2017 READING CHALLENGE
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In "Selling Out, Green exposes the truth about the poisonous role money has come to play in our political culture -- a role that has too long been conveniently overlooked. The practice of trading campaign donations for political favors, he reminds us, is as old as the nation itself. And yet in recent years the American political landscape has become an open market, where influence is bought and sold wholesale, with little accountability and no apparent shame. How did Enron and so many other corporations buy political protection? Why do legislators pay more attention to contributors than to constituents?
"Our textbook system of checks and balances," answers Green, "has devolved into a system of checks, checks, and more checks-and few politicians bite the hand that funds them." Government today, he argues, is a system that produces loopholes and subsidies for the 1 percent of Americans who can afford to be big donors -- and produces exorbitant health-care costs, uncontrolled pollution, and underfunded schools for the rest of us,
As a candidate who himself raised $16 million in his campaign for mayor of New York City, Green has seen the political process as both critic and participant. Drawing on interviews with dozens of other major players and his own lifelong crusade for better government, he highlights an array of eye-opening case studies linking money andresults-from how senators favor big-industry polluters over their own constituents to how the wealthiest have won big tax breaks even as CEOs' salaries have increased ten times faster than their employees'. And the solutions Green offers are both bold and practical, and in some cases are already working, at the local, state, and national levels, to return power to the American people.
Fast-paced and impressively researched, provocative in its commentary and conclusions, "Selling Out is sure to inflame anyone who's stunned by the latest scandals-or who's curious about how so many have gotten away with so much for so long.
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