In an era of ballooning corporate campaign expenditures, unleashed by the Supreme Court in Citizens United, trust in our government is at an all time low. More than ever before, Americans believe that money buys results in Congress - and that our Republic has been lost.
Using examples that resonate as powerfully on the Right as on the Left, Republic, Lost not only makes clear how the economy of influence defeats the will of the people, but offers cogent strategies to correct our course - from a constitutional convention to a Regent Presidency.
A onetime friend of Barack Obama, Lessig, a professor of law at Harvard, is as critical of the president and the Democratic Party as he is of Republicans. Both have allowed the core institution of our democracy to become little more than a shill for the most powerful moneyed interests in our Republic.
America may be divided, argues Lessig, but we must recognize that corruption is our common enemy, and we must find a way to fight against it.
©2011 Lawrence Lessig (P)2011 Hachette Audio
It is the most lucid and common sense explanation of complex political problems that I have ever read
It offered carefully reasoned solutions to our "broken government" problem that will be both challenging and essential if we are to solve any of the critical problems we currently face.
What was once known as "the greatest deliberative body in the world" can now only boast it is the greatest fundraising body in the world.
Many of our federal legislators are known to spend more than half of their time fundraising; they have to in order to keep their jobs. They range from 25% to 80%. "Dialing for dollars." "The lean to the green."
Thus, the biggest problem they are always working on and solving is fundraising. This distracts them and prevents them doing a good job on the one we elected them to do. Hence our most serious problems fester, year after year.
I feel more optimistic better understanding the problems, and discovering that there is now something constructive that concerned and self-interested citizens can all do to repair the dysfunctional campaign system. We cannot afford a government so burdened and impaired by their campaign war chests.
We the people need this education and indeed the resultant call to action. Those who mistakenly think all is well in the land of the free and the home of the brave, need to read this book. Conservatives, liberals and everywhere in between can benefit enormously from the balanced and articulate shakedown of how our government goes about the business of governing...very scary. I plan to buy the book for ALL my friends and family.
A well written book on the reason why our government is so dysfunctional. If your usual answer is to always blame the opposing political party and never your own, you will dislike this book. He does make suggestions how to try to overcome the corruption of government by money. However it seems to me based on the many years of corruption leading up to this past years (2016) presidentional campaign that both major political parties have become so corrupted and its backers so power hungry that I have lost hope that the ellectorate is able to see that voting for either party is voting for ever growing corruption in our government.
Wake up call. Money in politics is like heroin to a junkie. Our elected members of Congress spend vast amounts of time on the telephone soliciting money- worse than panhandlers on street corners. Once they get the money, there is an acknowledged understanding that the people who gave the money get something in return. That corrupts the political system. Why is it that the managers running the largest hedge funds pay a lower tax rate than only the poorest in this country. Answer- money and their sway over the politicians who write the tax code.
This is a shameful situation and we should all be up in arms about how our political process is owned by the lobbyists, PACS and special interest groups.
Flash Boys by Michael Lewis. His book shows how the big money people have scammed the stock market and front run the little guy. Just last week the new SEC Mary Jo White spoke about new regulations on the HFT traders but said that the market was not rigged against the little guy. Wrong- it is all a scam and the big money in this country gets to make the rules and circumvent the system.
Good arguments, lucid explanation of how we need to change things and some good suggestions about how to go about it.
The whole book is great. The examples he cites of how money has corrupted the system should make everyone who reads this book begin to demand change to get the cancer that is money in politics out of the system. Public funded elections with limitations on PACs, lobbyists and big money donors is the only way to control the corrosive effects of the system we have now.
These are good people forced to do what they can in a terrible system. That's the message I picked up from this book and it was strangely heartening. Far from demonizing any one political viewpoint or depicting all law-makers as greedy, self-absorbed, cheats and liars, Lessig instead describes a system where any person, regardless of intentions, will be forced to play the same terrible game that has been played up until now.
Perhaps the only real downside of this book is that the 'plan to stop it part' is, by his own admission, is improbable. On the other hand, it's a plan and it's the best I've heard so far.
Highly recommended for anyone trying to understand why our government acts the way it does.
Simple and precise unwinding of the complete breakdown of our election, congressional, lobbying and ethical systems and how broke they are. Sadly the constitutional convention is all that is left to correct our broken system.
This purchase was because Dan Carlin (if you don't know him you should Google it) was going to have Lawrence Lessing on his podcast and I wanted to get a good understanding of his thoughs before the interview. I would recommend this book to people who want to know how our system can be so corrupt even though decent people make up the majority of the system.
His description on how the presence of money in the wrong place is enough to bring doubt and corruption without there necessarily being corruption. Also, the Author showed how well intentioned people who are elected to position can follow through with campaign promises, but that what proportion of their time they spend to each campaign issue is skewed heavily to the amount of money in the system interested in that issue.
The Author read the title himself. In some cases this can be good as the author should know the tones he/she is trying to convee. I find that this works much better in fiction. The Author is objiously knowledgable, but his reading skills seemed to introduce pauses in very strange places (I did not see the text of this book so for all I know there are many strangley placed commas).
This book could make a good documentary, but not a good movie. As a documentary it would just keep the name of the book.
Maybe. I got the jist of it and would go back to some sections I noted, but not the whole book over again. It gets pretty dry in parts towards the end.
No characters - only problems and possible solutions.
Ordinary people doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons in DC
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