Sunday, July 18, 2010

The "Special Interest" Curse.

My country, the USA, is still the most desired place in the world to live, prosper and pursue happiness despite all the bad news seen daily in the media. Our political system is currently under heavy stress, however, and will need every freedom-loving citizen to come to its aid.
We must DEMAND no less than "full disclosure" from all our representatives in order to relieve this stress.
The stress of which I am talking about can be described simply as political pandering by both sides of the aisle to the ever inreasing special interest groups.
Our system of governance is, and has been, under assault from groups which seek special favors and lobby heavily with money and the promise of votes. I am not talking so much about the lobbying efforts by industry and union representatives who may seek general policy direction for their constituents. These efforts usually seek to benefit and improve the entire nation's social and economic picture.
I am talking about groups who are seeking favors aka "mandates" which will directly result in transfers of wealth utilizing our taxing system. Once implemented, these policies most often result in taking money away from not just the very wealthy but working citizens and giving it to groups who claim victim hood in one way or another.

Please do not get me wrong.
Some are legitimate and should be given our full attention and compassion.

Here's the problem.. not everyone is a victim and deserving of "special treatment".
The victim groups have steadily multiplied into an industry of its own. Colleges and universities have created study courses which have lent legitimacy to many groups who were considered "fringe" at best just a few years ago. These groups have evolved into movements claiming to be historically oppressed and thus owed special treatment as victims. Demanding economic and social justice they have become a major factor in the corrupting influence in our present political system.
Here's how it works.
Career politicians need money in order to defeat their opponents. The special interest forces invest vast sums to the candidate for favorable policy decisions. Once elected, political favors and election funds become an accepted quid pro quo understanding.
This political game, winked at as just an oddity for so many years has become so pervasive as to become a corruption serious enough to become a danger to the stability of the entire system. The majority of the populace is starting to recognize this and is becoming agitated.
Now I know what some might say about my little rant and thus miss the point of this piece completely.
Some might be strongly tempted to say; which groups are you talking about?
I am not equipped to make such judgements and even if I made an attempt this would lead us completely off point.
The point is not about the justification of which group to favor or dismiss but the actual long term effect that this relationship between politicians and special interest representatives has on our political system. It has become clear even to the average citizen that our political system has evolved to become just a wealth transfer scheme benefiting those who have found a way to "game" our system. As hard-working taxpayers they feel more and more "ripped off" and are rapidly loosing any respect for Congress and the President not to mention local government.
The Obama team's election promise was "full disclosure". Where is it?
All lobbying money to elected officials should be disclosed no matter its source or value.
The problem is that back room deals and favors for votes are dispensed right in front of our eyes and we are powerless to stop it.
Am I the only one so frustrated?

6 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

When Marx was involved with the First International, he wrote about the problems with dealing with identity politics. Some tried to move the socialist international towards sexual freedom issues, anarchism, temperance, feminism etc. Each group only cared about their slice. The class view unites people.

roman said...

Ren,

The class view unites people.

Agreed, hopefully sometime in the near future, more and more will find a way to transcend class interests and focus on the general condition of ALL of mankind. Until such time it is best to just be aware of our biases.

Renegade Eye said...

Like looking at Lincoln from a black nationalist perspective. They would say he was racist, and not motivated by benevolent motives. The bigger picture is that whatever his motives, even by accident of history, he made correct decisions.

Renegade Eye said...

See this

roman said...

Ren,

It is amazing how by just a turn of a few words, Moore was able to drive home his point about the inequity of the wealth distribution. I am always, by nature, suspicious of bold statistical claims. Bias often drives statistical interpretation.
Thanks again for the link. At least now I know where that 1%- 95% claim originated.

Moda said...

Och yes...