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Response to Gregorian (Reply #14)

Fri Jul 24, 2015, 04:14 PM

16. Great, good OP you have here

"I've thought about how this can be turned around, and I'm surprised at the lack of replies with criticism to that effect. My belief is that where there's a will there's a way. I say that because we far outnumber the business owners and politicians. It can be done. But it cannot be done any other way. We've already seen the days of acceptable capitalism. They're long gone now. "

Pretty sad how much energy at this site goes toward in-figting and how little of it goes to analysis of the nature of our problems and the system fixes we need to reclaim our government and our country from the forces of big money.

The Populist Reform group sometimes has good discussions on these issues, and sometimes things will pop up in a GD post too.

There are so many layers to the onion of corporate control and exploitation that it can be reasonably attacked from many different angles.

One of them is trying to break the connection of big money to our politicians, so they would be free to represent our interests instead of the interests of their large donors. This is of course very difficult, and there are a lot of good groups working on it. One of them is rootstrikers.

Reversing Citizen's United is important, it would help, but not fix the problem, big money had already captured our system even before Citizen's United, and that ruling has just made the problem worse.

We really need methods to either remove big money from the system (probably requires a constitutional amendment) or to come up with strategies to defeat it so underfunded candidates can have a fighting chance.

One such effort is this legislation (see below), there are call-your-senator efforts going on right now to get them onboard. I don't know a whole lot about it, but from the surface it looks good. It''s similar to a hair-brained idea of my own I've posted about a couple of times, which was to come up with a public pool of money, I called it crowd-sourcing, that could be drawn from when elected officials are in a position that they are going to take the donations that later dictate their policy efforts. I had envisioned it being a dynamic entity, a politician who wanted to do the right thing yet didn't want to unilaterally disarm in the money race could come to that group, and say "I don't want to take money from these guys, it will have their strings attached, they are interested in such and such an issue (a pipeline, a reguation to remove, whatever it is), can you help me out? Then the group I was imagining would put it out to the crowd-sourcing, posting the funders, the issue involved, the elected official(s) who would like to NOT take their money but need it to be viable in our system, and a request would go out to the "crowd" saying if we care about this issue, we can chip in and this politician will take our money instead of the corporate money, with OUR strings attached. Sorry to be so long-winded, a little difficult to explain. Not the best solution, perhaps, but a practical approach given the current money = speech SCOTUS position.

So to wrap it back around, the legislation I started talking about does something very similar to all of that, might be worth checking out, I only recently heard about it:


Here’s how the bill would work:

To encourage greater participation, everyday Americans could qualify for a $25 refundable My Voice tax credit for small donations to congressional campaigns.
Qualified candidates who prove their viability by raising a large number of small contributions from their home state would be eligible to receive a base grant to help fund their campaigns.
After qualifying, candidates who choose to participate must limit their contributions to $150 or less. Those donations would be matched, up to a limit, by six dollars for every dollar raised. For example, a $40 donation becomes $280.
Candidates who qualify for Fair Elections funding can receive additional funds to ensure they have the resources to compete against outside attacks.

I think it also has conditions so they couldn't be taking the grant money AND the corrporate money.

So that's one line of attack.

Another is money-shaming, I think we could do a lot more in that direction, and the U.S. public is receptive to this, they know it's the root of the problem, they just feel overwhelmed with all of the info-overload and can't take enough time from their lives to actively read and learn enough to see who is funding candidates and what the funders want in return for those donations (plus the two main political parties do their best to have only captured candidates on the ballot). A good money-shaming effort could do that research for them, tying money to issues and tying those issues to the candidates who are taking that money. We could work to expose that activity and stigmatize candidates who take the corporate money as tainted, which is the absolute truth of the matter, they are tainted and captured by their funding.

The worker-owned business approach is a great place to put energy, and to a smaller extent profit-sharing is good too.

Tax policy can do a lot of good, we can make it too expensive for corporations to do the wrong thing, and we can encourage worker-owned businesses through the tax code. I believe Bernie would do so.

Exposing the poor conditions of american lives compared to citizens in Democratic Socialist countries is also a place to put energy. Most americans are not aware of how bad things are here compared to the european and scandinavian nations, in important metrics such as infant mortality, wealth inequality, incarceration. government and regulatory capture, job loss through offshoring (we need tariffs or some other mechanisms to prevent this), how many more hours we work than europeans, single payer health care systems, percent of our taxes that goes to "defense" and "security", police brutality, social safety nets to take care of our people, cost of education, the list goes on and on, most people are unaware that it is better elsewhere. Another area where Bernie is way better than anyone else. We can do more to educate the public, it doesn't need to revolve around Bernie, candidates come and go, we need to increase understanding of these things as much as we can to get the public on our side rather than pointing fingers at each other as "takers" while the corporations get richer and use their divide-and-conquer strategies as gladiator games for their amusement.

Non-controlled media efforts are also a place to energy. For most people, most of what they know about what's going on in the nation and the world is just what the corporate media wants them to know. With the internet we increasingly have the opportunity to change that.

We need to put energy into globalizing labor organization. That would make a HUGE difference. Many obstaces to getting that done, would be great to do so though.

Sorry to go on so, lengthy posts often don't get read. I care about all of these things and want to spark more energy towards these kinds of approaches, and learn more from others. Thanks again for your OP.

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Gregorian Jul 2015 OP
rbnyc Jul 2015 #1
Gregorian Jul 2015 #2
rbnyc Jul 2015 #3
TBF Jul 2015 #4
Gregorian Jul 2015 #6
Cosmic Kitten Jul 2015 #17
merrily Jul 2015 #5
justaddh2o Jul 2015 #7
Gregorian Jul 2015 #8
cantbeserious Jul 2015 #9
cantbeserious Jul 2015 #10
daleanime Jul 2015 #11
dreamnightwind Jul 2015 #12
Gregorian Jul 2015 #14
LineLineLineNew Reply Great, good OP you have here
dreamnightwind Jul 2015 #16
Gregorian Jul 2015 #18
AOR Jul 2015 #19
Gregorian Jul 2015 #20
dreamnightwind Aug 2015 #21
Gregorian Aug 2015 #22
dreamnightwind Aug 2015 #23
Babel_17 Jul 2015 #13
Gregorian Jul 2015 #15
Catherina Aug 2015 #24
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