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I wrote a reply over at TPM

I think what is key to effective CFR is to play political jujitsu. To reduce the influence of the democracy of the dollar, we need to accept that it's influence is here to stay and a key part of any capitalist system, as it ensures protection for moneyed interests that can provide more predictability/stability for such interests and all who benefit from them.

The secret needs to be to check the democracy of the dollar so it doesn't squeeze out unduly the role of popular democracy in widening the range of interests that are protected or given more security by the gov't.

There are three parts I would advocate for: transparency, taxation of campaign contributions, and making elections not a winner-takes-all "game" so that all losing parties will get tax-free credits for the next election so as to reduce the advantages of incumbency and set up a meritocracy where third parties that are successful at garnering a larger portion of the vote will get some reward. This will help them in continuing their historic task of making the main two parties more dynamic and giving voters a more viable exit threat when the democracy of the dollar exerts an undue influence on issues of significance for many voters.



Please, Mark, refer to them as "the philosophical pillars of Republican governance: Ney, DeLay, and Doolittle". I think it was Josh Marshall who described them thusly in a CFR debate of past years, and it's stuck with me ever since. If those names don't show God's sense of humor, I can't imagine what does.

RonK, Seattle

Agreed. "The little guy" is still the littlest guy at the table, no matter what the name of the game.

This has both conservative and liberal implications for policy design.

In the CFR arena, I suspect it's more important to engage people than to disengage dollars ... and that's a matter of radical institutional innovation. Meanwhile, engage coping mechanisms -- limits, disclosure, subsidies, etc.

cali dem

I should learn how to do the trackback thing. I linked to your piece at my blog:

Nite Swimming


I agree that changes in people's habits of deliberation on how they will vote are critical.

I think effectively checking the freedom of $peech is important to convince people that popular activism is not futile and can affectively expand the range of interests that are provided security by the gov't.


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