Crony Capitalism: From Wall Street to K Street
This is where the high-level action is. I'm just starting to round up stories, but here's one on Treasury Sect. Paulson (under Bush) going to talk with top investment bankers, and giving them insider information on government policy.
About $3,500 million per year is spent buying government favors — mostly on K Street, Washington DC, mainly for business. That's the definition of crony capitalism. Want to know how that works? You've got to see this amazing interview with Jack Arbamoff ("I only owned 100 Congressman") — he's now out of prison.
What if one (or two) of America's super-rich decided just buy itself a political party? That's how truly serious crony capitalism works, like under Putin in Russia. But what would that cost? The last presidential race cost only about a billion—for both parties. So, about 3% of the Koch brother's wealth. But their doing it far cheaper than that. To follow the election you need to know how.
Elections Inc. — The Supreme Court vs. Democracy
On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court overturned the Bipartisan Election Reform (McCain-Feingold) Act, and allowed corporations and unions to make unlimited contributions to influence elections. In June 2011, Charles Koch, quoting Saddam Hussein, declared the 2012 presidential election would be the "mother of all wars." What's the connection?
Fox News cites the Wall Street Journal far more than all other papers put together. Their politics is identical. What don't you know about the Wall-Street Media?
Facing hard times and an out-of-touch, tea-party Congress, the country was ripe for an anti-greed movement, and who better to target than the fat cats that caused the mess, got bailed out and thumbed their noses at us. Occupy Wall Street got the country talking about the real problem instead of the tea-party's manufactured debt crisis. But OWS needs to focus—it needs a "cause," if it wants to make a significant change. Luckily, the pieces of this puzzle fit together.