Peter Schweitzer's New Book on Political Corruption

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Peter Schweitzer's New Book on Political Corruption

Postby Tom Bigg » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:53 pm

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Empires-A ... merReviews

Same author as "Clinton Ca$h"; some good stuff here, I'm going to try to get the local library order it so it gets more exposure.
Tom Bigg
 
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Re: Peter Schweitzer's New Book on Political Corruption

Postby Tom Bigg » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:10 pm

Gary North has an article on this today:

There is a new book on graft in Washington, DC. Same old, same old.

The title is this: Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends. It was published this week. The promo on Amazon says this:

Peter Schweizer has been fighting corruption—and winning—for years. In Throw Them All Out, he exposed insider trading by members of Congress, leading to the passage of the STOCK Act. In Extortion, he uncovered how politicians use mafia-like tactics to enrich themselves. And in Clinton Cash, he revealed the Clintons’ massive money machine and sparked an FBI investigation.
Now he explains how a new corruption has taken hold, involving larger sums of money than ever before. Stuffing tens of thousands of dollars into a freezer has morphed into multibillion-dollar equity deals done in the dark corners of the world.

An American bank opening in China would be prohibited by US law from hiring a slew of family members of top Chinese politicians. However, a Chinese bank opening in America can hire anyone it wants. It can even invite the friends and families of American politicians to invest in can’t-lose deals.

President Donald Trump’s children have made front pages across the world for their dicey transactions. However, the media has barely looked into questionable deals made by those close to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Mitch McConnell, and lesser-known politicians who have been in the game longer.

In many parts of the world, the children of powerful political figures go into business and profit handsomely, not necessarily because they are good at it, but because people want to curry favor with their influential parents. This is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. But for relatives of some prominent political families, we may already be talking about hundreds of millions of dollars.

Deeply researched and packed with shocking revelations, Secret Empires identifies public servants who cannot be trusted and provides a path toward a more accountable government.

There is an extract that contains some juicy stories. Read it here.

There is nothing new here. The graft goes back as far as civil government does. Lyndon Johnson saw to it that the only TV station in Austin belonged to his wife. The FCC granted this special favor.

In 1964, Senator Barry Goldwater got the Republican nomination. In his acceptance speech, he said this: "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!" I remember hearing one Republican define extremism: "The belief that there should be more than one TV station in Austin."

Over a decade ago, the Left-wing news site Slate ran an article describing how the Johnsons got rich. Stealing from the 1905 autobiography of George Washington Plunkitt of Tammany Hall in New York City, the author described the Johnsons as having indulged in honest graft. Here is how Plunkitt described honest graft: using inside information about what the government would be buying.

EVERYBODY is talkin' these days about Tammany men growin' rich on graft, but nobody thinks of drawin' the distinction between honest graft and dishonest graft. There's all the difference in the world between the two. Yes, many of our men have grown rich in politics. I have myself. I've made a big fortune out of the game, and I'm gettin' richer every day, but I've not gone in for dishonest graft - blackmailin' gamblers, saloonkeepers, disorderly people, etc. - and neither has any of the men who have made big fortunes in politics.
There's an honest graft, and I'm an example of how it works. I might sum up the whole thing by sayin': "I seen my opportunities and I took 'em."

Just let me explain by examples. My party's in power in the city, and it's goin' to undertake a lot of public improvements. Well, I'm tipped off, say, that they're going to layout a new park at a certain place. I see my opportunity and I take it. I go to that place and I buy up all the land I can in the neighborhood. Then the board of this or that makes its plan public, and there is a rush to get my land, which nobody cared particular for before. Ain't it perfectly honest to charge a good price and make a profit on my investment and foresight? of course, it is. Well, that's honest graft.

Or supposin' it's a new bridge they're goin' to build. I get tipped off and I buy as much property as I can that has to be taken for approaches. I sell at my own price later on and drop some more money in the bank.

Wouldn't you? It's just like lookin' ahead in Wall Street or in the coffee or cotton market. It's honest graft, and I'm lookin' for it every day in the year. I will tell you frankly that I've got a good lot of it, too.

https://www.panarchy.org/plunkitt/graft.1905.html
I assign this book to my freshman English students.

The magnitude of the graft is greater today because the magnitude of federal spending is greater.

Here is what I do not understand. Why does Amazon charge less for a hardback copy than a paperback? It costs more to print a hardback. Always in the past, a hardback has been regarded as a superior product.
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