Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It by Lawrence Lessig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lessig lays out in unequivocal detail how the U.S. Congress has become soaked in corruption. Not the standard quid pro quo type (which is illegal), but rather something he refers to as "dependence corruption", where the dependency is on money, the money that drives campaigns and legislative behavior. Lessig uses the analogy of a "gift economy" to get at the concept of how this type of corruption differs from direct deal making, but leaves no stone unturned in detailing how it is just as real, and just as destructive.
Lessig goes further, describing how eradicating this corruption is fundamental to making any significant problems in the larger problems facing our nation (such as health care and education).
Lessig is a would-be Messiah. He concludes the book with four strategies for how we might address this important problem, the last calling for a constitutional convention to adopt a citizen-led Constitutional Amendment.
I have to say, I am inspired. Before reading this, I of course knew there were problems in Washington, but after reading this, I have a solid foundation on which to understand these problems, some hope that a solution is possible, and a reason to get behind a national movement for election reform.
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