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How Our Capital Markets Got So Politicized

90 | By Shah Gilani

It’s a fact. Financial services are a huge part of the economy.

Twenty years ago, financial services accounted for somewhere between 5% and 7% of U.S. gross domestic product, depending what you include in the definition of “financial services.” By the time markets peaked, and just before the mortgage bubble burst, that number had shot up to between 17% and 20%.

What’s fascinating to me, and should be to you, is that shuffling paper for fun and outrageous earnings got as big as it did.

And just because some air in the bubble that drove a lot of those earnings gently escaped (not), that doesn’t mean the financial services machinery isn’t working overtime to pump up their earnings and profitability again. You know they’re working at it all the time.

I could go on and on about what this all means, and how problematic it is for the long term future of America, but that’s not the point of this message in a bottle.

The point is that we have become a nation of oligarchs (the powerful private interests of money men and oil men… same thing) running our government like a banana republic.

But I do just want to say this about that first. What does it say about our ability to make things (which is what the capital markets are supposed to support), when what we’re making more and more of are the means to buy things; means of financing, means of consumerism, means of moving paper across thin air in a real world, where other countries are increasingly manufacturing the things we buy with the means provided to us by the men of means, the financial services money men? What does it all mean?

First and foremost, it means that money men are the tail wagging the dog. Maybe that’s why our economy is in the doghouse and unemployment is stubbornly, now structurally, so high.

But the dog I speak of isn’t just the economy. The dog that matters is the body of government that dictates our future by the choices it makes… on our behalf?

We can debate what they (our lovely legislators and the powers that prevail in the offices that matter) do on our behalf.

But there’s no debating what they do on behalf of the money men – who are tragically and criminally bought and paid for by big businesses across America (yes, it’s criminal, however Constitutional it may be… maybe we need some Constitutional changes… ya think?). And here’s the rub… That means increasingly by the money men whose “contributed” share to our GDP has become enormous.

So, is it any wonder that the men with the means to finance stuff, including campaigns and political parties en masse, are financing their own future pathway to making more and more money? No, there’s nothing to wonder about, that’s what’s happening; that’s what’s been happening.

That’s why there were no rules, regulations or laws governing so many of the derivative products that enriched money men to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars (think about that, hundreds of billions of dollars made in an unregulated business in America) while at the same time driving the country, and the world, to a place that ain’t Lover’s Lane, but where we were all screwed.

But I digress.

So some laws were conjured up.

You know, like that Dodd-Frank monster, 2300 pages of double-spaced (between every letter as well as every line) rubbish, written as still unwritten, and with all those spaces in between, so loopholes could be inserted at will by the lawyers and lobbyists (same thing) of the money men. Frankly, Dodd-Frank is the best legislation money can buy. The proof is in the pudding.

The financial services industry and its earnings clout, if left unchecked, will continue to be politicized for the good of the parties, both of them (for heaven’s sake, why don’t we have a third and fourth party?), that write laws that make making money easier for them, the money men.

It’s about jobs, don’t ya know?

They’re there to finance business development and growth. And if we ever curtailed their power to make the business of America business, then where would we be? It’s about jobs. And I don’t mean your jobs. I mean their jobs – the money-men.

We’re caught in a vicious circle. The means of production, and more importantly in America today, the means of consumerism, are in the hands of the financiers and money men who own Congress.

I’m sick of it. I’m sick of Obama not putting them in their place, but instead lining his pockets and Nancy’s knickers with their money. And I’m sick that if Romney gets in to office, he’ll be even more in their back pocket, given where his bread has always been buttered.

I’m sick and tired of them all.

I’m sick that WE THE PEOPLE aren’t so sick of all this pimping and pandering to all these money-men that we throw them all out, that we don’t demand a third party of the people, by the people, FOR THE PEOPLE.

Are you sick too?

90 Responses to How Our Capital Markets Got So Politicized

    • Phil Rourk says:

      I am absolutely sick, and disgusted. But you neglected to mention: the big money men, the big goombahs, have also bought the press, the military and our national security apparatus. Or maybe better they´ve all bought each other in a very alarming manner. So how do we get a third-party, Constitution- and people-centered alternative going? Lead on. I and many others are prepared to follow.

      • NORBERT WEST says:

        ANSWER TO QUESTION, “HOW DO WE GET A THIRD PARTY” – – – EVERY VOTER WRITE IN RON PAUL’S NAME ON YOUR BALLOT LIKE I WILL DO!
        I’M NOT GOING TO THROW AWAY MY VOTE ON THE OTHER TWO!!!!!! ITS MY VOTE NOT THE ESTABLISHMENT’S WHO GAVE US TWO NO CHOICES!

        • Graywolf says:

          Either you are too young to remember what happened when too many of us voted for Ross Perot. A write in vote for Paul is a vote for Obama. If Romney is elected we will be better off for 4 years and give us time to build a viable 3 third party. Obama must be kicked out or I am afraid there will be NO more elections for decades or centuries.

      • jrj90620 says:

        Americans are getting EXACTLY the govt they deserve.If they wanted an honest govt they would vote for honest leaders.Most Americans stopped believing in Santa Claus and replaced him with govt.

      • Carol Wilson says:

        Truth to power! Paradoxically, the WSJ is part of the Murdoch press-media conglomerate, and nobody is a bigger goomgah than Rupert Murdoch.

    • Dave F says:

      Since they dont give a rat’s behind about us “common” folk I suggest we put them all on an aging aircraft carrier and towed out to the middle of the Pacific, Have that vessel hit with a torpedo while I’m on a boat nearby listening to the tortured screams as these clowns are ripped apart by white tip sharks. I can only dream, everbody has one. This is mine.

    • Bryan S. says:

      Shah,

      “Who is John Gault?” Not too sound like an alarmist, but what you suggest in terms of constituional reform is nearly prophetic to the great American novel “Atlas Shrugged” penned nearly 60 years ago by Ayn Rand. I suggest you pick up this classic read and perhaps open your mind to the idea that making money and wealth is not evil, but rather affords the numerous opportunities for man to be rewarded by his own enterprise versus his own need….least money disappear all together and man is forced to bargain at the end of a gun.

    • Donald Arfsten says:

      It goes back further than that. Long ago MBA’s were taught about the 4 pillars of the corporation. Investors, Customers, Employees and the Community. Now the executives own the boards, the employees are in different countries, and the shareholders and communities are being taken to the cleaners on a daily basis. The FASB and the AICPA have emasculated our accounting rules so that just about anything the exec’s want goes with very few aware of the situation. Its all very sad- we once had integrity…….

    • linda says:

      The problem is that the Republicans made it much worse with the Citizens United decision which was an example of Republican activism. It unleashed so much power for the corporations.
      If we had taxpayer funded campaigns with a set amount of funding for each candidate and an equal allotment of free TV airtime for each candidate, the money would primarily be taken out of it.

      That is a very general solution to this problem, but the current legislators will be afraid to do it since they will lose their power.

    • paul austin says:

      There is no doubt we need change. A third party is very optimistic. Look what happened to the “Tea Party”, it morphed into a Republican wing for extremism. A write in vote shows your disgust but does little to solve the problems of today. We need to start a “throw the bums out movement”, replace all of the elected representatives and get promises from the newly elected that they will support change.

    • Irv Rosen says:

      Fantastic article revealing what is really behind our problems. As you mentioned, a third party would really come in handy now, but that is a tough sell. Keep up your good work. Irv R

  1. Art says:

    Right on, brother! Right on the mark! The question becomes how do we, the People, change the situation. To me, there’s one answer and one answer only. A tax revolt, no taxes being paid to any level of government. And it has to be lead by someone knowledgeable like you, Shah, along with others with courage and credibility.

  2. Stephen Coates says:

    I’m so sick of it I could throw up. The Fed today announcing the latest plan to funnel them more money is as expected as it is beyond belief.

  3. Ron says:

    Very well written and succinctly said. As an engineer I have watched this deplorable situation develop over the years not only on a national level but on a personal level. This is what happens when you let the bean counters take over the world. The next crash will be caued by the unregulated derivatives market, now at over an estimated $600 trillion, a number that is incomprehensible. That will bankrupt the entire world and no govenment is big enough to bailout the banksters then.

  4. Bill C. says:

    Shah,
    I too am sick of the way the two party system is destroying our great country. 20 years ago I decided to never vote for an incunbant in any election. I believe we need to do away with all political parties. Everyone eligible to vote should be considered independant. Ban all political parties and all lobiest. Candidates can run on their ideals and issues and only be funded by a set amount of money supplied by a government fund. Every candidate can receive the same exact amount, no more no less, from the fund. Any outside interest attempting to give extra money to a candidate would be considered a federal offense. Make the government of,for and by the people again.
    Of coarse I believe we are too far down the tubes with the extent of coruption for any common sense solution to the problem. So all we can do is hope and pray the real people will wake up.

  5. James L. says:

    I agree emphatically! Why can’t others see it? I’ve long been a believer in growing the production vs services sectors. If only someone like you could provide a better measure of the history in the ratio of production vs services sectors and make the information available and understandable to the public. Money men are determined to be in control, so someone needs to explain it to them as well. Once they understand it, it might be corrected, but it might mean more hard work for those folks. At least it might make them seek an alternative for hard work! A lot more could be said, but thanks for uttering the point, it is not just politics, it is man’s perception of easy money and greed.

  6. Baja says:

    JFK said: ‘And so, my fellow Americans – ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’ and surely the answer for each of has to be that we will work earnestly to take back our country from the politicians, from the bankers and also from those who believe America owes them a living. Thanks again Shah for a motivating and inciteful piece. Thanks also for using your right to free speech.

  7. Jeff Pluim says:

    Shah,here in Canada we had a Liberal Prime Minister several years ago. I did not often agree with him but there were a few decisions that he made that have, in my opinion, made a huge improvement in this country. Firstly, he refused to go to war in Iraq. Nuff said about that. Secondly, he put a cap on individual political contributions and made all corporate contributions illegal. One thing that I did not agree with was that he passed a law mandating that all political parties receive a government grant for each vote they receive, of a buck or two, I don’t remember the exact amount. Our current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, promised to repeal that particular government donation B.S.
    After all, why should I, a capitalist, be forced, through my taxes, to support a socialist party like the Liberals or the New Democrats?
    Anyway, the main point here is that in Canada we no longer have corporate contributions to the political parties. The United States should do the same thing. And with a cap on personal contributions of about $1,300 per year, only parties supported by the people and not the corporations will get elected. It works here and if some politician had a backbone, he or she might just put forward such a bill in your country.

  8. eric taylor says:

    We might get lucky under Obama if he is re-elected, and finally
    begins to try to balance the budget? Bill Clinton, the only person
    of either party to balance the budget, for two whole years, in the
    last 30 years, noted well that Romney’s numbers don’t add up to
    balancing the budget. We used to build infrastructure out of the
    monies we now ship to the rich from government debt, but no
    more, as our long 30 year stimulus has left us with a big D for
    most of our 3rd world infrastructure, and no credit to catch up.
    Where did the true fiscal conservatives go?

    • ray says:

      You won’t get lucky. I am not trying to insult/demean you (that is the main purview of liberals), but how in the world can you even begin to think that Obama has any intention of balancing the budget or even reduce any spending. Suggest you look at his record over the last 3-1/.2 years.

      • Herman Clark says:

        Ya, Look at what has happened to the Obama, administration, ever sense he got in office!! The neo-conservatives, have obstructed every bill that was supposed to be signed by Obama, from the very first day. The majority of the senate all signed a contract, agreeing to not sign anything, thereby making him a one term president. Where have you been? get your facts straight buy opening your eyes and ears to what has been going on around you. this was said by the republican majority speeker, on TV, and several times sense. There is nothing wrong with a two party system. Thats, where checks and balances come in. With out it you have what is presently taking place. No cooperation or comunication, and no active government, working for the good of ALL, of the people and for the people. What we need to do is vote all of the corrupt polititions out and replace them with patriotes. All dictatorships, hae one thing in common. A one party system. We, need to get rid of the fillibuster so that no one group can stall the machinery of government. The group that has been trying to shut our government down, by collectivley agreeing to do so,by signing an agreement, should be impeached and prosecuted for conspiring to shut down our government. Treason.

  9. Bill C. says:

    Dish network signed up with The Blaze on channel 212. Glenn Beck at least is trying to get people involved with solutions. We should support him in his efforts.

  10. mike says:

    ” As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the
    prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
    -Abraham Lincoln, 1864

    Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as “internationalists” and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure- one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.
    -David Rockefeller, Memoirs, page 405

    • Michael says:

      ” As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the
      prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
      -Abraham Lincoln, 1864
      This Statement by Lincoln resulted in his Death ( as usual,at the hands of a lone Assassin). Who was later found and killed before he could spill the beans. Every true Statesman that has publicly attacked the Fed and Banking system, or spoke out for Racial Equality has met the same fate since Lincoln’s time.
      The Radical left and Radical Right have merged and completely smothered the people’s right to life, liberty and any form of future happiness.
      Contrary to the writers comment above, despite the poor spelling and misunderstanding of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”, what we are seeing is Galt’s Gulch unleashed and taking Vengeance on a Society that Constitutionally is mandated to be ruled By and For the People. Obama is still alive because he remains “Compliant and Silent”…
      As Roman Power exercise by Pontius Pilat – the Oligarchy are happy to wash their hands and throw him to the blood crazed mindless “People” as a sacrifice to maintain their Status Quo so the working classes and poor can be nailed to the cross’s and displayed along every Cul du Sac in their land of the Free. The only question that remains is how many more Crosses need to be manufactured to finish the job? Hope? Change? – yeah right!

  11. G L Bailey says:

    What is wrong with the Tea Party currently Calling for Less spending and a tax code that is Fair and less Gov’t regulations that are not necessary. US to 2012 collect $2.2 trillion spend $3.8 trillion. Nat’l debt$16 trillion and this does not include off-balance sheet liabilities. Will one tell me how this is repaid?? The answer is this nation is fiscally and morally bankrupt and the implosion will ocurr by or before 09-15-2015. There will be rioting in the streets in USA just as in Greece as austerity will be Compelled on all. You rthink you are sick now. Worse is yet to come.

    • jrj90620 says:

      You got it.I don’t think most of the sainted Americans,the middle and lower classes,want to pay for the govt they desire.A perfectly flat tax is a progressive tax and the rich would overpay,but if it is low enough,like 15%,I believe the rich would be OK with it.

  12. Anony Mole says:

    Shah,
    You might consider supporting the 29th Amendment which will help get the corp out of CorpGov. Note, the 28th is already slated, “Corporations are not people.”

    **** 29th Amendment *****

    Section 1.

    No person shall retain the office of Senator of the United States for consecutive terms. No person shall retain the office of Senator of the United States for a total duration exceeding eighteen years.

    Section 2.

    Term limits for the office of Representative of the United States shall be set at four years. No person shall retain the office of Representative of the United States for consecutive terms. No person shall retain the office of Representative of the United States for a total duration exceeding twelve years.

    Rational:

    Every vote every congressperson takes today is done with an eye toward the next election. Every lobbyist visit is done with the knowledge that the targeted congressperson has the next election on their mind. Every 2 or 6 years a considerable amount of time and effort is spent by every congressperson on their reelection, time and effort WE paid for. Maintaining office is the primary endeavor every congressperson takes to as soon as they enter office. The fact remains that our laws are being made by people who’s sole goal is not to enact laws to the benefit of U.S. Citizens but to remain in their positions. Every vote they take, every speech they give, every bill they introduce is couched with reelection in mind. Most congresspersons look at Congress membership as a life long pursuit, a corporate sponsored life long pursuit.

    The 29th Amendment must be enacted to change the term limits for all of Congress.
    • 4 year single term for Representatives
    • 6 year single term for Senators.

    No sequential terms.
    Three term maximum.
    Reelection only after sitting out for at least one term.

    Single terms will reduce the impact of lobbyists and corporate sponsors. Single terms will allow vetting of every congressperson’s record. Single terms will return congresspersons to the private sector to remix with the citizenry. Single terms will reduce the impact of party line voting. Single terms will focus Congress on what’s important – the county’s well-being. What Congress must do during their time in office should be one thing and one thing only – to create and pass laws that benefit the citizens of the United States of America.

    • BobT says:

      Term limits are not necessarily the answer. In Michigan we have had term limits for 18 years – we are now on our third or fourth set of term limited reps and second or third set of term limited senators. They have simply become much more extreme in their views and votes since they no longer have to worry about long term survival. After all, the voters can enforce term limits anytime they want – simply vote the rascals out. The problem is that we have become too sophisticated in districting for legislative seats.

      • Anony Mole says:

        It may be that term limits are not necessary. That anyone could be a congress person for as long as they are voted in. BUT, each term must be limited to a single session.

        • Voted in; work one term; then out you go.
        • Sit out a minimum of one term.
        • Repeat.

        Good congresspersons could be repeatedly voted back in AFTER they have taken at least one term “off the job,” living, working and surviving along side the rest of the citizens they strove to represent. Bad congresspersons will never return.

    • Phil says:

      Now that I can agree with…. One way or another decisions have to be made based on the simple fact “that it’s the right thing to do”. And more importantly, it’s the right thing for the Country, not some small area you represent. I’m wondering if we can have politicians that are elected but don’t even have the obligation to represent a particular State/County/City, they were elected by all of the people to run make our decisions. If that could happen then someone wouldn’t have to support something as silly as Ethanol just because he represents a corn State…..

    • Arch says:

      IMHO, terms for Representatives, Senators, President (&V-President) ought to be six years with no repeats in same office. Terms for Congress to be ‘staggered’ so that one third are replaced every two years to provide continuity.
      In addition, no money should be given to candidates or parties except by individual citizens; it should be a felony for any other entities to donate.

  13. spreadoption says:

    Bravo, Shah! Your final few paragraphs sum up everything that is going wrong in our country. We can only hope that your Republican-minded followers, as well as the loyal Democrats and all the others, will not only listen but also hear what you’re saying, that they will stop in their tracks and think for a minute.

    Both political parties, together with the Supreme Court and the Fed, are taking us down the wrong road. Our democracy is dead; Big Money rules us and they don’t give a f*ck about the rest of us (George Carlin). We the people are all in the same boat, like it or not, and we’re sinking. Meanwhile the oligarchs party on the upper deck of the Titanic like it’s 1929, or 1889. Until we stop fighting among ourselves, for all the reasons we think we must, we are destined to be just another banana republic. All of us screwed.

    Thank you, Shah, for your bold statement in the face of overwhelming, misguided nonsense.

  14. Linda says:

    It doesn’t matter who you vote for because they tell you what you want to hear to get elected, and then do whatever their money interests tell them. So we are stuck with them because then it is too late and they will have enough money to buy lots of negative advertising the next time around. That’s why most of those politicians have been there for so many years. The only answer is to limit all elected officials, including the President, to one term only in order to attract individuals who will make fair and honest decisions and not waste time and our money on re-election issues and campaigns. Let’s bring back “Throw the Bums Out” on Election Day. Unfortunately for the few good ones, they have to go too. It’s time for them to get another job like the rest of us.

    • Anony Mole says:

      Linda, I started with this premise but found that there would be no reason to exclude quality people from Congress. Those who have been vetted by society, their record exposed for all to examine, should be allowed to be voted back into office. The good may return, the bad, would be exorcised.

      The Constitution was designed to be changed. The Founding Fathers never envisioned career politicians. Nor did they envision the power corporations and their money have over government. Limiting Congress to single terms, but allowing the true representative visionaries to return to office would go a long way to solving these two disturbing trends in government.

  15. ASHLEY GOODMAN says:

    I am sick and fed up with all this s-t. i couldn’t have said it better. the constitution has to be re written so that it will keep our legislators independent otherwise the death penalty and the same for anyone found corrupting or bribing them. The political debate is a farce and the candidates puppets for the oligarchs. it is a despairing image of a great nation sold up and down the river.into financial slavery. There is also a so called Capitalist Principle that says you go where you can manufacture the cheapest, it may be called the Doctrine of Marginal Utility,? I am not sure but it sure has played hell with our economy. In any event, you are taling to me and I hear you and want a responsible 3rd party and a revised Constitution and a new business model with some humanity and dash of integrity but it won’t happen until their is some kind of social revelution or a climate collapse which is more likely. Power tends to corrupt and absolutely power corrupts absolutely. Montaigne.

    • jrj90620 says:

      If you can’t manufacture the cheapest here,then you are not competitive.You can’t hide out.The standard of living of Americans won’t be improved by overpaying American workers and shutting out imports.

      • Ed the Grocer says:

        I refuse to buy crap. The time it takes to have quality ordered in is about how long the crap will last anyway. From paper staples to machinery. It is worth the wait.

    • Anita Wirtz says:

      Lord Acton

      “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

  16. jrj90620 says:

    This country is run by idiots,the American voters.Whenever you seek someone to do some service,like auto repair,TV repair,etc. you try to find someone who knows what they’re doing.If you think that many people,who do something full time,are incompetent,how do you expect the average American,who knows little and cares even less,to know anything about economics and how a country should be run?What we have is a Fascist Democracy.I over powerful govt in the hands of voters who,not having a clue,even if they are honest,end up just voting for the politician(salesman) who promised them the most,”something for nothing”,There are only 2 possible solutions.1)change Americans to intelligent and honest or 2)vastly shrink the size and power of govt so voters can’t use it’s power to screw up the country.Neither is going to happen.All you can do is take care of your own situation and watch the collapse.

  17. ray says:

    Agree with most comments.
    As all know, the current state of politics and the way our gov’t is run points to a multitude of grievous sins in the entire process. Those that hope for change of our system are in fantasy land. I say that because even an item such as duplicate programs (hundreds) will never be reviewed. They don’t have and don’t want metrics on any program to judge its efficacy.
    The entire system will fail before anything new can be implemented. And, it will probably be run by the most corrupt organizations in the world: the UN or IMF, or both.

  18. c szat says:

    Sorry folks. This will continue for decades if not longer.
    There are too many complacent, ignorant, lazy people in this country
    that have no interest in getting involved. 50% of the voting population can’t even be bothered to get their asses up and out to the voting station in the early morning.

    This freight train doesn’t have the cliff on its horizon yet.

    A revolution in this country would require staggering unemployment in the 30-50% range. It’s going to require families not able to feed their children or care for their loved ones. It’s going to require massive failure of the infrastructure and distribution systems long established in this country because of our exclusive access to very cheap oil.

    This doom and gloom just may be coming.

    • Bob S says:

      Have you looked at how difficult it is to get on the ballot as a third party?

      The Libertarian Party has managed to be on the ballot in all fifty states for the last decade. EVERY year, we’ve had to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars to get signatures just to stay on ballot. Neither the Demagogues or the Republic-rats have to spend a dime. Their ballot fee is refunded!

      After you’ve spent your reserves to get on the ballot, then try to come up with the cash to make media buys to get your message out…if the media will even take your money! And when you start doing well in a particular district, suddenly every signature you collected is examined in great detail and thrown out. Or in the case of Illinois, the two parties agreed to blatantly LIE and throw out all of the signatures (in the case of Harry Browne) and had to be sued.

      Short of shooting these slimewads, it is nearly impossible to get an independent or 3rd party on the ballot. Then if you do, then both main party candidates *and the media* start telling everyone that you are “wasting your vote.” You’re not wasting your vote, you are making it clear that politics as usual disgusts you.

  19. Maxine de Villefranche says:

    I would join a third party if there was a good leader to organize it. However, I fear that anyone smart enough to lead the country back on the right path would soon get arrested and thrown in jail. This has become a fascist oligarchy where the police force in every state has been militarized and is there to protect the banks, corporations and the rich. If a true leader was strong enough to make himself/herself heard, it would not be long before our present leaders would feel threatened and make him/her disappear. This is the kind of country we now live in.

  20. Jim in Atlanta says:

    Norbert (funny name bit ya gotta like it) has the right idea. If we could all get everyone we know to vote for Ron Paul, maybe the makings of a Constitution Party would get started. If not in November, then for next round.

  21. Matt G says:

    I want a “By The People” (NOT Buy the People) amendment to the Constitution:

    Members of Conngress shall be selected at random from among the rolls of registered voters in each congressional district (or whole state, in the case of the Senate). Members shall serve for four years (six years in the Senate), after which time they may stand for an election to be retained in office for an additional four (six) year term. Should the incumbent either choose not to stand for retention or attain a simple majority of the votes cast in the election to retain, a new member will be chosen at random to replace the outgoing representative. A representative may stand for no more than two subsequent elections for retention, such that no person shall serve more than three consecutive terms in office.

    Think about it: No need for campaign-finance reform (no more campaigns) and if a representative doesn’t satisfy his constituents, there’s no way he would stand to be retained! Could such a system REALLY be any worse than what we have now?

  22. Kevin Beck says:

    If you want to reduce the problem in this situation, you don’t need to re-write or amend the Constitution. Instead, you need to follow it. This would result in elimination of the Federal Reserve and the abolition of legal tender laws. These two steps would result in the end of control of the money-men on our society.

  23. Doris Kelsey says:

    I’ve asked Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! to host a debate between the other candidates so we have a better idea of which to vote for. I suggest we all contact her and ask the same. The ‘other’ candidates are Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson.

  24. vernon thomas says:

    The only way to stop our politicians from destroying this country at this point is to have seccession and another civil war. That is truly something I don’t want to see,but this country is toofar gone to save. We are on the path to a third world country and i don’t see anything stopping it.

  25. Robert in Canada says:

    While the USA is probably one of the worst when it comes to big money controlling the government, it is a problem in most other countries.

    There’s a new party (about 6 months old) in Canada designed to eliminate this problem, the Online Party of Canada (OPC). It will have candidates running in some by-elections in the next few weeks.

    When an OPC candidate gets elected to be part of the government, he has to vote according to the majority vote of his constituents.

    Here’s how it works – When an issue comes up you (a constituent who is legally entitled to vote) vote online. The majority wins. Then your rep votes in accordance with the majority of his constituents.

    Your rep cannot be bought by lobbyists or special interests.

    No matter how much money or favours someone offers him he has to vote according to how the majority of his constituents voted online.

    If the USA was governed by a similar online party, you would eliminate the corruption, back room deals, special interests, and pay-backs that are ruining your country.

  26. Paul Dueweke says:

    How many of you contact your state and federal politicians regularly about what you’r sick about? Shah, here’s an opportunity for you to organize us sickies into a voice.

  27. Charles says:

    Shah, yes I am sick of it, but I repeat what I have asked previously: What do we do about it? The institutions you describe have the money and the power to perpetuate their advantages. I don’t personally have those resources. Maybe collectively, I and others who believe in your views might have enough power and resources to at least resist this. But who leads and what is the process? Who can garner and direct this effort without being corrupted by the very power that such leadership would bestow? It is great that you are sharing this point of view, and I will use the information as best I can to improve my circumstances. But unless you propose some viable process for us to come together in such a way as to become a force to contend with, nothing is going to change.

  28. Don Fishgrab says:

    Somebody once said a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil. For too long people have voted for the lesser evil because they hoped to defeat the worst. Look where it has gotten us.

  29. None of the Above says:

    Has anyone else noticed the heroine of “Atlas Shrugged” did not build the railroad, she inherited it? Did you see any children or disabled people in that novel? Do you know that Ayn Rand was both a sociopath and a hypocrite? Why would you base a whole philosophy of how a nation should operate on a bad romance novel?

    Do you realize as soon as a corporate charter is issued, the government becomes complicit in the business? Was Taggart Transcontinental a corporation? Was Rearden’s company a corporation? Yep, the whole corporate outfit is protected from responsibility for its crimes. That’s what a corporation is for.

    When they changed the name of the War Department to the Defense Department it was Orwellian “Newspeak”. Why not just base your political philosophy on “Animal Farm” or “1984”.

    Take a look at the platform of the Green Party (Jill Stein for President). It makes a lot of sense. Most of what the comments hope for is in there. And vote as if the lives of those you love are at stake because they are.

  30. douglas says:

    “Maybe, it’s just the way things are supposed to be,” Paschendale. Simply because you get a third party simply means a party divided, and the right wingers come and scoop their victory. Please come to the realization that voting doesn’t work, and not voting doesn’t work either. It’s not only a stacked system, but a stacked world, that is to say people are really stupid and the powers that be already know how to brainwash stupidity. Give a pig his coffee and doughnut in the morning and he is as happy as a pig in s*** thruout the day(duh).

  31. Marian Carter says:

    Am I sick of the pimping, pandering, and bs politics, damn straight I am, and for longer than I care to remember. Yes, I am!

  32. BobT says:

    Actually we are getting the government that WE the people want. Everyone wants the other fellow to pay the taxes and wants the other fellows government benefits/subsidies cut. I say repeal all the Bush era tax cuts (we had a balanced budget then); begin applying the Social Security tax to all earned income (it will slightly hike the maximum social security benefit); increase the age at which you can begin drawing Social Security unfettered by earned income back to 70 as it was prior the Bush’s vote buying (that hurts me since I am in my mid-60’s and intend to work full time for another 15 to 20 years). I’m not really ready to comment on where to cut spending since any government benefits I get at this time are very indirect – everyone should be willing to give up some of what benefits themselves. However, I know that I am too idealistic for the average person for what I want to happen.

  33. Paul Petersen says:

    Shah, I have to tell you, I’m more than sick, just completely disgusted with them.. I have in fact, been uttering those same words over the past month, trying to get my point across, “We the people, of the people, for the people” seems to have lost its meaning when so many are dependent on the government, and dumbed down all as part of the money mens master plan. What do we do now??

  34. bruce mead says:

    i’m canadian ,provincially we tend to vote someone out of power not in .we get alot of your news ,from what i listened to ron paul sounded like the most up front common sense candidate out there. too bad he was silenced by….

    • Gc says:

      At his stage of the game why do gents still talk about Ron Paul as an option? There are only two: Obama and Romney and in either case we wil be more f..cked than we already are. What needs to take place is a massive peaceful demonstration like the million men. March and the OWS bunch that went no where, in which with a unanimous voice demand that the government 1) stop wars, 2) reform the electoral process 3) make it Rey clear to politicians such as McCain, pelossi, boehner, that we do not approve. Small but definite steps. And vote them all out of office.

  35. Bruce says:

    Unfortunately, I’m wrong in my market predictions as often as I’m right. But a few weeks ago, I asked what would the market’s outcome be, given that Obama wants the presidency, Bernanke wants his job, and money managers want to make more money before Christmas? Well, Bernanke’s announcement of the latest bond-buying programme has answered my question. So does this mean the Wall Street brethren are apolitical? Will they still support Obama by November, or will a Republican victory give the markets another leg up?

  36. Ed the Grocer says:

    Everyone is still chatting about one more patch on the old ship. If we look at the current Arab Spring and the fall of most previous empires, we should understand that the new “power structure” will have few of the same participants as the old one. The rich and powerful are targeted and replaced and it can happen very fast. Think about 150 to 200 million gun owners without food. Even if you want to run, there is already a refugee camp where ever you want to go. It is decision time. Oh, and me? I’m already there.

  37. Larry Richards says:

    i think we need Ron in the seat Obama has done nothing for his four years but make things worse sure the car industry is doing better because the price of gas has went through the roof that people that are working have to buy cars that get much better gas milage to even get by and the only ones reeping off these gas prices is the oil companies and i saw the other day that our own goverment who they say we can trust that they are for us owes the social security 5 trillion dollars that they took to fight people that hate us and burn our flag thoes people over there have been fighting since the beginning of time and they will when jesus even when jesus comes back all we are doing is just getting our self in a meltdown in our country and we are going to fall unless the goverment stopes lieing and playing games with our lives we already got rid of the man we were after so lets sucure ourselves and quit fighting and as far as the goverment spending our social security by the laws they put in place it was illegial for them to do so so like any american crook who is going to jail for there crime? sorry to write so much but i felt it needed to be said. really in reality just like Richard Pryors movie brusters millions i think we should vote none of the above

  38. Gc says:

    As you probably know the people as a block, are not fed up because most of them are not aware or too busy or ignorant of what to do in order to take any action. You shah, should get yourself invited to fox, CNN and channel 4 and present the facts as you know them and start waking people up. I would suggest you do so very tactfully as I my experience when you whisper things people pay more attention than when done loudly. But of course you know this already. Why not also go into talk shows like the view (dumb assess but good forum for the average sheep) and the talk or even attempt Oprah. Only then will the masses start to listen. My continued support as always.

    • Ed the Grocer says:

      I own a small food store way hell and gone in the mountains. My customers are preparing. I have observed recognition of the threat transformed into action on a broad scale. Our people are able to take action. What does a city dweller, no matter how astute, do?

  39. Frank B. says:

    Repeat after me… Write-in Ron Paul for president, abolish the fed, return to the GOLD standard, balance the budget!

    Repeat to EVERYONE you know!

    Gotta start somewhere!!

  40. Ed the Grocer says:

    What to do. Vote with your wallet, starting now. Stop buying crap. Eliminate debt by any means short of a hold-up. Eat organic. Get healthy. ( read Good Calories, Bad Calories and log on to Mercola.com ) Shop local. Never underestimate the power of a trend driven by your wallet. Know your enemy. ( watch the vids, secret of oz, what happened to the twin towers, king corn, etc, they are free.) Many projects are already under way. fluorides, GMO’s, vaccines, mercury fillings. Look after your neighbor. Now, start now.

  41. jean-pascal rouland says:

    Shah,
    You’ll be able to say it better than I. But I believe that, beyond politics, religions, and theories, the unavoidable truth is that our work (individual and collective) goes to CREATE goods needed by others (and ourselves) to better our life. Money is just a tool of exchange, simplifying and (yes) amplifying this. Money lenders consequently DESERVE some return, BUT THIS RETURN IS A TAX ON OUR PRODUCTION. When money lenders go to usurary rates ( due to laws, situations, greed.. or undue power), they KILL productivity.
    Money lenders are LEECHES. Leeches ARE God’s creature, and deserve to exist, LOL, but that doesn’t give them the right to suck us out dry.

  42. Rapscallion says:

    “Griftopia” by Matt Taibbi. Forget the politicians and head to where the real problem is and that is Wall Street! The pols are puppets and it won’t matter who is in there. A little vigilante pressure on the “movers and shakers” who actually run this country, may be the answer to their self serving ways. We need to stand up for ourselves, not expect some elected official to do it. Wow…come to your senses, sheeple!

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