âDemocracyÂ without constant vigilance against corruption is an un-stable, unmoored thing, subject to gusts of whimsy, and likely to collapse.âÂ âThe meaning of the concept of corruption Â is at the center of the most vital legal dispute in our democracy one that threatens to unravel what the framers of the US constitution built.” -Â Zephyr Teachout,Â Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklinâs Snuffbox to Citizens
âThe concept of corruption is at the center of the most vital legal disputeâ says Zephyr Teachout, author of âCorruption in Americaâ. Why should business care? Because itâs âimpacting the survival of US democracy [and] threatens to unravel what the framers of the US Constitution built.â The framers, corruptionâsituations where politicians & public institutions serve private interests at the publicâs expenseâas a danger to the new republic & created safeguards. Todayâs Supreme Court narrowed the definition to 1 thing: explicit bribery. Thus its Citizens United decision gave corporations the right to spend limitless money to influence elections (in SCOTUS-speak, gain democratic responsiveness). With unlimited spending transforming US politics for the worse, warns Teachout,â the American experiment in self-government could collapse.â Are there remedies? Teachout, who is challenging Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, gives us practical, constitutionally sound ideas.
Why should international business care how the U.S. Supreme Court defines corruption? Well how many of us really want to get in a continual bidding war for legislator access? Or be force to compete in a world of crony capitalism?
The framers of the U.S. Con-situation, says my guest,Zephyr Teachout, saw cor-ruption as a danger to their new republic. It went, In their view, beyond âblatant bribes and theft from the public tillâ to encompass âmany situa-tions where politicians and public institutions serve pri-vateÂ interests at the publicâsÂ expense.â In writing the Constitution they crafted many clauses to keep corruption out of interactions between representatives of government and private parties
Since the 1970, the Supreme Court has narrowed the defini-tion to one thing:Â quid pro quoÂ exchanges, i.e. explicit bribery. Â Using this logic, its 2010 Citizens United decision gave corpora-tions the right to spend limitless money to influence elections (in SCOTUS-speak, gain democratic responsiveness). Â âWith unlimited spending transforming US politics for the worse,â warns Teachout,â the American experiment in self-government could collapse.â If it is have a future, âthen we must revive the traditional meaning of corruption and embrace an old ideal.âÂ But How? Be sure to tune in for Global Reach with HostÂ TÃ© Revesz “The Arrogance of Institutions: Zephyr Teachout on how the Supreme Court redefined Corruption and put U.S. Democracy at risk”
Teachout,Â who is also challenging Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, has come up with a number of eminently practical & constitutionally sound ideas that can help restore responsive government and level the playing field.Â
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