Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Stock Market Elliott Waves Trend Forecast 2020 - Video - 24th Jan 20
AMD Multi-cores vs INTEL Turbo Cores - Best Gaming CPUs 2020 - 3900x, 3950x, 9900K, or 9900KS - 24th Jan 20
Choosing the Best Garage Floor Containment Mats - 23rd Jan 20
Understanding the Benefits of Cannabis Tea - 23rd Jan 20
The Next Catalyst for Gold - 23rd Jan 20
5 Cyber-security considerations for 2020 - 23rd Jan 20
Car insurance: what the latest modifications could mean for your premiums - 23rd Jan 20
Junior Gold Mining Stocks Setting Up For Another Rally - 22nd Jan 20
Debt the Only 'Bubble' That Counts, Buy Gold and Silver! - 22nd Jan 20
AMAZON (AMZN) - Primary AI Tech Stock Investing 2020 and Beyond - Video - 21st Jan 20
What Do Fresh U.S. Economic Reports Imply for Gold? - 21st Jan 20
Corporate Earnings Setup Rally To Stock Market Peak - 21st Jan 20
Gold Price Trend Forecast 2020 - Part1 - 21st Jan 20
How to Write a Good Finance College Essay  - 21st Jan 20
Risks to Global Economy is Balanced: Stock Market upside limited short term - 20th Jan 20
How Digital Technology is Changing the Sports Betting Industry - 20th Jan 20
Is CEOs Reputation Management Essential? All You Must Know - 20th Jan 20
APPLE (AAPL) AI Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 20th Jan 20
FOMO or FOPA or Au? - 20th Jan 20
Stock Market SP500 Kitchin Cycle Review - 20th Jan 20
Why Intel i7-4790k Devils Canyon CPU is STILL GOOD in 2020! - 20th Jan 20
Stock Market Final Thrust Review - 19th Jan 20
Gold Trade Usage & Price Effect - 19th Jan 20
Stock Market Trend Forecast 2020 - Trend Analysis - Video - 19th Jan 20
Stock Trade-of-the-Week: Dorchester Minerals (DMLP) - 19th Jan 20
INTEL (INTC) Stock Investing in AI Machine Intelligence Mega-trend 2020 and Beyond - 18th Jan 20
Gold Stocks Wavering - 18th Jan 20
Best Amazon iPhone Case Fits 6s, 7, 8 by Toovren Review - 18th Jan 20
1. GOOGLE (Alphabet) - Primary AI Tech Stock For Investing 2020 - 17th Jan 20
ERY Energy Bear Continues Basing Setup – Breakout Expected Near January 24th - 17th Jan 20
What Expiring Stock and Commodity Market Bubbles Look Like - 17th Jan 20
Platinum Breaks $1000 On Big Rally - What's Next Forecast - 17th Jan 20
Precious Metals Set to Keep Powering Ahead - 17th Jan 20
Stock Market and the US Presidential Election Cycle  - 16th Jan 20
Shifting Undercurrents In The US Stock Market - 16th Jan 20
America 2020 – YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY (PART TWO) - 16th Jan 20
Yes, China Is a Currency Manipulator – And the U.S. Banking System Is a Metals Manipulator - 16th Jan 20
MICROSOFT Stock Investing in AI Machine Intelligence Mega-trend 2020 and Beyond - 15th Jan 20
Silver Traders Big Trend Analysis – Part II - 15th Jan 20
Silver Short-Term Pullback Before Acceleration Higher - 15th Jan 20
Gold Overall Outlook Is 'Strongly Bullish' - 15th Jan 20
AMD is Killing Intel - Best CPU's For 2020! Ryzen 3900x, 3950x, 3960x Budget, to High End Systems - 15th Jan 20
The Importance Of Keeping Invoices Up To Date - 15th Jan 20
Stock Market Elliott Wave Analysis 2020 - 14th Jan 20
Walmart Has Made a Genius Move to Beat Amazon - 14th Jan 20
Deep State 2020 – A Year Of Living Dangerously! - 14th Jan 20
The End of College Is Near - 14th Jan 20
AI Stocks Investing 2020 to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend - Video - 14th Jan 20
Stock Market Final Thrust - 14th Jan 20
British Pound GBP Trend Forecast Review - 13th Jan 20
Trumpism Stock Market and the crisis in American social equality - 13th Jan 20
Silver Investors Big Trend Analysis for – Part I - 13th Jan 20
Craig Hemke Gold & Silver 2020 Prediction, Slams Biased Gold Naysayers - 13th Jan 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Nadeem Walayat Financial Markets Analysiis and Trend Forecasts

Iceberg Ahead: The Big Money That Is Sinking Democracy

Politics / US Politics May 07, 2012 - 02:28 AM GMT

By: Danny_Schechter

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleI keep thinking of that clear April night 100 years ago when the unsinkable HMS Titanic steamed towards New York.  It was actually on its way to dock just a few blocks from where I live at what are now the Chelsea Piers. There was a sense of optimism abroad as a new record for a speedy transatlantic passage was about to be set.

There was music, dancing and fine wine. That is, until they saw that iceberg high in the water. The Captain and his mates were aware that 80 percent of it was underwater and out of sight. They didn’t react in time.


Everyone knows the story—most recently recreated in 3D---but the lesson is really not just about that great ship that went down, or even the company that bypassed safety regulations, or even the hubris of the owners whose greed sent so many passengers to that legendary “watery grave.”

It was also about not seeing the dangers in front of us.

That’s the real story of this moment in our political lives, as the 2012 elections begin in earnest, and we ignore, to our detriment, that vast iceberg of money, stacked in the billions, that threatens to sink what’s left of our democracy,

It is hard to wrap your head around the scale and immediacy of this danger.

And it’s not just about the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court. It’s about the way Democrats think and Republicans act. It’s about the growing way money has been allowed to dominate politics in a game both parties play.

It is an outgrowth of our vast economic inequality and the policies that promoted it. Its about State laws limiting the franchise in the name of fighting voter fraud with so-called Voter ID laws, and ordinary Americans becoming so tired of electoral lies and the arrogance of power that they don’t vote.

Mary Boyle, a Vice president of Common Cause is concerned about that: telling me,  “one of the dangers, particularly around this campaign, is you read these headlines from people who aren’t really engaged in politics.   You just read headlines about “super pacts raking in millions of dollars” or “outside groups spending ten million dollars on negative ads.”  And for a lot of Americans that’s just kind of background noise that makes them go, “Uh, they’re at it again.”  And it does make people cynical.  It makes them tune out an that is a huge concern because then that leads to people not voting and that’s a bad thing.”

This information overload is a product of a media ecology that tunes us out and a news business that avoids truth at all costs. It’s about analysis that leads to paralysis and cynicism that allows political manipulators to prevail in league with a media system that simplifies, scandalizes and spins news to advance partisan agendas.

I recently sat in a lecture at the New School on  ”The Anatomy Of Campaign Finance,”
featuring two experts, Professor Jacob Hacker of Yale and journalist Joe Hagen who writes for New York Magazine and described what he saw in Karl Rove’s living room.
They painted s picture of a vast organizational imbalance between the parties.

The lectures took place on May Day just as the impressive citizen “armies” of Occupy Wall Street were leaving Union Square for the trek to Wall Street

Obama’s funding base is not, said Hacker, even comparable to the treasure chest that Rove has mobilized.

One factor: The Bush Tax cuts have permitted the right to amass a major war chest, in part, because the average Republican leaning millionaire became $300,000 to $500,000 richer, 53 percent of all after tax gains went to the rich, the top 10 percent of 1 percent. 60 percent of corporate money comes from the finance sector

The beneficiaries of this transfer of wealth to the top understood that their windfall came about through politics, and, to keep it, they have to invest more in politics.   Say Hacker, “Everyone can vote but not everyone can donate. Money changes the relationship between the politicians and donors Money has a ‘distortion effect; on what politicians focus on.”

This is why the former Obama Chief of Staff, and now Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said famously, you need three things to win in politics; Money, Money and Money.

Chicago Magazine explained his well-honed technique back when he worked for Bill Clinton:

“Here’s how to be the most effective fund-raiser in politics today: Plaster a phone to your ear. Speak rapidly, in barely restrained tones of impassioned outrage. Tell the important person on the other end of the line that the large check he’s just written for your candidate’s campaign isn’t large enough. Say this: “Five thousand dollars? You, you, you—I wouldn’t embarrass you by having it listed that you only gave $5,000? You’re a $25,000 person; better to give nothing and say you were out of town. If you want to give $5,000, fine, but don’t call me when people start asking you if you’re going bankrupt. People of your stature are giving $50,000.”

The Republicans have more donors in it for the ideology, not the ego. They don’t have to be begged. Their greed, animus towards Obama, and sense of self-interest is their driver.

The effect of all this money has been different for Democrats and Rcpublicans, “ says Hacker. Repubs have moved further to the right than Dems to the left. Money is not neutral in effects. Republicans have been emboldened

On the basis of his reporting, Hagen notes how politics has become an industry with an orientation towards raising and managing money. It deploys its millions not only supporting candidates but backing the disciplined infrastructure led by professional political consultants who plan the strategies and run the show, coordinating the Superposes and orchestrating the troops. This fraternity he says, convinces politicians that they are the “tool” they need to win, get paid huge amounts of money

He says that together they form a  “Presidential election industrial complex.” He says its point is destruction, with opposition research driving negative ads and vitriolic campaigns.

That’s one academic and media view What about the people who are monitoring this madness, like  Sheila Krumholz, the director of The Center for Responsive Politics, who posts data money in politics on the must read website, Open Secrets.org.

She told me recently, “There's been a seismic shift in money's influence in politics and on legislation and policy, ultimately. Primarily because of the Citizen's United decision taken by the supreme court in January of 2010, which open wide the flood gates on money--and for the first time in arguably in decades or even a century allows this money to come directly from corporate and labor union treasuries trade associations--to be spent to influence the election of federal candidates.”

I asked her, “does this mean that American voters have less and less influence on what's actually happening in America?”

Her response: “It certainly means that American voters have less information about the organizations which are trying to influence who wins office, and ultimately what laws get passed. Does it then take away some of the influence that they have? Yes, because they're making decisions in the dark.”

And there we are, back in the dark.  on the edge of an abyss, as the Iceberg looms and many of us want to look the other way,

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

    © 2012 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