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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.

  • flat tax individual income. no tax on corporations with under 25 employees.

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.

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.

Rather than building up and supporting the VA, our legislators are funding private care options like the Choice Program. The VA is understaffed and underfunded. But, it provides the ebst care available to veterans facing unique health problems. No individual or group provider has the expertise and experience in treating TBIs, amputations, chronic pain, PTSD, and others conditions related to trauma. Providers outside of the VA utilize this expertise when dealing with complications in patient care for those who aren't veterans. I have a relative, who is not a veteran, that is tetraplegic, and his doctors have consulted the VA for treatment of complications arising from his injuries.

As a veteran myself I prefer to receive treatment at the VA rather than from private healthcare providers. The continuity of care alone makes it the best option. If the VA received all of the support and funding it needed, then it could meet the needs of all veterans. All people should have the quality and access of care that veterans are ideally supposed to receive through the VA system.

Two words. Term. Limits. Make politics an American duty and not a career choice.

"More than 1,000 veterans may have died in the last decade because of malpractice or lack of care from Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers, a new report issued by the office of Sen. Tom Coburn finds.
The report aggregates government investigations and media reports to trace a history of fraudulent scheduling practices, budget mismanagement, insufficient oversight and lack of accountability that have led to the current controversy plaguing the VA. . . . In 2013, four VA construction projects in Las Vegas, Orlando, Denver and New Orleans cost an extra $1.5 billion because of scheduling delays and excessive expenditures, the report shows.
Additional funds have been funneled into legal settlements. Since 2001, the VA has paid about $845 million in malpractice costs, of which $36.4 million was used to settle claims involving delayed health care.
Criticism of the VA's budget has increased in light of a controversial performance bonus system that allegedly created financial incentives for managers to hide the fact that patients were waiting months for care.
At a congressional hearing Friday, Gina Farrisee, the VA assistant secretary for human resources and administration, confirmed that 78% of VA senior managers qualified for extra pay or other compensation in fiscal year 2013, despite ongoing delay and malpractice controversies.
Former VA Regional Director Michael Moreland received a $63,000 bonus in 2013 for infection prevention policies, for example, but the VA's Office of Inspector General concluded that his policies failed. Moreland presided over the Pittsburgh VA, where an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease killed six veterans in 2011 and 2012.
The report identifies crimes committed by VA staff, including drug dealing, theft and sexual abuse of patients dating back many years. Earlier this year, one former staffer at the Tampa, Florida, VA was sentenced to six years in federal prison for trading veterans' personal information for crack cocaine." https://www.cnn.com/2014/06/24/us/senator-va-report/index.html


And so in order to fix that the president and his henchmen are looking to take VA insurance away from veterans and make them pay for Triwest! Those who can't afford will be put out like any other people who can't afford health Insurance! Old people, sick, wounded vets disabled vets, babies born premature, children who's parents can't afford vaccines soon there will be more people dying in a day than born!

If it’s a report with Tom Coburn behind it you can be sure it cherry picks everything that is wrong with a government agency and mentions nothing that is right with it.

If Bill Clinton gave rise to the neoliberals, Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich have to be credited for the rise in neoconservatives. And NEITHER faction has the welfare and well-being of the middle class at heart. Both groups grease the skids in the Revolving Door that moves from the the private sector to the public sector, with intermittent stops in the think tanks, lobby firms and halls of academia. The conservative think tanks have weakened our nation, and our democratic republic, as much as the lobby firms, writing laws to benefit their financiers, and passing them on to bought/paid for senators and representatives. Bob Corker is a stunning example of how base they have become; holding out for the dollars, before passing laws that largely benefit their own.

So, we are umpteenth out of umpteen eductionally? Why have we involved ourselves in a contest to rank countries in education? By that token, that we rank thirty-seventh in health care might comprise a greater concern. No, we must embrace once more the Enlightenment from which our Constitution springs and do our best to form a more perfect union, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, etc. First, however, we must free ourselves from the corporocracy, or corporate dictatorship, with which we find ourselves chained.

In 1776 we were better represented than we are today, and we had a revolution. Where is our revolution today? Back then, we at least had what one parliamentarian called virtual representation. Today we no longer have even that