Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lawrence Lessig on How Money Corrupts Congress - and How to Stop It

When you put these two things together, you understand a little bit why we have an explosion of high-fructose corn syrup substituting for regular sugar in our diets.

"There is a feeling today among too many Americans that we might not make it," Lawrence Lessig writes in the introduction to his new book Republic, Lost. "Not that the end is near or that doom is around the corner, but that a distinctly American feeling of inevitability, of greatness – culturally, economically, politically -- is gone." He goes on to note that Americans' trust in government is at an all-time low, related to the (largely accurate) belief that moneyed special interests wield outsize influence over our political system. In his book, Lessig, a Harvard Law School professor and big noise in the field of law and technology, details how money came to corrupt our government, how our broken system hurts both the Left and the Right, and what it will take to return American democracy to its rightful owners – the people. We caught up with him by phone the other day; here, highlights from our conversation.

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