June 9th, 2014
11:08 AM ET

What I'm reading: The core problem with our democracy

By Fareed Zakaria

“[T]his, we believe, is the core problem with our democracy today: that we have outsourced the funding of campaigns to the tiniest fraction of the 1 percent,” write Lawrence Lessig and Mark McKinnon in the Daily Beast. “As members of Congress spend between 30 percent and 70 percent of their time raising campaign cash, they focus their efforts on no more than 150,000 Americans – 0.05 percent of the population, about the same number who are named Lester. And for SuperPACs, the numbers are even tinier. In the 2012 election cycle, 132 Americans contributed 60 percent of the SuperPAC money spent in all races. Congress has become dependent upon this tiny slice of the 1 percent, but in no conceivable way does this tiny fraction represent America.”

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“The problem with unconventional monetary policy, quantitative easing, central bank money-printing – call it what you will – is that once you start it, you eventually have to end it, and this is now proving extraordinarily difficult to do without upsetting the economic apple cart anew,” writes Jeremy Warner in The Telegraph. “Last summer’s ‘taper tantrum,’ when financial markets reacted with horror to the suggestion that the Fed might begin removing monetary support, was only a taste of what’s to come. Markets are set to get very much more volatile – something we have become very unused to in the current stupor of exceptionally low interest rates – as central banks attempt to reduce the dosage. In itself, this risks derailing the recovery.”

 


soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. palintwit

    It is true that Sarah Palin has head lice.

    June 9, 2014 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • But

      But the lice didn't find anything to eat, so they left.

      June 9, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      These comments about Sarah Palin are inappropriate. One does it have to agree with a politician to be respectful and dignified.

      June 9, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Reply
      • So you

        So you actually voted for Palin?

        June 10, 2014 at 10:00 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        @ So you:
        No, I did not vote for Palin. I sent money to her Democratic opponents.
        However, I retain my voter registration as a Republican.
        If Hillary runs, I'll vote for her, and I have already supported her "ready-for" campaign.

        June 10, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
    • John Smith

      America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
      In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
      During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
      In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
      Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

      June 12, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  2. bobcat2u

    A doctor broke the bad news to a man, that his wife would have to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. “I’m afraid her mind’s completely gone,” he said. “Makes sense,” mumbled the man. “She’s been giving me a piece of it every day for the last 15 years.”

    June 9, 2014 at 11:40 am | Reply
  3. chri§§y

    Lmao @ bobcat...so youve just confirmed my belief on marriage! Ive often said marriage is like a 3 ring circus. First you get the engagement RING, then you get the wedding RING and then you get the suffe RING!!!

    June 9, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • bobcat2u

      That's funny chrissy. Marriage is a definite adventure. Like being lost on some back road. You never know where you're going to end up.

      June 9, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  4. bobcat2u

    Existence was so tranquil and peaceful for the young couple Adam and Eve, like straight out of a story book, until one unfortunate day when Adam showed up one hour late for supper. By the time Adam finally came home Eve was a nervous wreck, and her imagination was working overtime. “Honey, what happened? Why are you home so late?” Questioned Eve. “Oh I’m sorry! Adam responded with a wave of his hand, “I just lost track of the time.” Now Eve didn’t have a Mother or girlfriend around to calm her fears, after all it was just her and her Husband and despite Adam’s convincing act her overactive imagination could not be calmed. That night after two hours of restlessly turning in her bed, enough was enough. “WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING!” Hollered Adam jumping out of bed. “YOU KNOW DARN WELL WHAT I’M DOING” Screamed Eve right back, “NOW YOU BETTER LAY STILL RIGHT NOW, AND LET ME FINISH COUNTING THOSE RIBS!

    June 9, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  5. chri§§y

    Lol i know where i ended up! Happily divorced lmao!

    June 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  6. bobcat2u

    While enjoying an early morning breakfast in a northern Arizona cafe, four elderly ranchers were discussing everything from cattle, horses, and weather, to how things used to be in the "good old days. "Eventually the conversation moved on to their spouses. One gentleman turned to the fellow on his right and asked, "Roy, aren't you and your bride celebrating your fiftieth wedding anniversary soon?" "Yup, we sure are," Roy replied. "Well, are you gonna do anything special to celebrate?" another man asked. The old gentleman pondered this for a moment, then replied, "For our twenty-fifth anniversary, I took Bea to Tucson. Maybe for our fiftieth, I'll go down there and get her."

    June 9, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  7. bobcat2u

    On their 50th wedding anniversary and during the banquet celebrating it, Tom was asked to give his friends a brief account of the benefits of a marriage of such long duration. "Tell us Tom, just what is it you have learned from all those wonderful years with your wife?" Tom responds, "Well, I've learned that marriage is the best teacher of all. It teaches you loyalty, meekness, forbearance, self-restraint, forgiveness - and a great many other qualities you wouldn't have needed if you'd stayed single."

    June 9, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    It is apppropriate that 0.05% of the population receives most of the focus when campaign funds are raised, because these citizens have the most to lose if a bad leader is elected to office.

    June 9, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      A lot of campaign money is spent on advertising. You know, nobody has to pay any attention to ads. I certainly don't. I read the candidates' positions on issues, and I make my choices very quickly.

      June 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    How we Americans call ourselves a democracy while we have both a majority in Congress and a White House already bought and paid for by the all powerful M.I.C. in Washington? And we call Russia "non-democratic". How ludicrous!

    June 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  10. chri§§y

    I totally agree @ Joey (the real Joey in blue) and it is important for people to take their voting DUTY seriously!

    June 9, 2014 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      @ chrissy, you agree with me 50% today. That's a good day. I also claim the first Joey post.
      Folks, don't look at TV ads: think.
      HILLARY 2016!

      June 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  11. chri§§y

    Lmao @ Joey i know you did and i said i TOTALLY agree...so wouldnt that make it 100%?

    June 9, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      Good, @ chrissy. Occasionally we have different points of view, but not here. I'm glad.

      June 9, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Reply
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        Democracy will remain the best model, although all models are imperfect.

        June 9, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
  12. Allan Kinsman

    The history of government is an evolving story. Will democracy eventually end up the best model? The problem as I see it is the contest of power and an ideology which broadens the scope of ego to include a degree of selflessness. So far power corrupts as Lord Acton points out to us. History seems filled with a desire to force others into whomever wields the current technological edge. In this current version the sides have drawn the debate in such narrow terms I truly don't see the differences when either side has mismanaged the dollar, natural resources and the corporate drive. Profit must widen the margins of definition to include the success for our species. The current political process will lead to a failure without a control on buying votes for favors. Perhaps this is the time for a good joke?

    June 9, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      My post regarding democracy was intended to follow the thoughtful post by @ Alan Kinsman.

      June 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Reply
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        Our species will not become extinct because of money. We have evolved with a powerful survival instinct that is often unpleasant.
        So what? That instinct keeps us alive.

        June 9, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
  13. HeyHey

    I don't have a problem with our democracy.

    June 9, 2014 at 11:39 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      I don't either HeyHey, except the fact that the majority in Congress plus the White House have been bought and paid for. This, I don't find to be very acceptable.

      June 10, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    Especially in a democracy, a nation is its people.

    June 10, 2014 at 6:54 am | Reply
  15. chri§§y

    Agree @ George Patton and your 3:19 post!

    June 10, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  16. chri§§y

    Lol @ my hero also known as Joey! Very nicely said.

    June 10, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Reply

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