Marcelo Rodriguez on Corruption

Marcelo Rodriguez has some very interesting commentary over at Voxilla. He observes a great deal of behavior in the US that smells of corruption. This is in response to a blog post that Russell Shaw posted and I picked up on. Russell spent most of his blog post talking about the attack on VoIP in third world countries. Marcelo really seems to be upset when he discusses the situation in the US.
To be clear, our political system is more or less designed in a way that politicians are encouraged to take money from corporations via loopholes and any legal means. In response organizations that donate get to influence our political system. Perhaps the word "designed" is too strong but this is essentially what happens.
This is how democracy works in the US. It used to disgust me actually but this is just how things work and we just need to get used to it.
The alternative is that we may one day elect politicians who are wealthy enough to actually do what is best for the citizens and not for their own pockets or party.
Or perhaps one day politicians will care enough about the country to eliminate the concept of lobbing altogether.
In the mean time this system is the way it is and occasionally a politician goes to jail for taking money — perhaps going too far over the edge.
As sad as it is, corruption is built into the system.
This whole argument does get scary for the telecom industry as the new AT&T is massively powerful and they know the lobbying game better than anyone — OK perhaps the oil companies beat them. Google, Yahoo! and others who may be the main competition to AT&T are just learning how to lobby. Sadly for these Silicon Valley geniuses, you can’t solve the lobbying problem with mathematicians but they will likely need a $googolplex to counterbalance what the service providers will be paying politicians for years to come.

  • Lonnie Lazar
    September 25, 2006 at 5:07 pm

    With all due respect, “just getting used to” a situation here in America that we are willing to call “corruption” when it occurs in another country — especially a “Third-World country” — is precisely what we ought not be doing.
    Rich, you should recall the disgust you “used to feel” and use that to help lead the charge against corruption right here at home. Otherwise, at least as it applies to the development of the IP communications industry, only those who are willing (or able) to “donate” to the maintenance of our political system will have a voice in guiding it.

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