OK, this is just to let everyone know why I think nothing will really change after this election. Financial CEOs will continue to take home mega paydays, hedge fund and private equity managers will continue to get 15% income tax treatment, interest rates on credit cards will stay high, and we the taxpayers will bail out the wreckage from the subprime meltdown caused in large part by the financial industry. You may be thinking "oh no, all the candidates are for change." Well, before you vote you should know who your candidate will owe if they get in.
Go here and click on your candidate. How far down the list is the first financial firm? How far down is Goldman Saks, Merrill Lynch, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, and so on? By the way, don't just look at who, also look at how much. Note who is missing as contributors to those candidates that are doing poorly or have dropped out. Then go Here and take a look at some of the same numbers organized by industry.
Campaign finance and lobby reform are the only things that will change anything about our system of government as it stands today, in my humble opinion. If we really want change I think we need to deal with three issues in the politician's life cycle: getting in; being in; and getting out.
On getting in it seems more evident in each election that we need campaign finance reform. Looking at the links I have posted drives that point home for me.
On being in, I would like to see some serious ethics reforms with oversight from independent sources, and perhaps large pay raises for all members of congress at the same time. The pay raises could attract more qualified candidates (as could campaign finance reform) and perhaps make them a little more immune to special interests.
On getting out, that's a difficult one. Here is a good example of the problem. Apparently Representative Richard Baker (R-LA)is stepping down to take a very lucrative position in an industry he has received a lot of financial support from and one he dealt with while in congress:
Baker also serves as a longstanding member of the House Financial Services Committee, where he is widely viewed as an expert on capital markets, insurance, and housing finance.(From his congressional website)
Perhaps a simple prohibition against this would help. Sphere: Related Content