Wall Street’s investment in politics

The Sunlight Foundation reported that a large and increasing fraction of political campaign contributions comes from 1 percent of 1 percent of the American people—the nearly 27,000 who give $10,000 or more in an election campaign cycle.  And a large and increasing fraction of that group comes from employees and executives of the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector, mostly elite banks and investment firms.   Contributions from these big donors increased 700 percent in the past 20 years.

The U.S. economic system is increasingly dominated by companies that buy, sell and create debt, rather than useful products and services.  Employees of these same companies are the leaders in campaign contributions, for both Republicans and Democrats.  And that is why the U.S. government, under Clinton, Bush and Obama, has been so willing to bail out the big banks from the consequences of their mistakes, and so reluctant to subject them to regulation.

Click on How the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate Sector Drove the Growth of the Political One Percent of the One Percent for the Sunlight Foundation report.

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