Republicans gutting Dodd-Frank as Wall St. goes subprime again … It is not mortgages but subprime car loans that U.S. banks are repackaging now for foreign investors … Teams of bank lobbyists [are] rewriting laws up on Capitol Hill these days … Little by little, these influence-buyers are gutting and filleting the Dodd-Frank Act, the package of bank regulations that was among the few big accomplishments of the Obama administration during the two years when Democrats controlled Congress. These lobbyists represent some of the same corporate villains whose greedy, in some cases criminal, machinations just about demolished the economy in 2008, tossing millions out of their jobs and impoverishing even thrifty and financially prudent citizens. – CBC
Dominant Social Theme: Regulations are necessary, especially when they last a long time.
Free-Market Analysis: This article is in line with what we’ve forecast in the past regarding regulation and asset expansions.
When markets crash, it is easy to create regulations to “address” the perceived problem. In fact, legislators often don’t know or understand the problem, but they are willing to act to palliate the public perception that “something needs to be done.”
However, when markets go back up and the regulations are getting in the way of potential profits, suddenly those recently passed regs don’t look so good.
This is why it is likely not possible to reduce or eliminate market risk using regulations. Of course, regulations usually don’t help address the perceived problem anyway. But the more markets improve, the less newly codified regulations may be seen as necessary.
Battalions of lawyers and lobbyists may be unleashed to reduce or remove the most significant regs, and thus even if the reg is by some chance addressing the intended issue, it may soon be whittled into insignificance.
Just seven years after so many people nearly lost everything, conservative lawmakers are hard at work dismantling those damned bothersome restrictions placed on banks to prevent a repeat of the great meltdown.
Late last year, Republicans refused to pass a larger spending bill unless the White House agreed to undo a section of Dodd-Frank that forced banks to move their risky derivative trades to units that don’t enjoy taxpayer backing.
Then, when Congress reconvened this year under full Republican control, the very first order of business was once again the banks. This time, the aim is to let the big, federally insured banks increase their risk profiles. Super idea, that one.
The idea, clearly, is to get rid of all this Dodd-Frank stuff entirely, particularly the so-called Volcker rule, the law’s centerpiece. It basically forbids banks to play risky games with their own cash reserves, which the banks are required to maintain in case things go sideways again.
Car loans at 35%
Think they won’t? Well, Wall Street has already dived back into the stinking ooze of subprime lending, the financial weapon of mass destruction that blew up in 2008.
The article goes on to report that what has replaced repackaged loans of low-income housing are car loans.
The cycle is the same as in the early 2000s according to the article. Auto lenders find consumers with poor credit ratings and offer high-interest car loans. Various lending institutions package the loans (form them into securitized debt), manipulating the most risky of them by blending them with less risky loans. This securitized debt is then provided to investors around the world and proves attractive because of the high return.
This is similar to the subprime repackaging that was commonly held to have destabilized markets in the mid-2000s.
The article also points out that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are once again “approving down payments as low as three per cent.” It concludes, sarcastically, “Consumers don’t need protection, you see. The market provides that already. Really. It does.”
We can see clearly that the debate over market risk has been confined mainly to regulation in this article. The sarcasm at the end emphasizes this point. No matter that endless commentary in the alternative media has focused on central bank money printing and excessively low short-term rates, we are supposed to believe that market crashes are a regulatory phenomenon.
Whether regulations are gutted or not is probably beside the point. Vast waves of money sloshing over financial facilities create the conditions for a market meltdown. As asset bubbles expand into the larger economy, the possibility of a market event becomes increasingly probable.
Regulation is not at fault, nor is it a panacea. Regulations that are passed after market events are often undone. And even if they are not undone, monetary stimulation will create conditions for market instability.
Over US$50 trillion has been poured into markets following the 2008-2009 market crash. And now, as we’ve reported recently, there are signs that further monetary coordination will expand current asset bubbles.
Regulation is a red herring. Keep your eye on monetary stimulation. The vast amounts of money being poured into the world’s economy will likely have an increasingly significant effect. First will come a considerable – additional – boom. And then a bust.
If you are appropriately hedged and diversified you may be able to make money going up and coming down. Some people always do. But don’t be fooled about the market mechanism.
Conclusion: If a global Wall Street Party is to take place, it will be built on the shaky foundation of money printing. And sooner or later it will collapse.
If a number of political societies enter into a larger political society, the laws which the latter may enact, pursuant to the powers intrusted [sic] to it by its constitution, must necessarily be supreme over those societies and the individuals of whom they are composed…. But it will not follow from this doctrine that acts of the larger society which are not pursuant to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies, will become the supreme law of the land.These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such. [Emphasis in original.]
“under Article III of the Constitution, the federal judiciary has the final power to interpret the Constitution”
“In any event, the power to make final decisions about the constitutionality of federal laws lies with the federal courts, not the states, and the states don’t have the power to nullify federal laws.”
At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Perhaps a greater number of these state legislators, attorneys general, and judges would be more inclined to perform their Article VI duty if the people that put them in office would sue them and hold them legally accountable for any failures to carry this burden… READ MORE via TNA
|Incoming Speaker John Boehner kisses
out-going Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
(CNSNews.com) – House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) joined forces early Wednesday evening as the House passed a continuing resolution that will fund the government after the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, and that will permit funding for Planned Parenthood (the nation’s largest abortion provider), the entirety of Obamacare, and an amendment requested by President Barack Obama “to train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition.”
The bill passed 319 to 108 with four members not voting. But there were not enough Republican members to pass the bill without significant support from Democrats. While Pelosi sided with the Republican leadership and voted for the bill, 53 Republicans joined with 55 Democrats in voting against it.
In addition to Pelosi, some of the other Democrats voting for the Republican leadership’s bill, included Rep. John Conyers (D.-Mich.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schlultz (D.-Fla.), Rep. Xavier Becerra (D.-Calif.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D.-Ore.), and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D.-Ill.).
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R.-Texas), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.), Rep. Trey Gowdy (R.-S.C.), Rep. John Fleming (R.-La.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio), and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.-Calif.) were among the Republicans who voted against it.
The Syrian opposition, which is seeking to overthrow the secular authoritarian regime of Bashar al Assad, includes al Nusrah Front, the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, and the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS), which used to be an al Qaeda affiliate and now controls parts of Iraq and Syria.
ISIS recently beheaded two American journalists and a British aid worker.
The training and arming of Syrian rebels is aimed at combating ISIS and Islamist terrorism, so ISIS and al Nusrah Front would not be among the Syrian rebels deliberately armed and trained by the new U.S. policy authorized by this bill.
The bill will fund the government through Dec. 11, when a “lame-duck” Congress, which will include members thrown out by the voters in November, will be able to return to Washington and vote for programs and governmental actions that they may not have wanted to vote for before the election.
That new funding bill will also be passed before the newly elected members of Congress will be sworn in and have a say in what the government does.
Before the inclusion of the amendment to train and arm revolutionaries in Syria, the House Appropriations Committee had described the continuing resolution as a “clean” bill that did not include riders affecting current spending programs and policies. The committee affirmed to CNSNews.com last week that the bill does not prohibit funding for Planned Parenthood or for any element of Obamacare.
Twenty-four minutes before it voted on this final spending bill, the House voted on the amendment sponsored by House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R.-Calif.) that added to the bill the authorization for President Obama to arm and train the Syrian revolutionaries. That amendment passed by a vote of 273 to 156, with 3 members not voting.
Pelosi and Boehner joined together to vote for the amendment to arm and train Syrian revolutionaries, as did House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R.-Calif) and House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R.-La.).
Among the 71 House Republicans standing in opposition to Pelosi and Boehner and the other Republican leaders on this amendment were Rep. Trey Gowdy (R.-S.C.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio), Rep. John Fleming (R.-La.), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R.-Tex.), Rep. John Duncan (R.-Tenn.), Rep. Thomas Massie (R.-Ky.), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R.-Wisc.) Continue reading
Organizing Patriot Effectiveness on the Ground, Maybe the JBS Can Help
September 15, 2014
The U.S. House of Representatives (house.gov).
September 30: Change It or Obey It? with Scott Bradley, PhD, Spokane Valley, WA.
October 2: Change It or Obey It with Scott Bradley, PhD, Great Falls, MT.
October 18: JBS Executive Dinner Presentations, Midland, TX.
September 16, 23, 30, October 7: The Constitution is the Solution Workshop, Grand Bay, AL.
September 20: Morality and Freedom with Rev. Steven Craft, Northampton, PA.
September 23: Who Owns Your Children? with FPE Executive Director Alan Scholl, West Jordan, UT.
September 26: Fighting Common Core: Round Two with Dr. Duke Pesta, Millburn, NJ.
September 27: No More Common Core Symposium with Dr. Duke Pesta, Vineland, NJ.
September 28: Fighting Common Core: Round Two with Dr. Duke Pesta, Hightstown, NJ.
October 4: Common Core: Dangers and Threats, Milwaukee, WI.
October 7: Immigration Invasion Video Showing, Flemington, NJ.
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 12:51
Written by Christian Gomez
On June 12-13, 2014, the Indiana State Legislature hosted what its organizers termed a “write the rules convention,” composed of both Republicans and progressive Democrats, to prepare for a future Article V “convention of the states.”
This “rules convention” was the product of the Assembly of State Legislatures (ASL), which describes itself as “a bipartisan group of currently serving state legislators from across the country who recognize that the states have a responsibility under federalism to work together to solve problems of national concern.”
Formerly known as the Mount Vernon Assembly and renamed at the June meeting, ASL appears to be the brainchild of Republican State Representative Chris Kapenga of Wisconsin. Both Kapenga’s and ASL’s desired goal is to bring about an amendments convention as provided for in the Constitution’s Article V: “The Congress … on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress.” (Emphasis added.)
Said and Unsaid
The June 12 ASL session opened with prayer and pledge in the House of Representatives Chamber of the Indiana Statehouse, followed by elaboration by Kapenga on some of the background of Article V and how the states can utilize it to amend the Constitution. Asserting that this would be a purely state-led and state-directed process, Kapenga proceeded to quote from Alexander Hamilton’s The Federalist, No. 85, which addresses Article V: “The words of this article are peremptory. The Congress ‘shall call a convention.’ Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body.”
Since “The Federalist Papers are not [the] governing documents of our country,” as Democratic State Representative Raymond Dehn of Minnesota pointed out, Kapenga and other pro Article V convention advocates cannot use the above quote from Hamilton to definitively lay to rest any concerns or fears of potential congressional involvement and influence over an actual Article V convention.
Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 of the Constitution, which unlike the Federalist Papers is the nation’s primary governing document, specifically states: “The Congress shall have Power … To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or office thereof.” (Emphasis added.)
Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution lists the various powers specifically granted to Congress, among which are the power to “establish Post Offices and post Roads,” “declare war,” and “provide and maintain a Navy.” Regarding the latter, since Congress has the power to “provide and maintain a Navy,” Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 grants Congress the power to do what is “necessary and proper” to exercise this power — meaning the establishment of naval academies to train officers and sailors; the creation of shipyards to construct, refit, and repair warships; and the hiring and training of engineers to build, design, and operate those vessels. Clause 18 is not limited to only those “foregoing powers” listed in Article I, Section 8, but to “all other powers vested by this Constitution,” including Article V.
This means that under Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 Congress is granted the power to “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution” Article V’s constitutional mandate that Congress, “on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments.”
Constitutionally, Congress has and will execute all the powers it deems necessary for calling a convention. This would likely include choosing the location and date of the convention, allocation of delegates from the states (whether proportional by population, congressional district, one per state, etc.), the method of ratification for any proposed amendments to the Constitution, and all other preliminary rules associated with the convention.
Put simply, the power to establish such rules resides exclusively with Congress. It is not a state-led process as Kapenga and others in the pro-Article V camp maintain.
Of course, once an Article V convention actually convenes, it would then be free to create its own agenda, including possibly even coming up with a new ratification process, as was the case with the Constitutional Convention of 1787. But this historical fact underscores even more the fact that the states cannot bind the work of the convention.
Speaking about the nature and purpose of the two-day Indianapolis meeting, Kapenga told the state legislators in attendance that their current assembly meeting “does not trigger Article V authority or involvement of Congress, because remember the Article V authority is to amend.”
Kapenga continued, “We are not touching amendments at this convention. This is a write the rules convention.” (Emphasis added.)
Kapenga and the other state legislators behind the ASL view their two-day gathering in Indianapolis as already being a “new legislative body” or “convention,” the same type of convention as an Article V convention, which they claim is not a one-time meeting but an ongoing assembly or continuous series of “Conventions of the States.”
To tell this story would be a multi-book task. Lawrence Stratton and I have written one small volume of the story. Our book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, now with two editions and multiple printings, documents the corruption of law in the United States and has been cited in rulings by Federal District and Appeal Court judges.
Law is just one public institution, but it is a cornerstone of society. When law goes, everything goes.
Only about 4 percent of federal felony cases go to trial. Almost all, 96 percent, are settled by negotiated plea bargains. Law & Order Conservatives condemn plea bargains for the wrong reason. They think plea bargains let criminals off easy.
In fact, plea bargains are used by prosecutors to convict the innocent along with the guilty. Plea bargains eliminate juries and time-consuming trials, that is, plea bargains eliminate all work on the part of prosecutors and police and lead to high conviction rates for prosecutors, the main indicator of their career success. Once upon a time, prosecutors pursued justice. They carefully examined police investigations and only indicted suspects whose conviction they thought could be obtained by a jury. Sloppy police work was discarded.
In some state and local courts it is still possible on occasion to get an almost fair trial if you can afford an attorney well enough connected to provide it. But even in non-federal courts the system is stacked against the defendant. Many prisons have been privatized, and privatized prisons require high incarceration rates in order to be profitable. The same holds for juvenile detention prisons. Not long ago two Pennsylvania judges were convicted for accepting payments from private detention prisons for each kid they sentenced.
Judges prefer plea bargains despite the fact that plea bargains amount to self-incrimination, because plea bargains dispense with time-consuming trials that cause backed-up and crowded court dockets. Trials also demand far more work on the part of a judge than accepting a plea bargain.
The fact of the matter is that in America today you are expected to convict yourself. Even your lawyer expects it. The torture is not physical; it is psychological. The system is severely biased against the defendant. Conviction by a jury brings a much heavier sentence than conviction by a deal that the defendant’s attorney negotiates with the prosecutor’s office. All the prosecutor wants is a conviction. Give him his conviction for his record as an effective prosecutor, and you get off lighter.
The injustice lies in the fact that the rule applies to the innocent as well as to the guilty. ? The prosecutor and often the judge do not care whether you are innocent or guilty, and your lawyer knows that it does not matter to the outcome.
The police have learned that such a small number of cases go to trial that their evidence is seldom tested in court. Consequently, often police simply look for someone who might have committed the crime based on past criminal records, select someone with a record, and offer him or her up as the perpetrator of the crime. This police practice is one explanation for high recidivism rates.
In the totally corrupt American criminal justice (sic) system, anyone indicted, no matter how innocent, is almost certain to be convicted.
Let’s take the case of Alabama Democratic Governor Don Siegelman. Judging by the reported evidence in the media and testimony by those familiar with the case, Don Siegelman, a popular Democratic governor of Alabama, was a victim of a Karl Rove operation to instruct Democrats that their political party would not be permitted a comeback in executive authority in the Republican South.
There is no doubt but that the Alabama Republican newspapers and TV stations are political tools. And there is little doubt that former Republican US Attorneys Alice Martin and Leura Canary and Republican US federal district court judge Mark Fuller were willing participants in Karl Rove’s political campaign to purge the South of popular democrats.
Republican US district court judge Mark Fuller was arrested in Atlanta this month for beating his wife in an Atlanta hotel. The judge, in whose honor courts must rise, was charged with battery and taken to the Fulton County jail at 2:30 AM Sunday, August 10. If you look at the mug shot of Mark Fuller, he doesn’t inspire confidence. Fuller was a bitter enemy of Siegelman and should have recused himself from Siegelman’s trial, but ethical behavior required more integrity than Fuller has.
And, we’re no smarter a people for condoning this unlawfulness. Even a newspaper dishonestly reports the “gift” to the city as “Free”! Wanna bet most readers will believe it rather than accurately report that Peter was robbed to pay Paul because emperor on high favored Paul for forcible federalization.
Who says it’s not their money to give? Davey Crockett? This behavior was not a joke back then:
Just so the people that still think for themselves will know.
Tanks on the Streets? Police Required to Use Military Equipment within a Year or Return It
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
|Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle
belonging to Willimantic, Conn.
(population-17,700) police (AP Photo)
The militarization of America’s police forces has been the result of federal policy that not only provides the means to give men-in-blue the same tools as combat soldiers, but in fact requires law enforcement to “use it or lose it” when it comes to military equipment.
Specifically, the Department of Defense‘s 1033 program—which funnels all kinds of military surplus goods to police—has a provision that clearly says that any participating law enforcement agency must use its equipment within one year of receiving it. If they don’t, they have to give it up.
This from the state of Missouri’s “application to participate” in 1033: “Property obtained under this SPO must be placed into use within one (1) year of receipt, unless the condition of the property renders it unusable, in which case the property can be returned to the nearest DLA Disposition Services Site. If property is not put into use by the LEA (law enforcement agency) within one (1) year, the State/LEA must coordinate a transfer of property to another LEA or request a turn-in to return the property to the nearest DLA Disposition Services Site.”
Another problem with the Pentagon’s decision to shower police forces with military hardware is that it’s not accompanied by training, Amanda Taub noted at Vox.
While SWAT teams from large police departments train with their equipment regularly, small-town forces often don’t have the resources to spare officers for such exercises. Thus, often the only time they use the surplus equipment is during an emergency.
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Washington Is America’s Greatest Threat
The political establishment of Washington, D.C., includes Congress, the president, the bureaucracy and the lobbyists.
It sees the public as docile fools to be duped at election time and looted at will. A criminal class that must be carefully controlled by all means. Washington is politically using a feudal system in the age of the Internet.
Polls consistently reflect that Congress is less valued to the voters than cockroaches are. The president, even to his supporters and defenders, is no longer trusted. The bureaucracies are viewed as bloated organizations, hostile to the public that supports them and unnecessary.
Lobbyists are parasites who live off this culture of corruption.
Congress asserts a right of unlimited power, blessed by the Supreme Court as the church blessed a king. Congress has little hesitation to control every aspect of life from before birth to after death. Their power of enforcement is based on the age-old ability to inflict terrible harm and violence on any who are deemed offenders.
Those in power understand the usefulness of terror.
Lawyers and non-lawyers alike maintain out of tradition some amount of respect for the Supreme Court. Nonetheless, its stature is tarnished by the Court’s inability to articulate in their decisions any clear principles that can be respected.
The Supreme Court follows the self-created rule of deference to the government instead of deference to constitutional personal liberties of the people. It is accepted that the Court’s decisions are made on the basis of the Justices’ personal politics and private agendas — flawed human beings who don black robes, but are still flawed.
It is all so terribly wrong.
|Yes, we can!|
The primary weapon of institutional enforcement is the income tax
system. It is the most inefficient system that could possibly be devised for raising revenue to finance a government. Its complexity defies any comprehension. So-called tax experts disagree on what it means, how it should be applied or why we do not repeal it altogether. This nightmare of a tax system is maintained solely because it is the money machine that fuels re-elections, allowing the expansion of governmental power.
The government has more than a thousand federal agencies. Waste, fraud, abuse and outright theft of tax dollars are annually ignored by Congress and the administration. It is easier to just rubberstamp the unread spending bills.
The enacted budget for government’s expenses vastly exceeds tax revenues. In fact, $4 of every $10 of expenditures, before supplemental spending bills, has to be borrowed. Interest on that debt is the fourth-largest expenditure after Medicare, Social Security and defense.
The government has no auditable books and records like those in the private sector must keep or go to jail. There is no recognizable financial statement. The government operates according to special rules that if used by private industry would land them behind bars.
Recently, 47 Inspectors General collectively claimed in a letter that the administration is stonewalling their respective investigations.
The Government Accountability Office diplomatically prepares numerous reports of governmental operations, makes no specific accusations against anyone for consistent systemic failures and nobody in Congress acts on those reports.
Any form of Congressional oversight is a charade. The most intense of its investigations are acted out as if they are pseudo-reality shows that air season after season. There is no actual purpose other than to keep the advertising revenues — that is, the campaign contributions — coming in. Expect more investigations to be announced since more money will be needed for the upcoming election.
The United States is being undermined by its own government. Its weakness internally means it is perceived as feeble externally as well. There is not one country in the world, other than Israel, who is a true ally.
The continuation of the United States as a country based on personal liberty and a free-market economy is in jeopardy. Its greatest threat comes from its own government in Washington, D.C.
An academic look into the driving forces behind American Federal policymaking concludes that the average citizen in the United States has “essentially zero” influence over the direction of government.
According to the report, even when a majority of Americans wants the government to do something, it is powerless against the influence of “economic elites” – the corporations, people and monied special interests that drive nearly all U.S. policymaking.
That information comes courtesy of a preliminary study draft prepared by Princeton University’s Martin Gilens and Northwestern University’s Benjamin Page. A final version of their report is due later this year.
The researchers culled public opinion data from nearly 2,000 surveys and polls taken between 1981 and 2002, juxtaposing the responses of median-income Americans against those of “fairly affluent” (90th percentile of income) Americans. Then they compiled information on the policy preferences, year by year, of Fortune magazine’s “Power 25” corporations, as well as the ten industries not on that list that had spent the most money on Federal lobbying. Then they compared each group’s policy preferences with the actual policy outcomes that took shape over that 21-year period.
What they found was that the average American citizen has virtually no voice in shaping Federal policy compared with the “economic elites.”
What do our findings say about democracy in America? They certainly constitute troubling news for advocates of “populistic” democracy, who want governments to respond primarily or exclusively to the policy preferences of their citizens. In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule – at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.
…When the alignments of business-oriented and mass-based interest groups are included separately in a multivariate model, average citizens’ preferences continue to have essentially zero estimated impact upon policy change, while economic elites are still estimated to have a very large, positive, independent impact.
Interestingly, the study finds that the economically powerful often have policy interests that (incidentally) overlap with the policy interests of average Americans.
“It turns out, in fact, that the preferences of average citizens are positively and fairly highly correlated, across issues, with the preferences of economic elites,” the authors wrote. “Rather often, average citizens and affluent citizens (our proxy for economic elites) want the same things from government… Ordinary citizens, for example, might often be observed to “win” (that is, to get their preferred policy outcomes) even if they had no independent effect whatsoever on policymaking, if elites (with whom they often agree) actually prevail.”
Turning their attention to monied interest groups (i.e., lobbies), though, the story changes dramatically:
But net interest group stands are not substantially correlated with the preferences of average citizens. Taking all interest groups together, the index of net interest group alignment correlates only a non-significant .04 with average citizens’ preferences! …This casts grave doubt on David Truman’s and others’ argument that organized interest groups tend to do a good job of representing the population as a whole.
The takeaway is that the interests of “economic elites” and interest groups always trump those of individuals, whose chief power over government is the voting process. The interests of powerful groups can and sometimes do overlap with those of average citizens, producing policy outcomes that please both groups. However, when those interests diverge, it is the elites who nearly always win out, and the people who nearly always lose.
How the big Wall Street banks screw the public
Five banks rule the US.
George Bush Jr handed the Big Banks in the US trillions of dollars in free capital – thereby gutting huge parts of the economy for the benefit of a few banks.
Barack Obama is continuing the policy. He even put a former Wall Street lawyer/unindicted criminal, Eric Holder, at head of the Department of Justice to block any meaningful prosecutions of Wall Street’s many, many bad players.
How on earth are these big banks getting away with this?
It’s simple: They have 3,000 lobbyist/lawyers living in Washington DC and working full time to bribe US politicians around the clock.
How many lobbyists are working on behalf of the normal people’s interests in the financial system?
This 3,000 man and woman army of bank-paid dirtbags is bigger than Big Pharma, Agri-Business and the War Industry combined.
Now do you see why we’re in such deep trouble?