Plutocrats Are Crashing Our Economy For Their Own Benefit
A plutocracy is government run by the rich, for the rich. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the corporate role in politics to be expanded, wiping away 100 years of law protecting citizens from large corporate checkbooks. Now there is no limit to the amount of funds corporations can give to unfairly influence elections. What we have is a plutocracy.
Our system ensures our politicians are beholden to their donors. The candidate who spends the most may not always win, but without money from rich donors it is impossible to even compete. In the 2012 election the average amount raised by members of the House who won election was $1,689,580 and the average for the Senate was $10,476,451. This makes it nearly impossible for the non-rich to win.
This system has broken our democracy, and it now works only for those with the money to play the game. Votes still matter for determining who gets into office, but nearly all of our politicians are working for special interests once they take their seats in government.
This has led us to an array of bad policies. Our tax system is riddled with loopholes that make it more profitable to take companies, jobs and profits out of the country. We have “free trade” agreements that make easy profits for a few at the expense of American jobs. This is beneficial for a handful of wealthy individuals, but is bad for America as a whole.
These individuals have no regard for the state of our nation–they are only looking out for themselves. They are the ones making the calls about what direction our economy will take, and it shows. It is no wonder we have seen our good, middle class jobs disappear.
The only way out of this mess is to get money out of politics and restore the power of the vote. There are some pieces of legislation that could improve our situation, but a constitutional amendment is the only way to ensure we can once again have a representative government. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is one politician who has introduced such legislation, but there has been no action.
The special interests will certainly oppose this sort of amendment, and the process is not easy, but we must have an amendment to overturn Citizens United if we want to prosper as a nation once again. Our politicians need to know they are still supposed to serve their constituents.
Eliminating the effects of this decision will throw out plutocracy and bring back our lost democracy. Take this article to your congressional representative and ask them how they will fix this dire problem.