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Money Talks: The Corrupt Marriage of Money and Politics

When money talks, it has a lot to say.

By Ed Thompson

For more than a decade, no Hollywood movie has featured China as the enemy. The huge market for films and the major investment by CCP oligarchs ensure the whitewash will continue. When an NBA coach dared to mention the rampant human rights violations levied against religious minorities in China, the NBA was shocked – not by the revelations, but that one of their own stepped out of line. He was criticized by a cowardly chorus of officials and players forced to cow-tow to their CCP masters and fired. American schools can teach Chinese and whitewashed propaganda through something called the Confucius Institute for free, all bankrolled by the CCP.  Money talks.

There is a reason you can’t watch television without seeing half a dozen drug ads. Mainstream media and television are financed by more pharmaceutical ad money than any other industry. In 2020, Big Pharma spent $4.58 billion representing 75% of TV ad revenues.  Estimates now top $6 billion. Kids who used to quote cereal cartoon characters now reel off the names of pharmaceuticals. Memorable TV slogans like “Got milk?” and “Just Do It” have been replaced with “Brought to you by Pfizer” and “Safe and Effective.” Is it any wonder that Americans are the most medicated people in the world?

More than four in ten older adults take five or more prescription medications. Nearly two in ten take ten drugs or more. Every day, 750 older people living in the United States are hospitalized due to serious side effects from medications. But because of all that TV ad money you won’t see much negative about Big Pharma in TV shows, let alone the news. Money talks.

The wealth gap has gotten so great that individuals can now produce Black Swan events that wrench politics one way or the other. George Soros has been buying US prosecutors and attorneys general through a dark web of non-profits. Now we have the planned chaos of crime erupting in major cities. Without Elon Musk brute-force bulldozing his way into Twitter, now X, we could have lost sight of free thought and speech under the avalanche of government censorship. That is still an uphill battle far from won.

The most corrupt marriage is money and politics. Once they were not so tightly bound together; now you can hardly tell them apart. Yes, moneyed men have always claimed privilege and sought to influence politics. That likely won’t change anytime soon. And yes, successful men of means have often risen to political office. When they do so because they have first demonstrated vision and skill in a field of endeavor and the decent treatment of men under their watch, they are welcome. But today’s career politicians spend half their time raising money for re-election. Committee assignments in Congress actually have a price tag and are sold much like the Catholic Church once sold indulgence certificates that granted supposed relief from punishment for sins.

In Washington, influence peddling is the national sport. The untraceable tangle of PACs and non-profits is a black hole that would make criminal organizations jealous. While lobbyists are quick to defend their industry, most people would see little difference between lobbying and bribery. Big Pharma tops the list of spenders. The fact that it’s a multi-billion dollar industry says a lot. Lobbying has become so lucrative that many national politicians leave government to become lobbyists. To complete the corruption ad absurdum, lobby groups now write the laws they want that the politicians vote for without even reading the bills.

The worst affront is when rich politicians, after sinking the economy, causing inflation, and putting people out of business with lockdowns and mandates, all the while getting rich themselves, beg the working class for money to run for office. I get multiple emails, texts, newsletters and fliers from politicians and PACs. Full-color fliers paid for with taxpayer money clog my mailbox. Some are invitations to vote for a candidate. Others invite joining a group or an event. Still others request I fill out a survey. Every single one asks for or requires me to give them more money.

Those same politicians will say that’s how politics works, that’s how the game is played, and they can’t get elected without more of my money. It would be more honest to point a gun at my face and demand my wallet. But then again, you can’t expect criminals to be honest.

Donations are great. I make them all the time to actually worthy causes. But I’d prefer not to give money to multimillionaire politicians who waste it on campaigns that lie to get my vote. Politicians who take the money I already pay for their always rising salaries and spend it like drunken sailors on things I don’t want or need. Politicians who borrow trillions more in my name with no consideration for the inflation they are causing that is driving me to the poor house. Politicians who use that money to buy more power and wealth for themselves by supporting projects that destroy my country. To quote noted financial expert Phillip Patrick, “The government has upgraded from pork barrel spending to a fiscal slaughterhouse churning out debt at an industrial scale.”

The deadly infection of money into politics is immoral, despicable, reprehensible, and it should be illegal. Of course, corrupt politicians will never make it so. We need term limits, and no pensions or lifetime healthcare for most government employees. Serving in government should be a sacrifice and duty, never a career. Lobbying with special interest money or promises – any form of tit for tat – should be outlawed. Campaign finance should be controlled to level the playing field, not tilt it. Do that and you would see the worst of the rats jump ship.

For 2024, political campaign spending will top $10 billion, and that’s only the direct ad money we can track. Until we take the corruption of money out of politics and make serving in government a duty rather than an opportunity, money will talk loudly enough to drown out the voice of reason.

Guest Author Ed Thompson

Ed Thompson is a podcaster, columnist, and author of educational and fiction books with over 25 years of experience as a tutor and teacher. He has helped students of all ages in most subjects. With this unique perspective, Ed has insights on what’s broken about our educational system and how we can make it better.

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