Wisconsin: democracy or oligarchy? | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wisconsin: democracy or oligarchy?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 8:29 AM

Good column by Paul Krugman, who boils Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's actions down to the power play that it is. (And isn't it funny to hear the Koch paid shills denounce free assembly and speech and protest by people who hold views different than the Koch-financed teabagger movement. A little democracy is a dangerous thing.)

Krugman notes how Walker has worsened his state's situation by tax cuts. He continues:

In principle, every American citizen has an equal say in our political process. In practice, of course, some of us are more equal than others. Billionaires can field armies of lobbyists; they can finance think tanks that put the desired spin on policy issues; they can funnel cash to politicians with sympathetic views (as the Koch brothers did in the case of Mr. Walker). On paper, we’re a one-person-one-vote nation; in reality, we’re more than a bit of an oligarchy, in which a handful of wealthy people dominate.

...

There’s a bitter irony here. The fiscal crisis in Wisconsin, as in other states, was largely caused by the increasing power of America’s oligarchy. After all, it was superwealthy players, not the general public, who pushed for financial deregulation and thereby set the stage for the economic crisis of 2008-9, a crisis whose aftermath is the main reason for the current budget crunch. And now the political right is trying to exploit that very crisis, using it to remove one of the few remaining checks on oligarchic influence.

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