What Price Democracy?

Illegal to sell vote
Democracy’s success –  evident again in the 2015 Greek election – is that the politicians are accountable to the voters, and reflect together the broad spread of their views.

American democracy is different. There, the very rich dominate, thanks to a crazy decision by the Supreme Court to allow no restriction on the size of political donations.

Now the multi-billionaire Koch brothers and their grotesquely wealthy friends, avoiding vast quantities of tax in the process, are going to spend some $900 million to shape the outcome of the 2016 elections. To whom will the elected politicians then be accountable? The many people who voted for them after reasoned debate over the issues? Or the small number of billionaires who paid for the voters to hear nothing but one-sided ideological views?

One of the major problems is the system of company ownership. The wealth creators are the people who do the work in a business, not the ones who ‘own’ it. Shareholders do not create wealth – they suck it away. The wealth created should be shared – less what is needed to fund reinvestment in the business – among those who have created it. But we have been fooled into thinking that people who ‘own’ a company should be able to extract all the wealth created. The Koch brothers suck away for themselves the wealth created by the hundreds of thousands of responsible cooperating people who make their businesses work. And then they turn it to the project of buying democracy, of imposing their views, of making politicians accountable to them rather than to voters.

Through the bland factual reporting of the New York Times (which itself has a very mixed record on ensuring that information is made available) you can see the end of anything like genuine democracy in the US. http://s.coop/1v6xw

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