Dollarocracy : How Billionaires Are Buying Our Democracy and What We Can Do about It

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 6/11/2013
  • Publisher: Perseus Books Group

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In the 2012 elections, $10 billion will be spent trying to buy your vote.In Dollarocracy, media scholar Robert W. McChesney and acclaimed journalist John Nichols show how elections are becoming controlled, predictable enterprises, managed by a new class of consultants wielding hundreds of millions of dollars and defining our politics as never before. As the money gets bigger--especially after the new Supreme Court Citizens United ruling--and journalism, a core check and balance on the government, declines, American democracy is in peril as never before. Democrats and Republicans squabble and chase money from the same sources, and the legislative agenda is supplanted by a new Media-Election Complex accountable only to moneyed shareholders. Consider these shocking facts: Of the 53 competitive House districts where Karl Rove and his compatriots backed Republicans with "independent" money exceeding those made on behalf of Democrats--often by more than $1 million per district--the Republicans won 51. During the midterm elections, over $2 billion flowed into TV and radio, making up two thirds of all campaign spending, which now accounts for as much as 20% of these stations' budgets (up from 3% in the 90s), giving them a strong incentive to limit their own political coverage. More than 200 newspapers have shut down since 2007 with over 38,000 employees fired and political coverage vastly reduced. In DollaracracyMcChesney and Nichols show how not just our politics but every aspect of our lives is being transformed by the decline of democracy. They predict that a 10-billion-dollar election cycle will place Americans as spectators on the sidelines of a political process dominated by corporate interests. With reporting from the frontlines and staggering new research, Dollarocracy will expose the crisis that politicians and pundits dare not discuss, concluding with a call to action, and offering concrete suggestions so that we can rescue and restore our republic.

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