Produce an anti-corruption photo and win a year's supply of Ben and Jerry's


#1

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#2

Uh, what's the prize, a year's supply or 52 pints?


#3

I'd take a picture of Congress on fire, but then I'd be the one put in prison!


#4

Make propaganda...win thigh cheese?


#5

How about, "We pretend we're an indie brand but are actually part of the same massive multinational conglomerate that manufactures Slim-Fast and Axe Body Spray."

Though I suppose that doesn't fit neatly on a dollar bill, or an agenda.


#6

I always feel that the word "corruption" is simply inadequate to imply how hijacked the entire political process is. No-one's necessarily doing anything illegal when the law is expressly created to benefit "contributors".


#7

Yeah I'm sure Unilever has no lobbyist in Washington. For those who don't know that the evil multinational that bought out the good old down to earth hippies.


#8

Again on Citizens United...I really wish people would take the time to actually think through the consequences of reversing it:

Imagine tomorrow that all mass media ceases to exist. Money ceases to be important because there is nowhere to spend it for campaign purposes. With no legitimate avenues for spending money, all political contributions to politicians are banned. Assume we magically achieve perfect enforcement of this. Question: Is corruption less of a problem in this world?

My answer is that it is worse. Quick google search says the average representative has a constituency of something like 650k people. But among those there will be people who have greater influence with the rep due to a lot of different factors, went to school together, social acquintances etc. These people will have undue influence over the rep, and you can't solve this problem as long as we are electing humans to the government. I'll let you do the exercise as to whether you think the rich continue to be among those influencers.Meanwhile the majority of the people are less powerful since they have no mechanism to band together and present their message with one voice.

Bottom line, maybe you can reduce some of the ability of the mega -wealthy to push agendas this way, but it comes at the cost of most of the power of the less well off. Not exactly what the proponents have in mind. And this is without even discussing the likely outcome of the law being used as a weapon by the powerful against the less sophisticated, which happens quite often with campaign finance.

But even that is not what is being proposed. Repealing CU is actually much worse, because the mega wealthy are still free to spend their personal wealth, but we the peons can't possibly hope to match that because we have no ability to try to match them though aggregation. In other words, goodbye EFF, ACLU, NY Times...

And if you think that the idea of an exception for advocacy groups or "media corporations" will solve those problems...well of course that won't be subject to definitional gamesmanship, and we know its a great idea to let the government decide who is allowed to speak and who is not, because that is not likely to be abused.

The system is corrupt. It will always be corrupt, because the nature of power is that it leads to abuse. The only way to limit the damage is to limit the amount of power that can be wielded.

One final question: Let's say CU had been decided the other way. If so, is what Cohen doing with this campaign a violation of the law or not? If not, why not?


#9

wat

+3 more characters which are entirely unnecessary.


#10

Make opposition. Let Cherry Garcia make your thighs all... snuggly and happy!


#11

Assuming that the claim of "unlimited political spending" is true, I can't see how it can be defended.

The political system is not even close to a level playing field, and as you mentioned, there is a lot of backroom stuff going on. I think this would only be exasperated by introducing more money into the equation, as it seems reasonable to conclude that the money system itself is unbalanced and largely corrupt, so I'm skeptical of its utility as an impetus to a fair and balanced system.

As far as I can tell, the only way to correct the imbalance is through greater transparency. How about a time delay on a GPS tracker for politicians while they are on "business" hours (e.g. X hours later, anyone can see where they were)? How about a similar delay (but longer?) on all phone and email records? Politicians could have the option to declare certain conversations "secret", but then at least there would be metadata to say this politician is X% secret vs. his/her challenger(s).

Anyway, these are relatively raw thoughts, so I look forward to other opinions and expansions on these ideas.


#12

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this, but if what you are saying is that we could create some scheme where everyone could only spend a defined sum on political activity, this introduces its own imbalances. Look at who benefits from such a scheme:

  1. Incumbent politicians, because incumbency is not dependent on money and is extremely powerful. By reducing money, you degrade the ability of the opposition to counter that advantage.
  2. Media personalities. Celebrities, Pundits, and the Media
  3. Those who have the time to engage in campaigns, as opposed to those who care but have other commitments such as work. Mostly benefits the affluent and those with disposable time

And don't forget, you have to actually implement and enforce this policy. Keep in mind that for every regulatory requirement you enact to support the policy, you make it more and more difficult for the less sophisticated to engage in a campaign at all. The reason for this is that if it costs 1500 dollars to comply with the law, that is a much greater burden on a campaign that can only raise 3K versus one that can raise 300K


#13

You're obviously not being making a serious, honest post here, but those influencing factors already exist so that's kind of meaningless. The rest is just silly. There are other countries that do a pretty good job of keeping money and corruption out of politics so your "It will always be corrupt" argument doesn't hold water.

And the "NY Times" haha... really?...


#14

You're doing a bit right?


#15

No I am serious. And it is an honest argument. I find it annoying that you question my honesty rather than just pointing out why I am wrong.

If you think that personal relationships are not vastly more important than money in politics...I don't agree with that point of view. I mean, its human nature, everyone pays more attention to what friends say than to what strangers say. That doesn't mean that its malicious but it is a distortion.

I am curious why you think NYT, EFF, ACLU, Sierra Club, MSNBC, Fox News, etc. etc. etc. could survive if they could not engage in political activity.


#16

I pointed out exactly why you're wrong. Those relationships already exist so that's a "push" if you will, to put it nicely...

I think you're confused about campaign giving vs. activism vs. free speech and so on. You have a fundamental misunderstanding of campaign financing. This doesn't prevent the EFF or Fox from engaging in "political activity"...


#17

http://influenceexplorer.com/organization/unilever/0b99117b81d049d08c1ffd5985f2b563

Two and a half million dollars of which half a million went to fight against propositions to force corporations to tell what's in your food.


#18

I mean that I don't think that unlimited financial contributions to any or all political candidate(s) are conducisve to a fair a balanced political system.

I disagree that it creates an imbalance, because I think it actually promotes balance. When you look at the overall system, which is largely based on money as a motivator, and small fraction of the population holds a large percentage of the overall money, then giving everyone unlimited power to use their money equally is not the same.

I'd like to address this too, but I am pretty sleepy now...maybe tomorrow?


#19

Ding Ding!!! Now I see that it was the Koch Bros. financing post that lured you to Boing Boing (in the first place) to defend them. Glad we can all see clearly where your campaign finance concerns are really coming from now.

No I am serious. And it is an honest argument. I find it annoying that you question my honesty rather than just pointing out why I am wrong.

Well! So convincing...... Go create a new account I guess...


#20

A Vote-Strike is the best way I see to changing this.
Register to vote, and then go on strike. Do not vote. Withhold your vote until a single demand is met; a cap on political donations.