US is a banana republic in the way it deals with money and politics
Image presented without explanation.

Wu-Tang is Right: “C.R.E.A.M.” Same goes for you and your neighbors.

The Institute of New Economic Thinking’s recent and somber research (PDF) proves that money spent on political campaigns b***h-stomps the people’s will almost all the time.

INET director Thomas Ferguson, along with researchers Paul Jorgensen and Jie Chen, examined more than three decades of congressional campaign spending — by political candidates as well as their dark money supporters — and found a strong and direct relationship between the money spent on these campaigns and subsequent election victories.

As an example, the research looked at the 2012 US House of Representatives elections and the associated Democratic candidates’ share of two-party campaign spending. After comparing spend share with percentage of votes won, the research produced this eye-opening chart:

Each point in the chart represents the intersection of a 2012 democratic candidate’s campaign spend share (horizontal axis) share and the percent of votes won (vertical axis). The cluster of points veer upward as you follow the spend percentage from zero to 100. The resulting trend line drawn in the chart is crystal clear: more money spent meant more votes.

The same correlation exists for every election year analyzed in the study.

“Dolla-dolla bill, y’all … ”

Here’s one for you algebra geeks – the relationship between loot and votes is so strong that the trend line isn’t the least bit complex, nuanced or curvy. We’re talking about a line that’s boldly linear like an arrow.

“So, what if the will of the rich is the same as the will of the poor and middle class, or that the three groups could at least dig the same candidate?”

Please …

Corporate taxes as a share of America’s Gross Domestic Product are among their lowest levels in 70 years. You and your not-so-wealthy friends have been paying a larger share of US taxes while corporations are paying the lowest share in decades. Campaign donations undoubtedly ensured that outcome.

And what have lower corporate taxes done for most of you? Jobs continue their migration away from America, infrastructure remains embarrassingly shabby and getting worse, plus wages are lower than they were a decade ago.

Did your will include the passage of NAFTA, TPP, the preservation of too-big-to-fail banks or the approval of the National Security Agency peeking into your Snapchat stories? The INET paper also deals with all that silly common will stuff, by the way.

While politicians sell you on the idea of “shared sacrifice” just as the income of the wealthiest Americans continues its flight away from everyone else, domestic propaganda attempts to richsplain the rebellious episodes you see on the streets,

Occupy Wall Street was painted as a movement bunch of spoiled and bored Hipsters.

Bernie Sanders was depicted as Quixotic and his followers delusioned by the luxury of White privilege.

Yes, Donald Trump’s core supporters1 have a big problem with race and just about everything else, but their economic experiences are vividly real.

For many who feel like “Living in the world, no different from a cell,” the INET study should send a clear message: big money must leave American politics if folks ever want to see freedom while living

song currently stuck in my head: “aquarela do brasil” egberto gismonti &nanà vasconcelos

1When you get to “Muslim is not a religion part,” let me know what you think.


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