Given the way the health care debate has gone, it now seems that the insurance and pharmaceutical companies (a/k/a the “medical-industrial complex”) will once again come out on top, despite the express wishes of a good-sized chunk of the American people for some kind of public/government-funded insurance option. The corporations and their lackeys have pulled out all the stops to confuse and frighten the American public. Corporate control of politicians and media seems practically unshakeable. This leads me to wonder if we oughtn’t just make a few little tweaks to the Constitution and codify what appear to be the facts-on-the-ground: that this is actually a plutocratic country, with decisions being made by the wealthiest folks, for the benefit of the wealthiest folks, all dressed up in a cynical “democratic” shell.
But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this really is still a democracy. Maybe there are times when the wealthy interests lose out (or at least don’t get everything they want) in favor of the general welfare, or in response to the wishes of the people . Maybe there are even times when wealthy interests VOLUNTARILY take a hit because it would serve the greater good.
So here’s the deal. I’ve got $20 (not much, I know, but this SHOULD be easy, right?) that I will give to the person who can offer the most convincing evidence refuting the following assertion: “At present, the United States of America is a de facto plutocracy.”
This evidence could be presented in the form of an essay, a video rant, a list of facts, a dramatic dialogue, an interpretive dance, a crayon drawing scrawled on a napkin, a PowerPoint preso, whatever. My decision will be my own, quite possibly arbitrary, and it’ll be final. If I can’t make a final decision among a bunch of similarly-qualified entrants, I’ll commit some random act to determine the winner. I also reserve the right to declare NO winner at all. All entries remain property of their creators, so you can republish or do whatever you want (that’s only fair), but by sending in your entry you grant me permission to publish it on this blog. Send your entry (or a URL pointer to it) to smendler[at]yahoo.com; include the word “PLUTOCRACY” in the subject line. Deadline (twice extended!) is 11:59:59 PM ET on OCTOBER 31, 2010. Good luck!