Every day, while checking on and reading from the mainstream news, I do my best to see what non-profit, consumer driven news organizations are talking about.
Here is a great example of why these organizations are so important. In the book, the issues of who writes the law and who the law serves are examined. The main argument is that the mainstream media rarely raise these issues because they are vested in the same status quo as lawmakers.
In the article, the authors show how one area of big business controls the law to its own advantage. This is not a controversial claim that powerful interests impact the law through their donations. After all, we as humans are not into throwing away our money for nothing.
So consider this, from the article:
How much is democracy worth to you?
If you’re like most people, it’s priceless. But for the hedge funds and insurance companies on Wall Street, it does have a price tag. And now, thanks to a new report by Global Exchange, we know the number on it: approximately $4.2 billion. That’s how much the Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (F.I.R.E.) sector has invested in political influence through campaign contributions and lobbying since 2006. That comes to $1,331 a minute spent on political power.
The new report is called “Meet the F.I.R.E. Sector: How Wall Street Is Burning Democracy.” It was developed by Elect Democracy, a nonpartisan effort by Global Exchange to expose and challenge the impact of corporate money in U.S. politics. The report contains extensive research tracking Wall Street’s investment in political power, and analyzes exactly how Wall Street has secured what Global Exchange calls “industry-loyal voting practices” in Congress: by shoveling stacks of campaign cash in the direction of Congressional hopefuls from both major political parties.
That money lets these industries get what they want in Washington. The F.I.R.E. sector contributed $879 million to members of Congress since 2006, and took positions on 383 bills during the 112th Congress. For instance, they supported Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Panama, and Colombia in 2007, and backed the bailout in 2008. Bills they opposed include the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009, the Limited Homeowner and Investor Loss in Foreclosure Act of 2010, and the Stop Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act of 2011.
Got it? They give lots of money. They get laws that benefit them.
And you can make a call, send an email or fax, sign a petition, and vote. Of course you can also give a sizeable amount of money to political parties or candidates, but if you're like moer than 99% of Americans, you don't.