The following post comes to us from Darrell M. West
, vice president and director of Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution, and based on a book authored by Mr. West, titled “Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust;” a sample chapter may be downloaded for free here
. Work from the Program on Corporate Governance about corporate political spending includes Shining Light on Corporate Political Spending
by Lucian Bebchuk and Robert Jackson, discussed on the Forum here
. A committee of law professors co-chaired by Bebchuk and Jackson submitted a rulemaking petition to the SEC concerning corporate political spending; that petition is discussed here
Anyone paying the slightest amount of attention recognizes that the U.S. political system is performing poorly. Washington is gripped by extreme partisanship, which prevents Congress from conducting even routine business, and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches is near historic lows. But as I argue in my new book, Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust, the problem with the nation’s politics is even deeper than the daily headlines suggest. There is limited transparency surrounding money and politics, and many institutions that in the past could counterbalance the power of the wealthy and other special interests have grown weak. It is difficult for financially strapped news organizations to provide quality coverage of government, and political parties have become heavily dependent on a relatively small number of wealthy and well-connected people for campaign contributions.
…continue reading: The Need for Improved Transparency