American democracy has become coin operated. Special interest groups increasingly control every level of government. The necessity of raising huge sums of campaign cash has completely changed the character of politics and policy making, determining what elected representatives stand for and how they spend their time.Read more...
American democracy has become coin operated. Special interest groups increasingly control every level of government. The necessity of raising huge sums of campaign cash has completely changed the character of politics and policy making, determining what elected representatives stand for and how they spend their time. The marriage of great wealth and intense political influence has rendered our country unable to address our most pressing problems, from runaway government spending to climate change to the wealth gap. It also defines our daily lives: from the cars we drive to the air we breathe to the debt we owe.
In this powerful work of reportage, Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman, two vigilant watchdogs, expose legalized corruption and link it to the kitchen-table issues citizens face every day. Inciting our outrage, the authors then inspire us by introducing us to the army of reformers laying the groundwork for change, ready to be called into action. The battle plan for reform presented is practical, realistic, and concrete. No one-except some lobbyists and major political donors-likes business as usual, and this book intends to help forge a new army of reformers who are compelled by a patriotic duty to fight for a better democracy.
An impassioned, infuriating, yet ultimately hopeful call to arms, "Nation on the Take "lays bare the reach of moneyed interests and charts a way forward, toward the recovery of America's original promise.
- ISBN-13: 9781632861092
- ISBN-10: 1632861097
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Publish Date: March 2016
- Page Count: 288
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-12-21
- Reviewer: Staff
Despite the authors impressive credentialsPotter is an analyst at the Center for Public Integrity and Penniman runs the group Issue One, which advocates for campaign finance reformtheres little here that readers wont have seen before, at least if they have any knowledge of the role of money in contemporary American politics. The basic facts are largely familiar: the millions the Koch brothers intend to spend to influence the 2016 presidential election, the damaging effect of the Supreme Courts Citizens United decision. Potter and Penniman hope to make this issue a subject of everyday conversation, by linking corruption to policy decisions that are made in opposition to the public interest. They do so in sections on how money influences federal legislation on energy, banking, medicine, and toxins, but again break no new ground. The final section delivers an exhortation to a disenfranchised electorate to reclaim its government, but the authors offer little grounds for hope; on the federal level, they note that President Barack Obama and the SEC could have taken unilateral action but havent yet, without explaining why theres any likelihood that they might do so in the future. This is a good primer for someone completely new to the topic. (Mar.)