Dollar Democracy excerpts:
|From Chapter 1 (p.20):
“Even Some Public Interest Groups Have Been Infected by Dollar Democracy”
As a Congressional candidate, I was called for interviews for endorsements by public interest groups as well, not just by special interest groups such as the oil companies. One of these public interest groups … was the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV). It was June 1995, and the Congressional Democratic Primary in my California district was in March 1996. The CLCV’s issues platform was based on the foundation of environmental sustainability.
I was excited about the interview and expected to ace it and win the group’s endorsement hands down. I not only knew the technical aspects of environmental sustainability, but I held strong convictions and philosophical beliefs, that I could clearly articulate, about the need for strong environmental sustainability, but I held strong convictions and philosophical beliefs, that I could clearly articulate, about the need for strong environmental policies in Congress. I drove to the CLCV’s West Los Angeles office full of enthusiasm. My interview with the CLCV endorsement committee was enjoyable, fulfilling, and went very smoothly. Unlike the ARCO PAC interview, here I was with kindred spirits–people who thought and felt as I did politically, holding the same values as me. When the interview ended, the committee members greeted me warmly and thanked me for coming. The vice chair of the group walked me to the door, personally.
As I walked down the stairs to my car I saw my Democratic Primary opponent entering the front door downstairs. As we crossed paths I greeted him and wished him good luck in his interview. I knew his campaign had deep pockets because he was a corporate lawyer and a partner in his corporate law firm, one of the biggest in Los Angeles. It turned out that he ended up raising over $300,000 to my $60,000 for the March Primary, most of it from Corporate sources, including (at that time) maximum donations of $1,000 each from his corporate law partners.
When I arrived home later that night, I found that the vice chair had left me a message to call her so that we could discuss the CLCV interview and endorsement. I called her right away, certain that the news would be favorable. When she came on the line she went right to the point. She said “Peter, you did very well in the interview. You knew the details of environmental policy and we saw that your philosophical values regarding the environment are the same as ours. You would be a 100 percent vote for us in Congress. Your opponent would probably vote for the environment 60 percent of the time. However, we decided to endorse your opponent. The reason is that he is ‘financially viable’, and you are not! It is nine months before the election and he already has $165,000 in his campaign account. You have only $5,000 in yours. We wish you luck, and if by any chance, you win the March Primary, we the California League of Conservation Voters will support you 100 percent in the November General Election against the Republican incumbent! …
by Michael Douglas Carlin | American News Service | Book Review
Many questions torment America in the dark night of its soul, but its seems Corporate CEO pay emerges as one of this year’s hottest trending issues. At the midway point to the next election, this and other hotly contested issues are shackled and tackled in Professor Peter Mathews’ must-read new bookDollar Democracy: with Liberty and Justice for Some; How to Reclaim the American Dream for All.
“Despite the country’s dire state of affairs, Mathews remains optimistic, and closes the opus with some viable plan for the people to reclaim the American Dream. The literary equivalent of a one-man million-man march for equality and justice for every U.S. citizen.” Review by Kam Williams, Syndicated columnist
Read this book about Corporations and their pampered and panderingpolitical offspring. Act Accordingly. Our country is in the midst of an uncivil war between the alarmingly powerful, determined to destroy the middle class and the intentionally left behind.
Professor Peter Mathews’ book serves as a counterpoint to those who luxuriate in denying the reality of America’s rapidly changing social landscape. We are dangerously close to cementing a permanent American catastrophe. Mathews boldly and unapologetically asks questions and gives solutions that the media/propaganda machine purposefully ignore. He closes the tome with a checklist of high crimes and misdemeanors and an urgent call to conscience and about what needs to be done next.
Determining our actions today can move us towards either a stronger, more positive future, or a future shrouded in fear, poverty, war. This book is written as a primer for people of all ages and all classes who want answers.
Professor Mathews speaks in a voice that resounds with clarity and conviction as he examines the direct and intentional outcome of separate policies that were advocated, starting with the Reagan administration, to intentionally deceive and destroy the middle class. In a full frontal attack by the corporate manipulators Mathews details how the middle class has become superfluous to the very rich and why various policies were deliberately created to eliminate them. Their defining characteristic is dirty, scorched-earth partisanship carried out regardless of cost. Conservatives are anxious again to finish first – with the big prize-monopoly control of the American government, and the power to turn their ideology into the law of the land. Quite a bargain at any price. People want answers, but our compromised leaders can’t provide them because bold actions carry too much political risk. Meanwhile the corporations are booming and running roughshod over us. They are operating in their own time and space continuum that is increasingly supranational – disconnected from local concerns and their home markets.
Mathews reveals that there are fat corporate balance sheets ready to create jobs and prosperity – just not in America. While corporations feign heartfelt pledges of allegiance to the U.S., they still must depend on the government to protect intellectual property and keep waterways safe so they can deliver their made-in-China supplies to us. This formidable book brings to light of day important new information regarding how the Corporate manipulators are destroying our country.
Dollar Democracy is a riveting read, the text, defiantly disturbing. Mathews’ writing style passionately grounded in integrity and reality. The conclusions of his detective work fit together like sword and scabbard. He gives his reader so much juicy information, a veritable tsunami of corporate skullduggery. He doesn’t mince words and he doesn’t hold back when identifying the cauldrons of chaos they have created. He exposes these and others among the secret corporate power elite as the coolly vicious orchestrators of wars and grand-scale theft. Mathews also details the mind-boggling sums of money their CEO’s reap from the proceeds of their crony capitalism. And what’s interesting is that the fortunes of corporations are totally delinked from the fortunes of the rest of the world. The 2008 financial crisis devastated hundreds of millions of people, but the following year Wall Street revenue hit US$60 billion, a historic high, thanks in large part to the massive injection of public money they received. Average wages in developed countries have dropped since the crisis, but the median pay for CEOs in the US now exceeds $10 million. A CEO now makes about 357 times more than the average worker’s salary in the U.S., up from 181 times in 2009 and 40 times in 1980. The divide between the have-nots and have-yachts is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent capture about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.
But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.
Crony politicians have made decisions that led to outsourcing good middle class jobs, dismantling our public education system kindergarten through college and university; deteriorating health care that leaves Americans in danger, sick and broke; the destroying of our environment and lives; the polluting of our food through deregulation of big agribusiness, pesticide use and the proliferation of Genetically Modified (GMO) foods; the crash of Wall Street and the Great Recession from which the bottom 99% of Americans have not yet recovered; while the super wealthy are doing better than ever.
Mind-blowing from the beginning, Mathews’ book takes an even more astounding contemporary turn when he declares their efforts over the past thirty years have succeeded. The middle class democracy that made America great is in seemingly irreversible decline. Mathews clearly shows how the Corporations and their crony politicians have hoodwinked America by separating speech and thought.
But wait, Mathew is a political pugilist, ready to lob a whole arsenal of answers on how we can reverse these trends and return middle-class democracy. He proposes comprehensive, bold, visionary solutions to restore America’s formidable democracy and make this country great again.
Can the truth change the course of history? If the truth can heal, then this book is a prescription for accountability. It is a must-read for anyone who believes that following our constitution must be mandatory for the pursuit of good government and that our once vibrant and powerful democracy is not for sale to the highest bidder and the too-clever-for-word machinations of the Corporate Pollution Politics.
Dollar Democracy is really a blueprint for Americans that have had enough. And that means 99% of us.