Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It

Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It


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Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It by Wendell Potter, Nick Penniman

"A rallying cry to bring government back under the control of the people . . . Their argument is impassioned and accessible." —Library Journal

American democracy has become coin operated. Special interest groups increasingly control every level of government. The necessity of raising huge sums of campaign cash has completely changed the character of politics and policy making, determining what elected representatives stand for and how their time is spent. The marriage of great wealth and intense political influence has rendered our country unable to address our most pressing problems, from runaway government spending to climate change to the wealth gap. It also defines our daily lives: from the cars we drive to the air we breathe to the debt we owe.

In this powerful work of reportage, Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman, two vigilant watchdogs, expose legalized corruption and link it to the kitchen-table issues citizens face every day. Inciting our outrage, the authors then inspire us by introducing us to an army of reformers laying the groundwork for change, ready to be called into action. The battle plan for reform presented is practical, realistic, and concrete. No one—except some lobbyists and major political donors—likes business as usual, and this book aims to help forge a new army of reformers who are compelled by a patriotic duty to fight for a better democracy.

An impassioned, infuriating, yet ultimately hopeful call to arms, Nation on the Take lays bare the reach of moneyed interests and charts a way forward, toward the recovery of America's original promise.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781632861092
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Wendell Potter is a senior analyst at the Center for Public Integrity, the senior fellow on health care at the Center for Media and Democracy, and a leading critic of the health insurance industry. His book Deadly Spin won the 2011 Ridenhour Book Prize.

Nick Penniman is executive director of the organization Issue One. He was previously publisher of the Washington Monthly and director of the Huffington Post Investigative Fund.

Both authors live in the D.C. area.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Part 1

Introduction 3

1 How We Got Here 21

2 Rigged 43

3 Oligarchy, Gridlock, Cronyism 61

Part 2

4 Too Big to Beat 79

5 Drugged 99

6 Fuel Follies 123

7 Fat Wallets, Expanding Waistlines 143

8 Enough to Make You Sick 169

Part 3

9 It's Fixable 191

10 The Makings of an All-American Movement 211

Acknowledgments 231

Notes 233

Index 261

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