Monday, February 27, 2012

Quotation for Today: Creating an American Plutocracy

The quotation for today reminds us again of the loathsome nature of the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.  Equally important, the quotation and the article referencing the quotation provide insight into how the majority of the Supreme Court justices viewed the impact of their Citizens United decision.

"The nation’s financial elite has acquired new leverage over politics just when the gap between the top 0.1 percent and the rest of the nation has already reached monumental proportions."
Thomas B. Edsall
Thomas B. Edsall is a professor of journalism at Columbia University and the author of of the book The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics; recently published in January by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

In the following passage from his New York Times article, Professor Edsall captures the true goal of the five SCOTUS justices who decided the Citizens United case:
The Supreme Court has tilted the playing field in favor of those who have benefitted most from rising inequality, giving the richest Americans a new tool to control the political process at a moment when their economic power has reached heights unequaled since 1929.
To complete the destruction of American democracy and the creation of American plutocracy, the same five SCOTUS justices who decided the Citizens United case need only to rule that people of a certain, very high net worth solely can vote -- then the SCOTUS coup d'etat will be whole. 

Edsall, Thomas. "Campaign Stops: Cash and Carry." The New York Times 26 February, 2012: online edition.

Related information:

Yglesias, Matthew. "Partisans, Reviewed." Slate 16 January, 2012: online edition. (The article reviews Edsall's book.)

Excerpt from Yglesias' review of The Age of Austerity:

As an analysis of the politics of the present day, The Age of Austerity is an impressive synthesis of reporting and political science. Eschewing the kind of personality-driven trivia that constitutes so much campaign reporting, Edsall digs deep into the underlying social, economic, and even psychological drivers of America's increasingly polarized political coalitions.

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