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Peter Schweizer


Sub-title: How Politicians extract your money, buy votes, and line their own pockets: Houghton Miflin Harcourt, N.Y., 2013, 249 pgs., index, notes, appendix


Reviewer's Comments: This is an excellent current description of the reality of the relationship between rulers and ruled since ancient Mesopotamia. But 'rulers' includes the full complement of the governing class, in current terms the government bureaucracy, not limited to the politiians. In his extensive specific examples of individuals he includes many others than politicians, Congressional staffs, executives and lawyers in practically all of the executive branch agencies, even members of the judiciary. I will list several other authors on the same topic below.
The author states the case in his introduction: "In short, we have come to believe the problem in Washington is a sort of leagalized bribery. If outside interests can only be held at bay, we can and will get better leadership. But what if we are wrong? What if the problem is not bribery, ... but extortion? What if the Permanent Political Class in Washington is made up of individuals from both political parties, is using its coercive public power to not only stay in office but to threaten others and to extract wealth, and in the bargain pick up private benefits for themselves their friends, and their families?
Of course it is, as have ruling classes have acted since ancient times. And the private benefits are not limited to 'themselves, family and friends' but also include voters, business owners and managers, labor unions, academicians, intellectuals in general, who support them.


Chapter 1 - Introduction - Here are several defining quotations that epitimize the author's thesis:
"The assumption is that we need to protect politicians from outside influences. But how about protecting ourselves from the politicians?:
and "But what if we have it backwards? What if the greater culprits are inside the halls of power in Washington rather than on the outside?" "Politics in modern America has become a lucrative business, and industry that has less to do with policy and a lot more to do with accessing money and favors."

He continues in this introduction with many specific examples. Actually, reading the introduction will provide enough evidence of his thesis. The other chapters provide more examples, organized, chapter by chapter, according to categories.


Chapter 2 - America's Most Expensive Toolbooth -


Chapter 3 - Protection: For a Price -


Chapter 4 - The Underground Washington Economy -


Chapter 5 - The Double-Milker: You May Not Be Interested in Washington, but Washington Is Interested in You -


Chapter 6 - Slush Funds -


Chapter 7 - Trust Me : You're Gonna Need to Pay Me -


Chapter 8 - Protection for a Price: What About a Washington Corrupt Practices Act?


Chapter 9 - It's a Family Affair -


Chapter 10 - Conclusion: Protection for the Rest of Us -

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Pitirim Sorokin - Power and Morality: Who Shall Guard the Guardians?

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Mario Levi - Political Power in the Ancient World

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