Fixing Democracy

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Air date: 
Tue, 09/10/2019 - 9:00am to 10:00am


Around the world democracy is in trouble. Autocrats have come to power. In the U.S. democracy is compromised by a political system awash in money, gerrymandering, voter suppression and that absurd relic, the electoral college. One of the principal designers of the U.S. system of governance was James Madison. He said the main task of government is “to protect the opulent minority against the majority.” The latter being me and you. And pretty much that’s been the orientation of the state. Here and there a Progressive Era, a New Deal, or a Great Society occur but basically rulers try and keep the donor and landed gentry class happy. Democracy is more like a plutocracy. It is still alive but not at all healthy. It needs fixing. Only an informed and mobilized citizenry can reverse the ominous trajectory we are on.


ulpanaylaylo's picture

Caroline Fredrickson

"Caroline Fredrickson is the president of the American Constitution Society and the author of Under the Bus: How Working Women Are Being Run Over and The Democracy Fix."

As KBOO's new News Director seems oblivious to Public Affairs programming and did not cut and paste a name of this speaker addressing "FIXING DEMOCRACY," I went to David Barsamian & Company's web-site to cut & paste the bio-note on this speaker. I've been seeking out Barsamian's curated ALTERNATIVE RADIO speakers for years out of curiosity and a hunger for substantive radio Public Affairs fare. Fair enough.

Yet, I do not recognize the name or background of this speaker, although the subject is one being debated hotly the whole democratic experiment world over. Autocracy in the form of MAGA delusions about an idyllic world long ago that mostly never existed. Electoral majorities are being ill-served by their self-serving elites and Corporate Caliphate feudal lords, who continue to rub automated robo-called-in representation and salt into our Austerity-plagued and GIG E-CON'd Neo-Liberal, Neo-Con'd idle wealth off-shored and concentrating into fewer and fewer opaque accounts. Try getting the ear of an elected rep without schmearing their campaign war chests to buy time to advertise over "The People's Air Waves" (yes, we own them, like we used to own our communities' utilities. We license these public telecomm tools of democracy to the Corporate Caliphate's highest bidders, with little enforcement of Anti-Trust Laws (anti-competitive legislation dating back to Teddy Roosevelt's Trust Busting years).

Adding insult to injury our selected leaders no longer even feel compelled to fake interest in infrastructure investment or any of that Protestant Work Ethic crapola that used to make it necessary for holders of wealth to risk investment of parts of their wealth with re-investment into their own local communities. Or else they'd find it losing value to the natural economic laws of inflation. Hoarding currency did not historically protect the value of that currency against the inflationary erosion of value.

Hoarding precious metals, real estate or copyrighted\patent holdings along with a diversified portfolio of investments used to be the only inflationary hedge against the ravages of time, wear and inflation. However, Goldman Sachs and their infamous Paulson Abacus Fund case of the financial services crisis and bail-out years, most recently in 2008 until now, but in our Boom\Bust Rapacious Capitalism of the 19th and 20th Centuries some other unregulated Hedge Fund business modelers have found ways to legally defraud Peter to pay Paul's off-shore and non-audited or taxed account.

As less money trickles down from our oligarchy and plutocracy to non-taxed electronic Wall Street brokers and traders to our majority Wage Slave commerce circulating in Hoovervilles of Homeless flooding our Main Streets coast to coast, we are realizing why there are no Fred Trumps anymore getting rich building government subsidized low-income housing as Washington did after WW II. Since at least the 1970's the Neo-Lib and Neo-Con axis has been about privatizing everything in U.S. life not nailed down and above all other issues including war and disease this commandment: SHRINK BIG GOVERNMENT. (The same BIG GOVERNMENT that reversed the new nation's descent into full-bore unregulated Gilded Ages for the few and BUST Cycles for those without safety nets for their cash and holdings.

More and more of life that gets to create families and succeeding generations occurs behind gated communities. Hardly a model of democracy. More like colonialism. See the Nazi Aryan communities in Andean Nations of South America for the direction U.S. gated communities are moving in.

Here's the cut & paste from Barsamian's AR that KBOO is filling air space with today, seemingly as an after-thought to their staff changes...

"Caroline Fredrickson"

"Fix: How to Win the Fight for Fair Rules, Fair Courts, and Fair Elections. She has been widely published on a range of legal and constitutional issues. She has served as the director of the ACLU’s Washington legislative office and as general counsel and legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America."

KBOO gets my attention by default as not much else on radio dial 'cept for 'jazz without boundaries' but no public affairs programming via KMHD (formerly situated and still licensed to Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham), offers too narrow a spectrum of Educational Broadcasting. KMHD has been for years now partnered with the Corporate Caliphate's underwritten and heavily commercialized NPR fare via state-wide monopoly broadcaster on the Public's Airwaves dba Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).

Although, KMHD provides superb diversity of sounds and radio arts curators and creative broadcast artists. You can tell KMHD host-producers listen to each other's programs. KBOO's version of community radio has more reflected crony cliques of generally independently wealthy or retired-on-pension broadcasters who don't listen to much else on KBOO besides their own audio archives and the broadcasts of a few select friends and mutual admiration society members...

Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters & Shifters
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
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