Posts Tagged ‘top industries’

h1

Pilitical Monday: The Poetry of How Things Got This Far

May 7, 2012

My last Political Monday post (click here to read) dealt with the two-party system in place in the United States.  While the political positions of the two parties have changed over time, the names remain the same: Democratic and Republican Parties.  Their transformation is nothing short of amazing.  Still, even with their opposing politics, there is the specter of special interests, with all their money, that truly have a stranglehold on both parties.

You may be thinking “stranglehold” is too strong a word, here is why I think it fits:  According to the non-partisan website, OpenSecrets.org, here are the top donor industries for the 2011-2012 political giving year[i]:

OpenSecrets.org data on Top Political Donations by Industry

A quick look at the total amount given shows the extent of the problem, there is too much money given to political candidates and it creates a sense of obligation to the ones giving.  Look at it like this, a Senator is more likely to take a meeting with a company that gave him/her a pile of money rather than taking a meeting from either you or me.  That is not a typo either, the top 13 gave over a billion dollars almost equally split between the two political parties.

Note:  You may notice the percentages do not add up to 100%.  That is due to excluding data that is not directly attributable to either part but reported as given.  I also simply divided the amounts given by the percentage to allocate the dollars to each party. 

Remember, this is just the top 13 industries.  OpenSecrets.org reports $4.16 billion given overall for the 2011-2012 years[ii], and the data is current to April 30.  That averages out to $ 7,761,194 per elected federal official in just over a one-year period.

As long as such lobbying efforts distribute such huge amounts of money into our political system, they will maintain control over it.  The fact that giving is about equal between the parties just illustrates the desire to maintain access, and thus control, over our elected officials.  Such huge amounts of money require any politician that wishes to continue to serve to pander to these groups to be competitive.  The very size of the money involved creates an atmosphere of entitlement for the donors and an atmosphere of obligation to the receivers.  It corrupts politics in America.

From time to time, my blog posting cross topic lines, this is one such topic, as I have several poems of a political nature, this one is pretty much on topic:

Details, Details, Details

The devil is in the details
at least that’s what they say
For in the details live the snares
that catch us on our way

With surgeon skill they craft the tone
within the plan they seek
but shades of gray is what they weave
and havoc they will wreak

In fog-veiled words and turn of phrase
pirates steal this land
proclaiming all gave approval
using their sleight of hand

Slick deception is the standard
that got us to this place
Be it party over nation
or simply lack of grace

No, we cannot trust to others
to do what things are best
so we need to keep our guard up
and put them to the test

When intent lacks understanding
before the task is done
the result will cause true damage
to freedoms we have won

Influence is bought and traded
like some stock on the floor
but congress owes us better –
let’s kick them out the door!

Then open up the processes
on all they say and do
and force them to leave the lobby
that hides and turns their screw

To hell with will all the details!
let’s simplify the day
And to hell with both the parties
they stand in freedom’s way!


[i] “Interest Groups.” OpenSecrets.org: Money in Politics. Web. 06 May 2012. <http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/index.php>.

[ii] “Interest Groups.” OpenSecrets.org: Money in Politics. Web. 06 May 2012. <http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/index.php>.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: