Corruption in Washington

Lawrence Lessig, my favorite lawyer, on The Daily Show, my favorite TV show:

You’re never going to get a smaller government, or simpler taxes, as long sa congressmen depend upon having a big government and complex taxes so they have someone to call to raise money.

So you’ve got a special tax benefit, your tax benefit is about to expire, congressman has somebody to call and say “you know we’re going to need a lot of support if we’re going to get this tax benefit extended”.

So the point is to begin to see the way money links every issue we care about, on the left, and the right.

This was a new way of looking at it to me, but it makes perfect sense.

Lessig says:

[congressmen] spend 30 to 70% of their time raising money, which means they’re constantly focused on shapeshifting to get the money and to avoid doing things that might drive the money away. So it’s no surprise that when they live this life, they become dependent on the funders, as opposed to the people, and that is the corruption.

Pretty obvious that this is the place to start the change. Lessig is a smart man.

Reminds me of Bruce Schneier’s journey from cryptography to broader computer security to fear in general and national security and terrorism. A journey from the edge to the epicenter of the problem.



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