Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The state of the nation.

Wealth and power are centralizing. Has been steadily since 1979, you can see by looking at charts about US income inequality, (http://www.stateofworkingamerica.org/who-gains/#/?start=1979&end=2008). Because of this we're ending up with two classes. The lower class and the upper class. The upper class, and systems they control like security forces, are getting more authoritarian, especially the more separated and isolated they get. We can see this in our growing prison systems and their privatization, the military with increased funding and global action, police forces becoming militarized, spy agencies disregarding basic constitutional rights, and policies legalizing these actions in the name of security.

The reason there's so much wealth centralization, is because of the feedback loop of wealth that incentivizes politicians, thus controlling the government. As you can see here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tu32CCA_Ig&feature=youtu.be).

So the root of the problem is that the Republic is no longer accountable to the American people as a whole, but instead corporations, wealth, and established power (like incumbents). Campaign finance/funding/bribery isn't the only reason for this lack of control. There's also:

First Past The Post Voting style: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7tWHJfhiyo).
Where as the Alternative Vote appears to be a better direction to go: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y3jE3B8HsE)

The Electoral College: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wC42HgLA4k). (Though I agree there is a necessary function to having a system where the more politically involved and informed people have more power then the masses, there is a counter narrative that the more power and responsibility the people have, the more informed and involved they'll become to wield that power in their own interest. Voter turnout seems to validate this perception especially when looking at more democratic countries like Norway, or even America in the 50's.)

The Revolving Door: which is a movement of personnel between roles as legislators and regulators and the industries affected by the legislation and regulation. Be it politicians working for companies as a reward for favors while in office, or lobbyists moving into regulatory positions: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XLuaebpdAA)

Multiple examples of these conflicts of interest in the revolving door have been organized in Venn-diagrams here: (https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111221/17561617164/mapping-out-revolving-door-between-govt-big-business-venn-diagrams.shtml)

Absurd ballot access laws: Some states require exorbitant amounts of signatures to get on the ballot or have complex and intimidating signature sheets. This raises campaign costs dramatically to even have the opportunity to be voted for, thus only the wealthy can get elected. Every state is very different when it comes to these rules, even organizing it with a presidential campaign team proved to be incredibly difficult, so I can only vouch for this paradigm through my personal experience canvassing in different states.

A Centralizing Profit Based media, which is incentivized to adhere to ideologies and interests of profit because of our system of advertisements, instead of informing and educating the public about topics relevant to the nation: (http://rahoorkhuit93.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/media-infographic-1.jpg)

Also minor but growing accounts of, election fraud, electronic vote rigging, and restrictive voter ID laws. (which are there to attack the virtually non-existent voter fraud, the one thing that's actually not threatening democracy and the electoral process at this time.)

As for what to do about this, I'm not entirely sure, I've worked on third party presidential campaigns, have marched in groups on multiple sides of the political spectrum for this cause (Ex: OWS/Tea party), written and distributed articles, told everyone I know again and again, supported groups that push for solutions (Rootstrikers/Wolfpac/Open debates etc..) The only two routes left that have any potential in my mind to solve this problem of un-accountability, is the Sanders Campaign for the top down effect, and Represent.us for the bottom up. All in all, it really comes down to educating people about the core problem in our society, and coming to some agreement that we can collectively push for. Because every solution I've been a part of simply didn't have the numbers/activity/people interested that was necessary. Which to me is absurd because basically every major issue stems from an un-accountable government and profit to be made.

1 comment:

  1. Trump being denied and then his radicalized base retaliating against the GOP establishment, who then will also have problems with the religious right, as it tries to pacify and rally and neutralize them at the same time... will open up scope for important changes: CFRegs that favor the Democratic party, and the new center right party will have the right incentive to push for a winner-doesn't-take-all electoral system!