Say Amen, Someone

“When we avoid using money directly for public purposes, our money gets used indirectly to subvert public purposes.” — Tom Matrullo
 
In other words, we can entrust tax dollars to government (which observes some standards of marginal transparency and accountability to us), or we can leave major enterprises to private firms to whom we make payments anyway, who use our payments without any obligation to disclose how, how, much, and to whom, and who devote a large proportion of those payments to advertising (to perusade us to send them more), and to lobbying our legislators… to allot them some of our tax payments, for dessert.
 
Between Tom’s attention to corporate (pseudo-)life and such stories as this scarifying report on high-speed trading (“major profits for adding no value whatsoever”), I’m at a loss to explain why 90% of the U.S. population isn’t up in arms.

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One Response to Say Amen, Someone

  1. Paul Baxter says:

    I fail to be convinced at any practical level that government is any more transparent or accountable than private enterprises. Granted that either one can dispose of money wisely or poorly and could act for or against the public interest (or probably both simultaneously), but government ALWAYS acts as a monopoly whereas most of the time private enterprises do not.

    Also, as a question for reflection, were consumerism problems of the sort Tom raises greater or lesser problems 100 years ago when the proportion of money flowing through government offices was far smaller than today?

    FWIW, I am firmly against “consumerism” as an ideology. The idea of the president telling us it is our patriotic duty to spend money still horrifies me.

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