SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.


» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

 

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: Government Corruption/Bought-off Congress, How do we change it?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
george of the j Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 635
Joined: Apr. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 2:59 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think the number one problem with our system of government is that our elected officials can be bought off by big-money special interests. These officials then often put the special interest groups' welfare ahead of the welfare of the majority of the citizens. How can we stop this root of many evils in our country?  

It's our own fault, really. The voters will not vote for honest people to represent them; we will only vote for liars. And we love to reelect incumbents, the ones with the most money for stupid TV campaign ads. If they have the most money for the most ads, that might mean that they owe more favors to special interests, but we feel compelled to vote for them anyway.

Ideally, we would have honest politicians competing with one another for office with ideas. If an honest politician truly believed fracking to be in the best interest of the country, and fracking companies donated to his/her campaign, then that would be fine. But if a crooked politician believed fracking caused the country more harm than good, but is bought off by the fracking companies and then turns around and votes for legislation to benefit the fracking companies, then that is corrupt.

I don't have a practical solution to this problem, a problem that's probably been with us from the beginning of the United States, but I do have a dream solution:

1) Devise a super lie detector, one that even a politician can't fool. I don't know, maybe facial expression software . . . do we have the technology today?

2) A constitutional amendment that all senators and congress persons be subjected to the lie detector every six months or so. Ask this simple question: "Have you voted for any legislation that you believed to be against the best interests of the citizens of the United States in order to repay a special interest?"

3) Offenders would be punished. I'm not sure how exactly, but Singapore-style canings on national TV would be a start---certainly removal from office.

Does anybody agree that this corruption is the worst problem we have in America? Anybody have a solution?

----George
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 2
GoBlueHiker Search for posts by this member.
Obsessive Island Hopper...
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 16417
Joined: Jul. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 3:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oy.

I agree, it's a huge issue.  Major huge issue.

Although I don't think that the magical flawless lie detector is really going to happen, it's a nice theory.  I think you'd have a tough time finding an experienced politician to qualify in the first place.

In the meantime what we can do is make it harder for politicians to obfuscate who their donors are.  Legally change the rules for corporations and for political-action-committees.  Complete transparency, no more hundred-million-dollar super-PACs with anonymous donor lists.  All donor lists are wide-open in plain sight.  Personally I wouldn't mind making it illegal for corporations to contribute to political campaigns at all (limit it to personal donations, again all out-in-public), but that would have some push-back.

Every single dollar of support for a campaign must be tracked.  Although I didn't vote for McCain-Palin in '08, one thing I always did admire about John McCain was his longstanding push for campaign finance reform.  He rarely made progress with it, always shot down by colleagues who were too-well-entrenched in the current system to want to change it even a bit, but it had always been a platform of his, something to shoot for.  I respect that.

Big question, tough answers.  For politicians who used the broken system to win their seats, asking them to change that same system so they can't do that anymore is an uphill battle at best.


--------------
Wealth needs more.  Happiness needs less.  Simplify.

www.RainForestTreks.com
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 3
Lamebeaver Search for posts by this member.
trail? I don't need no stinkin trail!
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 19372
Joined: Aug. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 3:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

1.  People are stupid and selfish.
2.  People vote for people who say what they want to hear.
3.  People are more interested in a candidates looks, personality and personal lives.  They don't care about "facts", "truth" and stuff like that.
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 4
wwwest Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 6738
Joined: Dec. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 4:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Get active in your local and state political group of choice and work hard to elect candidates who are committed to passing Federal laws that require ALL money being spent on political campaigns is fully disclosed as to the source of said money, and make sure that that information is made readily available on the internet and in print media.

That is about the best we can do, or have ever been able to do.  Representative government is always going to be fallible, selfish, motivated by greed and lust, just like the population of humans they are representing.

If YOU are more perfect, and totally incorruptible, why aren't you out there running for office??  

Surely you would be the perfect person to start us on the path to a perfect government??

Our democratic republic will ALWAYS have human generated problems because it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people.  Humanity is far from perfect, and will always be far from perfect, we just have to do our best, day by day.  Same as always.


--------------
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

- John Kenneth Galbraith
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 5
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 43826
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 4:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Vote and yes, by all means we need to keep demanding more transparancy until it is total. Influence in many ways is contained within our constituional right to speech and "petition", but there's NO right that I can see to hidden speech and petition. Hidden influence is inherently corruptible.

ETA: Oh and a big plus one on getting involved, it's almost ridiculously easy to get very involved within the organizations. They welcome, really crave, people who will put in even modest amounts of time.

I wound up on the statewide polictical party central committee having started out simply offering to register voters outside grocery stores....
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 6
wwwest Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 6738
Joined: Dec. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 4:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What was the rule at Tammany Hall in NYC in the mid 19th Century??  

Vote Early, and vote often.


--------------
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

- John Kenneth Galbraith
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 7
Gabby Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 6347
Joined: Jun. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 4:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think most people really know the answer to this one, though they avoid it.

And, yes - sadly - there are still a lot of people who believe that "The Government" is something foreign from the people no matter what they do.

Certainly, most of those responding here have pretty much hit the nail on the head: in this country, WE are the GOVERNMENT.

If we don't participate, then the special interests take over. Having responsive representatives in Washington means taking part in the process, and educating oneself about it. Without that involvement, we pretty much get what we deserve: somebody else's interests served instead of ours.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 8
Roger Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2105
Joined: Feb. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 5:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

In addition to what GoBlueHiker and others have said the gerrymandering of congressional districts has resulted in single party districts.  The election is determined by the primary and not by the general election.  We have seen those at the extremes of the parties win the primary and go on to congress.  It seems that gone are the days when our government did what is best for the people and not for corporations.  People see the ads on TV and believe what they see especially when it is repeated over and over again.  Also, we have lot of people that are one issue voters and do not considered all the other issues the candidate supports.

Environmental protection, the endangered species act, government funded health care and social programs along with the ACA and other programs are being turned into a “dirty word” by continued corporation money being poured into the political system.  It is not hard to figure why money for social programs is on the cutting block but not the subsidies for corporations?


--------------
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
7 replies since Jun. 21 2013, 2:59 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


 
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply Government Corruption/Bought-off Congress
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code



Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions