Wednesday, October 15, 2008


American taxpayers are watching their leadership take a stake in the financial engines of their economy, supposedly on their behalf and for their own good. The State is taking equity stakes in banks, healthy banks, solvent banks in need of cash, as well as not so solvent ones. And, as if it matters, Paulson and company are earnestly pointing out that participating companies will have to accept executive compensation limits. Taxpayers have no choice and the compensation limits won’t make the pill go down any more easily. Taxpayers, nevertheless, have front row seats to the biggest show on Earth, and to the historic changes that are shaking the American style of capitalism to its roots.

For taxpayers to be provided the kind of government that will be effective in its supervision and oversight of corporate investments, or general corporate behavior, as well as continued tendencies toward free trade that have built the country and its economy, they will need to demand change in the electoral process. Honest dissection of root problems that enabled the economic turmoil currently being endured by most taxpayers, should lead to an elimination of the organizational, corporate, and special interest funding of elected officials.

How, for example, could Congress, the house Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee, conduct themselves in a manner befitting the public’s interest when all of them received millions from the financial services industry, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Independence of thought and deed becomes difficult if not impossible when powerful, almost unlimited forces oil the machine that keeps you elected.

Labor unions, political action committees, corporations, associations and other such bodies, should be prevented from providing dollar contributions, or gifts, to political parties, their representatives running for office or those already in office. Along with changes in corporate governance, there is a need for change in electoral governance.

If this is a government By The People and FOR The People, then the people should demand that the financial clout of special interests be taken out of the equation. It is NOT time to look to Europe for a better form of governance of very much, particularly the economy, as some would suggest. Europe was only remained an envious bystander to America’s technological and entrepreneurial advances achieved over the past thirty years. Don’t turn the clock back a century. Allow as much freedom for innovation as possible, but give teeth to oversight. Get meddling interests out of the electoral process, and allow creativity of get the country out of its current difficulties. Legislators will resist such changes. Don’t let them.

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