Republic, Lost

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The top 25 Hedge Fund CEO’s were paid more than all of S & P 500’s CEO’s combined. The average S & P 500’s CEO’s are paid 344 times more than their average employees. In 1970’s it was only 30 times. In Europe CEO’s average salaries are one half and in Japan one ninth of USA’s CEO’s salaries. For every $1 of added income in USA, 53¢ went to top 1% and the balance of 47¢ went to the rest or bottom 99%.I

Senators, CEO’s, Lobbyists, Consultants, Military leaders, Supreme Court Judges & Corporate special interests have revolving doors where they rotate between Government and corporate positions. Conflicts of interest exist and apparently encouraged. Yet Judges never recuse themselves , nor does anyone demand that they do.

In an era when special interests funnel huge amounts of money into our government—driven by shifts in campaign-finance rules and brought to new levels by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission—trust in our government has reached an all-time low. More than ever before, Americans believe that money buys results in Congress, and that business interests wield control over our legislature.

With heartfelt urgency and a keen desire for righting wrongs, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig takes a clear-eyed look at how we arrived at this crisis: how fundamentally good people, with good intentions, have allowed our democracy to be co-opted by outside interests, and how this exploitation has become entrenched in the system. Rejecting simple labels and reductive logic—and instead using examples that resonate as powerfully on the Right as on the Left—Lessig seeks out the root causes of our situation. He plumbs the issues of campaign financing and corporate lobbying, revealing the human faces and follies that have allowed corruption to take such a foothold in our system. He puts the issues in terms that nonwonks can understand, using real-world analogies and real human stories. And ultimately he calls for widespread mobilization and a new Constitutional Convention, presenting achievable solutions for regaining control of our corrupted—but redeemable—representational system. In this way, Lessig plots a roadmap for returning our republic to its intended greatness.

While America may be divided, Lessig vividly champions the idea that we can succeed if we accept that corruption is our common enemy and that we must find a way to fight against it. In REPUBLIC, LOST, he not only makes this need palpable and clear—he gives us the practical and intellectual tools to do something about it.

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