Forms of Corruption

I just finished Lawrence Lessig’s book Republic, Lost. The author places a nice frame on the disappointment of Obama’s approach and his credibility problems but focuses on the larger issue of dependency corruption in modern American government. There’s nothing new here, but the author is sharp in critically evaluating the available studies and research. We all have something to lose with our current problem. This is not a partisan issue.

His principle solution to this corruption is a general limitation to campaign finance: 100 bucks per “voter.” It’s a good solution. Most important, however, is how Lessig concentrates on Congress’s role and how big money and K Street messes all this up: it’s responsibility is to the citizenry not to funders. This is an important principle for reformers. I’m with it and have been for years.

I like it that Lessig tries hard not to be naive. As with all rhetorical theory, problems are simple to grasp. Solutions are painful.