Hell, No! - 29th Jun 20
Gold & Silver Begin The Move To New All-Time Highs - 29th Jun 20
US Stock Market Enters Parabolic Price Move – Be Prepared - 29th Jun 20
Meet BlackRock, the New Great Vampire Squid - 28th Jun 20
Stock Market S&P 500 Approaching a Defining Moment - 28th Jun 20
U.S. Long Bond: Let's Review the "Upward Point of Exhaustion" - 27th Jun 20
Gold, Copper and Silver are Must-own Metals - 27th Jun 20
Why People Have Always Held Gold - 27th Jun 20
Crude Oil Price Meets Key Resistance - 27th Jun 20
INTEL x86 Chip Giant Stock Targets Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing for 2020's Growth - 25th Jun 20
Gold’s Long-term Turning Point is Here - 25th Jun 20
Hainan’s ASEAN Future and Dark Clouds Over Hong Kong - 25th Jun 20
Silver Price Trend Analysis - 24th Jun 20
A Stealth Stocks Double Dip or Bear Market Has Started - 24th Jun 20
Trillion-dollar US infrastructure plan will draw in plenty of metal - 24th Jun 20
WARNING: The U.S. Banking System ISN’T as Strong as Advertised - 24th Jun 20
All That Glitters When the World Jitters is Probably Gold - 24th Jun 20
Making Sense of Crude Oil Price Narrow Trading Range - 23rd Jun 20
Elon Musk Mocks Nikola Motors as “Dumb.” Is He Right? - 23rd Jun 20
MICROSOFT Transforming from PC Software to Cloud Services AI, Deep Learning Giant - 23rd Jun 20
Stock Market Decline Resumes - 22nd Jun 20
Excellent Silver Seasonal Buying Opportunity Lies Directly Ahead - 22nd Jun 20
Where is the US Dollar trend headed ? - 22nd Jun 20
Most Shoppers have Stopped Following Supermarket Arrows, is Coughing the New Racism? - 22nd Jun 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

AI Stocks 2020-2035 15 Year Trend Forecast

American Politics is a Cash And Carry Business

Politics / US Politics Oct 30, 2010 - 10:54 AM GMT

By: Danny_Schechter

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleNew York: We live in a country in economic distress. Millions are out of work and cutbacks in public services are pervasive at the city and state levels. The ‘great recession’ is deep and could go deeper. Most families are tightening their belts and in some cases at the breaking point because their benefits have run out and money is so hard for many to find.


Hard to find, perhaps, for the people, but, curiously, not for their political representatives, their nominal public servants. Despite the fact that popularity for politicians, especially members of Congress, is at an all time low, campaign contributions are at an all time high. (A recent poll showed a majority of Americans want to toss out all incumbents)

The Washington Post reports, “House and Senate candidates have already shattered fundraising records for a midterm election and are on their way to surpassing $2 billion in spending for the first time, according to new campaign finance data.

To put it another way: That's the equivalent of about $4 million for every congressional seat up for grabs this year.”

Think of that number, think of all the pressing needs in this country, and the world, and weep. But also think about why politics is so associated with, and seemingly dependent, on big bucks.

Some critics seem to believe there is no way to stop these practices because “the beast” must be fed.


“Candidates are raising more money in 2010 than ever before, and spending it at a much quicker pace than 2008,” said David Donnelly, director of the, Public Campaign Action Fund’s Campaign Money Watch project. “With all the attack ads, candidates have to spend more time dialing for dollars and less time talking with voters. They have to feed the beast – the endless raising and spending for campaigns – that is devouring our democracy.”


“Devouring” is a term often associated with beasts.

Donnelly adds, “Regardless of the outcome next Tuesday, the winners will be the big donors.

There has been a big debate this year about the role corporations and to a lesser degree; unions have played in financing campaigns. The recent Citizen United Supreme Court decision makes it legal not to disclose where the money is coming from.

Its’ been said that business is taking over politics,

As Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics which tracks political money, writes:

“When tens or hundreds of millions of dollars are targeting these midterm elections and our votes, but their origin is unknowable, one has to wonder whether someone isn’t trying to pull a fast one on us.

OK, so we get a disclaimer naming the coalition that runs an ad. Maybe that disclaimer names a group with some vague, innocuous-sounding moniker. Or it’s a group signaling that it has many “citizens” or “Americans” behind it. However, these groups often have no publicly known members, donors or contact info.”

Many are up in arms about the latest wave of “secret money,” some perhaps from overseas—including charges in one race in Washington State that the Saudis are involved. The group Climate Action Network Europe released a new report revealing the effects of Big Business — all the way across the ocean — trying to weaken US environmental laws by backing climate change denialists.

They reported in part:

“Big European emitters Lafarge GDF-Suez, EON, BP, BASF, BAYER, Solvay and Arcelor-Mittal supported climate change deniers in the US Senate in 2010 for $107,200. Their total support for senators blocking climate change legislation in the US amounts to $240,200, which is almost 80% of their total spending in the 2010 Senate race. This is why those funds are seen as systemic. This amount is higher than the same type of spending of the most notorious U.S. climate denier and Tea Party funder: Koch Industries ($217,000).”

Overlooked in all the hoopla is the fact that American politics has itself become a business with a vast network of professional fundraising companies, consultants, advisors and ad agencies profiting from the services they provide in the competitive business at the center of all this. These people run permanent campaigns throwing fundraisers, parties and creating “giving” opportunities.

The politicians don’t just hire others. They spent much of their own time “dialing for dollars” as one Congressman I know well told me, in small rooms in the basement of the Congress where phone banks exist to call prospective donors from vast lists.

“Sometimes I just want to quit,” said my college friend.” I didn’t come to Washington to become a begger, but that’s what I do, harassing people I don’t know and don’t know me to give. Every Member does it because we all live in fear of the other party funding a primary race or buying ads to discredit us. We have to be ready to fight back.

The Post reports that Congressman is in the forefront of this effort to keep their jobs and influence. It’s not just about their salaries but their potential to supplement what the government pays them with outside donations.

“As of last week, House and Senate campaigns reported taking in more than $1.5 billion, exceeding the total collected by congressional candidates in 2006 and in 2008, Federal Election Commission data show. Most of that money already has been put toward advertising and other expenses.

The Public Campaign Action Fund, a watchdog group, will release a study Tuesday predicting that House candidates alone could spend nearly $1.5 billion by the time the dust settles on Election Day. The calculation is based on previous elections in which about half of a campaign's money was spent in the final month of the contest”

These candidates also have to kick back portions of their largesse to fund their own parties, helpers and bureaucracies. Many seem to see the campaign trail as a fundraising trail, speaking for fees and generating media visibility that they then can monetize with direct mail solicitations,

In some cases their donors and their lobbyists and well-funded think tanks even do their legislative work that in many by helping draft bills and orchestrate the political agenda. These “donations” of time are not considered contributions and also not reported making the cost of maintaining the political establishment much higher than funds raised in political contributions.

The political elite spends a disproportionate amount of their time insuring that they remain the political elite. This focus on raising money often undermines time spent on raising awareness. It in turn leads to their reliance on bring guided by polls, not convictions.

No wonder this has been called “the best election money can buy. Donors and the recipients of their largesse are not naïve. They know that when a politician takes money, there is an expectation of some quid pro quo. This money may not buy the politicians outright, but only rent them for a key vote or two.

Politics is about the never-ending fight over the allocation of resources, deciding what gets funded in the federal budget and then who gets the contracts. It is far more about serving interests than ideology or constituents. Millions of jobs are at stake in federal allocations and most companies have separate divisions, with plenty of former politicians on the payroll to help them win contracts through what is euphemistically called “public affairs.”

All want to be insiders, but, to achieve that status, they need access to politicians to do their bidding, to set up meetings, make key introductions and win business that is always rationalized in terms of the jobs, never the profits, that are generated.

On the day the latest report on new records being set in political donations was published, there were reports of Afghan president Hamid Karzai admitting he has received “bundles of cash” from Iran.

The story seemed so crude, so “third World”, so corrupt.”

Until, that is, you look closely at politics as an industry in the USA where checks and electronic transfers are routine and make it easier to move money around so you don’t need paper bags and shady bagmen to carry them.

In the case of Afghanistan, a few days after this disclosure made news, another reported that $18 billion in US reconstruction aid to American companies—the stuff of endless hours of lobbying—can now not be accounted for.

That’s first world corruption with a capital C.

News Dissector Danny Schechters film and book Disinformation. For more information, Http://www.plunderhecrimeofourtime.com.

    News Dissector Danny Schechter has made a film and written a book on the “Crime Of Our Time.” (News Dissector.com/plunder.) Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org

    © 2010 Copyright Danny Schechter - All Rights Reserved
    Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules