The Acquisition and Distribution of Funds

I’m the type of liberal that believes government is the single greatest agent for social justice that mankind has ever invented. I believe in strong regulation of business, because the market does not prevent unethical behavior, nor does it punish such practices in an effective fashion. Without regulation, our water would be undrinkable, our air would be unbreathable, our cars would be deathtraps, and our collective life expectancies would be years, if not decades, shorter, due to all the carcinogens our bodies would absorb. Without the flawed financial regulations we have, tens of millions of us would be living in abject indentured servitude to banks.

I believe in progressive taxation and the social safety net. I believe in investment in infrastructure. I believe in sensible national defense, and that the military-industrial complex has siphoned away trillions of dollars too much in my lifetime. I believe it is a travesty that although we have the greatest economy the world has ever seen (that crown will be, or has already been, given up, depending on the source), we do not have universal healthcare for our people.

I am horrified by the role money has taken in our politics since the Citizens United ruling. Politics, as described by Robert Caro, has always been about the acquisition and distribution of funds. Whichever politician has control of the most money also has the most power. But, the ability of a small number of wealthy Americans to influence members of Congress with their riches has overwhelmed the system, reducing the significance of a single vote.
—Bryan Larrick, A Voter’s Lament