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American & British ‘democracies’: fit only for the 1%

As concern rises over the latest London/Delhi revolving door revelations we turn to an article written by Edward Luce, Financial Times commentator and columnist based in Washington, which was given the headline: ‘America’s democracy is fit for the 1%’.

99%-3

In the grossly unequal British and American economies, where 1% own a large proportion of the national wealth, the 99% should also worry about their 1% democracy.

The article opened with ‘uncomfortable truth’: “Both US parties are up for rent, and patriots of all stripes should be troubled” and goes on to fear that the US Supreme Court is likely to remove post-Watergate limits on campaign finance.

Luce gave examples – one reproduced below:

 luce text

 Old and New World corrupted

Luce points out that America – forged in opposition to the aristocratic corruption of Europe – has more entrenched inherited wealth than in almost every corner of the old world: “so too are legacy places at Ivy League universities that were once such wellsprings of US meritocracy”.

Both David Cameron and Barack Obama campaigned on a promise to address this form of corruption, but – apart from minimal regulatory changes in both countries – inequality continues to grow and the lobbying/PR industry flourishes.

In effect, is ‘one person, one vote’ being replaced by ‘one dollar, one vote’ in both countries?