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Harvard Business School: The U.S. Political System Has Been 'Hijacked'

A new case study by Harvard Business School asserts that U.S. politicians have rigged the system to such a degree that the U.S. is on its way to becoming a failed democracy. (photo credit: Youtube)

A new case study by Harvard Business School asserts that U.S. politicians have rigged the system to such a degree that the U.S. is becoming a failed democracy. The authors of the case-study use the word 'hijacked' to describe what the political parties have done to governance in the United States.

Some tidbits:

America’s political system was long the envy of the world. It advanced the public interest and gave rise to a grand history of policy innovations that fostered both economic and social progress. Today, however, our political system has become the major barrier to solving nearly every important challenge our nation needs to address. This was the unexpected conclusion of the multiyear Project on U.S. Competitiveness at Harvard Business School, established in 2011 to understand the causes of America’s weak economic performance and rising inequality that predated the Great Recession.

The authors point to a number of American pathologies that do not plague other advanced nations.

A similar failure to progress has also afflicted the nation’s social agenda. In areas such as public education, health and wellness, personal safety, water and sanitation, environmental quality, and tolerance and inclusion, among others, U.S. progress has stalled or gone in reverse. In these areas, where America was often a pioneer and leader, the U.S. has fallen well down the list compared to other advanced countries. Tolerance, inclusion, and personal freedom are registering troubling declines, a sign of growing divisions in our society.

A poorly educated

In public education, of particular significance for citizen opportunity, in math the U.S. was ranked 31st out of 35 OECD countries (the other advanced economies using the respected PISA process) in 2015, down from 25 in 2009, 20th in reading (down from 14) and 19th in science (down from 17).5 Instead of progress, then, our government is mired in gridlock and inaction. Increasingly over the decades, Congress has been unable to get things done, especially on important issues.

The authors of the piece note how the Founders of the United States would find the rules that govern the country unrecognizable today.

The result: America’s political system today would be unrecognizable to our founders. In fact, certain of our founders warned against political parties. John Adams, our second President, said, “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.”2 Our founders— and most Americans today—would be shocked by the extent to which our democracy has been hijacked by the private and largely unaccountable organizations that constitute today’s political industrial complex.

Democracy has been dead in the United States since at least 2000.

They have spent years dumbing down the electorate and even advancing voter suppression. The division in the electorate make it easier to control with lies and empty promises. But the more descriptive word is bought. The congress is so dependent on the big money for re-election they have been compromised. That is painfully obvious today. Our representatives and senators don’t represent us any they are employees of the most wealthy. Sad for peons like me.

Everyone here really has similar ideas about what can be done - and they all hold weight. Personally, I think a lot has changed in politics since so much "secret" money has been dumped into the system. I remember campaigning for JFK with my dad and was amazed at the support Kennedy was getting from very different factions of society - why? Because he was all about progress, real progress and money had nothing to do with that. That is a part of our democracy that has faded, perhaps due to fear, poverty, ignorance, your guess is as good as mine - what I do know is that until (as mentioned by many of you) money and corporations and billionaires are removed from the equation a decent candidate has very little chance of the type of public exposure they would need to be competitive in their campaigns. No big money, no big money influence. Another valid point is religion - separation of church and state keeps the social playing field honest and fair - you cannot fit such a diverse citizenry into any specific religion and have social harmony and order. I am not convinced that being a liberal or a conservative in and of itself causes the chaos but I do believe the regulations, protections, laws and political norms currently in place must be changed. Term limits on every office in government, people who don't worry about job security do not worry about anything else - and yes, officials in government should be subject to the same social and financial advantages as the average citizen. The one thing I feel sincerely cannot happen is that we all become so depressed and removed from the political process that we fail to do ourselves the favor of supporting, making and being responsible for good government. The only good thing that has come out of the Trump debacle is the glaring need for citizen watchdogging and participation - we, can and will, turn this around.

  • get rid of this nonsense where a corporation has personhood
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  • remove superPAC money
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  • (maybe) require all politicians to display a lapel pin for who their corporate donors are. so we know what interests he/she owes favors to
  • disband the federal reserve, have congress issue and print money as intended
  • build up VA hospitals as part of a public healthcare network. start seperating healthcare from health insurance. allow doctors to set up their own healthcare associations which are advertised on state exchanges.
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  • flat tax individual income. no tax on corporations with under 25 employees.
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build up VA hospitals as part of a public healthcare network. start seperating healthcare from health insurance. allow doctors to set up their own healthcare associations which are advertised on state exchanges.
@cyr3n

This. I never understood why politicians don't seize the opportunity with the single payer system they have before creating a brand new one to experiment with.

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