Monday, October 25, 2010

CODS, the Corruption of Democracy Syndrome

There is always a competition between classes for a division of the rewards for economic activity. In modern states, including democracies, the competition is between workers and the owners of capital. This is the normal state of affairs and it can be carried out within the bounds of civil dialog provided that the government acts as an even handed arbiter and things don't get too far out of balance.

What I mean by "out of balance" can be discerned through a number of signs. The most fundamental one is purely economic. If the concentration of wealth has a perceptible long term increase, the system is unstable and, eventually, very painful things will happen. That has been going on in the USA for at least a couple of decades.

There are a number of reasons why this should be so but it is perfectly obvious that wealth can have more influence with government than labor when the government can be bought.

Well, political campaigns have become very expensive in the USA and our government has become as bought as anyone could imagine. We have a scandalous condition of legalized bribery, a revolving door between government service and very well paid lobbying activity, and private ownership of the major news media. What more could anyone do to undermine our democratic institutions - other than to install one party rule.

Draining this swamp is not optional, it has become a painfully clear necessity.

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