Shuffling Players Influences Government Policy
Good Morning a second time!
I’ve mentioned a number of times that we’ve got “major policy makers” shifting back and forth between powerful government roles and powerful corporate roles.
I’ve suggested this is partly due to the comforts of these folks. They already know one another. Many went to school together. They have similar personal aspirations and lifestyles. It is an ordinary (not intentionally ‘evil’) human behavior to seek ones own kind to work with. But in outcomes for government policy, this practice has huge influence on the rest of us.
It is the unfortunate case for “the rest of us” that these folks are really quite insulated from “ordinary day-to-day life experience”. I witness in my internet wanderings a growing cry-out on problems for our democracy delivered by too much policy that benefits the “already established Big Players.” I witness this from many otherwise contrary political views. At present the emerging notice of who is actually making the ‘rules’ and what the relationships are among those who are doing so, is “all over the place” in terms of what ordinary citizens can do.
I suggest we remember who we are supposed to be in terms of our constitution. I suggest we remember who we are supposed to be in terms of any reputation we have as champions of justice and compassion. WE ARE, after all, a much larger repository of human thinking, human wisdom, and human capacity for both Justice and Compassion than is any small select group.
Given that for the most part the general population is only now waking up, it is good to simply gather information and share it. Also to keep what we learn in mind when writing policy makers, and when next voting. (Also keep it in mind when wanting to blame a fellow “ordinary citizen” as cause for your/my political dissatisfaction!)
The following article by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship is helpful: http://www.truthout.org/101109A. “In Washington, the Revolving Door is Hazardous to Your Health”.
Excerpts: (Please read the entire article, of ‘average’ length, to become best informed!)
“The health care industry alone has six lobbyists for every member of Congress and more than 500 of them are former Congressional staff members, according to the Public Accountability Initiative’s LittleSis database.
They want a public option about as much as you want the swine flu, and just to be certain Congress sticks with the program, the industry has been showering megabucks all over Capitol Hill. From the beginning, they wanted to make sure that whatever bill comes out of the Finance Committee puts for-profit insurance companies first – by forcing the uninsured to buy medical policies from them. Money not only talks, it writes the prescriptions. …”
“A veteran of the revolving door, Fowler had a previous stint working for Senator Baucus – before her time at Wellpoint. But wait, there’s more. The
person who was Baucus top health advisor before he brought back Liz Fowler? Her name is Michelle Easton. And why did she leave the staff of the committee? To go to work – surprise – at a firm representing the same company for which Liz Fowler worked – Wellpoint. As a lobbyist.
“You can’t tell the players without a scorecard in the old Washington shell game. Lobbyist out, lobbyist in. …
… “public outrage provoked by Phillips (in 1906) and other muckrakers contributed to the ratification of the 17th amendment to the Constitution, providing for the direct popular election of senators, who until then were elected by easily bought-off state legislators….” (Anti-public interest policy making at the time was considered treason, with widespread public agreement on the accusation.)
I have no idea how long our “wide open sharing of information via internet” opportunity will last.Hopefully a very long time. Twitters and cell phones are great but sometimes larger description is needed. It is our task as citizens to gather as much information as possible as we wake up to how our world ‘really’ works. Otherwise we have little hope of shifting to ‘real’ improvement, as is promised by our very natures.
Moyers and Winship end with “Don’t get mad, get busy!” I agree.
Now is a time when information flows. We’ve never before had such a situation available nationally or globally! Add some browsing time to your schedule, and keep in mind that the better information will demonstrate ideas of both compassion and justice!
My Very Best To All –MaggieAnn