Who Will Tell the People: The Betrayal of American Democracy

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.


Postby admin » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:05 am



The ultimate democratic dilemma that confronts contemporary citizens is unlike any other in the nation's past, for it lies beyond the nation's borders. If Americans wish to repair their own decayed democracy, they must also make themselves into large-minded citizens of the world. To protect their own economic interests, they will have to develop an interest in the economic conditions of people elsewhere. To defend the sovereignty of American law, citizens will have to confront political power that is global.

With the end of the Cold War burdens, Americans were understandably inclined to turn inward and attend to the many neglected priorities at home. But American democracy is now imprisoned by new circumstances -- the dynamics of the global economy -- and this has produced a daunting paradox: Restoring the domestic political order will require a new version of internationalism.

The rise of transnational enterprises and production systems, the easy mobility of capital investment and jobs from one country to another, has obvious benefits as a modernizing influence on the world. It searches out lower costs and cheaper prices. But its exploitative effects on both rich and poor nations remain unchecked.

As a political system, the global economy is running downhill -- a system that searches the world for the lowest common denominator in terms of national standards for wages, taxes and corporate obligations to health, the environment and stable communities. Left unchallenged, the global system will continue to undermine America's widely shared prosperity, but it also subverts the nation's ability to set its own political standards, the laws that uphold the shared values of society.

The economic consequences of globalized production have already been experienced by the millions of U.S. industrial workers who, during the last two decades, were displaced when their high-wage jobs were transferred to cheaper labor in foreign countries. This transformation, more than anything else, is what has led to the declining real wages in the United States and the weakening manufacturing base. The deleterious impact on American wages is likely to continue for at least another generation.

But the economic effects are inseparable from the political consequences. The global competition for cost advantage effectively weakens the sovereignty of every nation by promoting a fierce contest among countries for lower public standards. If one nation's environmental laws are too strict or its taxes seem too burdensome, the factory will be closed and the jobs moved elsewhere -- to some other nation whose standards are lax, whose government is more compliant.

This reality constitutes the largest challenge confronting American democracy, one that underlies every other aspect of the democratic problem. The global economy has the practical power to check almost every effort Americans may undertake to reform their own political system -- unless people learn how to confront the global system too. Elite political opinion holds that such resistance is undesirable and, in any case, impossible.

For ordinary Americans, traditionally independent and insular, the challenge requires them to think anew their place in the world. The only plausible way that citizens can defend themselves and their nation against the forces of globalization is to link their own interests cooperatively with the interests of other peoples in other nations -- that is, with the foreigners who are competitors for the jobs and production but who are also victimized by the system. Americans will have to create new democratic alliances across national borders with the less prosperous people caught in the same dilemma. Together, they have to impose new political standards on multinational enterprises and on their own governments.

The challenge, in other words, involves taking the meaning of democracy to a higher plane -- a plateau of political consciousness the world has never before reached. This awesome task does not begin by examining Americans' own complaints about the global system. It begins by grasping what happens to the people at the other end -- the foreigners who inherit the American jobs.

* * *

On the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez, across the river from El Paso, Texas, the sere hillsides are a vast spectacle of human congestion. A canopy of crude huts and cabins, made from industrial scraps, is spread across the landscape, jammed together like a junkyard for abandoned shipping crates. The houses are not much more than large boxes, with walls of cardboard and floors made from factory pallets or Styrofoam packing cases. The tarpaper roofs are held in place by loose bricks; an old blanket or sheet of blue plastic is wrapped around the outhouse in the yard. Very few homes have running water and many lack electricity. Streets are unpaved and gullied. There are no sewer systems. For mile after mile, these dwellings are visible across the countryside -- dusty, treeless subdivisions of industrial poverty.

The colonias of Ciudad Juarez are like a demented caricature of suburban life in America, because the people who live in Lucio Blanco or Zarogoza or the other squatter villages actually work for some of America's premier companies -- General Electric, Ford, GM, GTE Sylvania, RCA, Westinghouse, Honeywell and many others. They are paid as little as fifty-five cents an hour. No one can live on such wages, not even in Mexico. With the noblesse oblige of the feudal padrone, some U.S. companies dole out occasional despensa for their struggling employees -- rations of flour, beans, rice, oil, sugar, salt -- in lieu of a living wage.

In addition to the cheap labor, the U.S. companies who have moved production facilities to the Mexican border's maquiladora zone enjoy the privilege of paying no property taxes on their factories. As a result, Ciudad Juarez has been overwhelmed by a burgeoning population and is unable to keep up with the need for new roads, water and sewer lines and housing. The migrants who came from the Mexican interior in search of "American" jobs become resourceful squatters, scavenging materials to build shelters on the fast-developing hillsides. In time, some of these disappointed workers decide to slip across the border in the hope of becoming real Americans.

"A family cannot depend on the maquila wage," explained Professor Gueramina Valdes- Villalva of the Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Juarez, an experienced critic who aided workers at the Center for Working Women. "If you evaluate what these wages translate into in purchasing power, you see a steady deterioration in what those wages provide. They can't buy housing because there is a housing shortage. When they go into the squatter situation, they can't invest in public services. We have a shortage of water, sewers, electricity, streets. The city is pressed heavily by the two sectors who do not pay taxes -- the maquiladora companies and the minimum-wage workers.

"The saddest thing about it is, not only does the city become unbearably unlivable, but then the city becomes unproductive too. As the city deteriorates, it becomes more expensive for companies to locate here. For the first time last year, we had negative growth in Juarez. Some of the employers are leaving. We can see the companies looking at their other options. Eastern Europe has become very attractive to them.

"The companies are periodically confronted with these complaints and they usually deny that there is any negative effect. At the same time, their answer is that this is a worldwide process and they cannot do anything to change it." [1]

If Americans wish to visualize the abstraction called the global economy, they need only drive across the U.S. border into Mexico and see the human consequences for themselves, from Matamoros and Juarez to Nogales and Tijuana. A vast industrial belt of thirteen hundred plants has grown up along the border during the last twenty years, encouraged by special duty-free provisions but fueled primarily by low wages and the neglect of corporate social obligations.

By moving jobs to Mexico, companies not only escape higher industrial wages, but also U.S. laws and taxes, the legal standards for business conduct on health and safety and social commitments that were established through many years of political reform in America. Mexico has such laws but it dare not enforce them too energetically, for fear of driving the companies elsewhere.

The maquiladora factories, notwithstanding their handsome stucco facades and landscaped. parking lots, are the modern equivalent of the "sweatshops" that once scandalized American cities. The employers are driven by the same economic incentives and the Mexican workers in Ciudad Juarez are just as defenseless. The Juarez slums reminded me of the squalid "coal camps" I saw years before in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. Those still-lingering "pockets of poverty" were first created in the late nineteenth century by the coal and steel industries and they employed the very same industrial practices -- low wages, neglect of public investment, dangerous working conditions, degradation of the surrounding environment, the use of child labor.

The well-being of Americans is intertwined with this new exploitation, not simply for moral reasons or because most of the Mexican plants are owned by American companies, but because this is the other end of the transmission belt eroding the structure of work and incomes in the United States. Jobs that paid ten dollars or eleven dollars an hour in Ohio or Illinois will cost companies less than a tenth of that in Ciudad Juarez. The assembly work turns out TV sets, seatbelt harnesses, electrical switches and transformers, computer keyboards, disposable surgical garments, luggage locks, battery packs and a long list of other products.

There are more than 240 maquila plants in Juarez (second most after Tijuana), employing one hundred thousand people. Most of the workers are very young -- teenagers -- and the majority are girls.

Juarez, of course, is but a snapshot of the much larger reality around the world. Corporate apologists often point out that if the American jobs did not migrate to Mexico, they would go somewhere else -- Singapore or Brazil, Thailand or now perhaps eastern Europe -- where the consequences would be less easily observed by Americans. This is true. The easy mobility of capital is the core element in the modern global economy. It is made possible by invention, brilliant planning and the new technologies that connect corporate managers with far-flung factories and markets and allow them to relocate production almost anywhere in the world.

Given the fierce price competition generated by global production, any single manufacturing company is vulnerable if it does not respond to the trend of seeking out lower labor costs and tax-free havens. In the long run, it is not only Japan and Germany that threaten American prosperity, but the cheap labor of China and Indonesia and Thailand, even Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

To confront the effects of the global system, Americans must educate themselves about the world -- to understand not only their own losses but also what is happening to others. Ciudad Juarez (or any other border city) is an excellent place to start, mainly because it starkly refutes so many of the common assumptions surrounding globalization. Aside from profit, the justifying and widely accepted rationale for global dispersion of production is the benefit to the poor, struggling masses. Their economies, it is said, will move up to a higher stage of development and incomes will rise accordingly. The auto workers in Ohio will lose, certainly, but the new auto workers in Juarez will become middle-class consumers who can afford to buy other products made in America. Thus, in time, everyone is supposed to benefit.

On the streets of Juarez, the workers tell a different story: Their incomes are not rising, not in terms of purchasing power. They have been falling drastically for years. These workers cannot buy American cars or computers. They can barely buy the basic necessities of life.

Fernando Rosales had just quit his job at Chrysler, where he assembled safety harnesses, because it paid the peso equivalent of only $4.20 a day. While he builds a squatter house in Lucio Blanco, Rosales searches for work as an auto mechanic, away from the maquila plants.

"I came here six years ago, thinking I would better myself, but I won't be able to do that," Rosales said. "It's been very difficult. The only benefits I had were transportation -- they sent a bus for us -- and one meal a day. Maybe for the government, it's okay. But for the people it really is shameful that American companies pay such low wages."

"The wages are very low, that's just the way it is," said Daniel Fortino Maltos, twenty-one years old and married with a baby. He works for General Electric at a plant making capacitors, as does his wife. "Young people generally leave after a few months or a year because the salary is so low, they can't make it," he explained.

Outside Productos Electricos Internacionales, another GE plant, a group of teenage workers on their lunch break described the same conditions. "The turnover is roughly every three months," said Fernando Rubio. "They just bring new ones in. There is such a big demand for workers, people can leave and go elsewhere." General Electric operated eight plants in Juarez, more than any other company.

Many of the workers blame the Mexican government for their condition, not the American employers. An older woman, Laura Chavez, who just quit her job at Delmex, a General Motors plant, expected to find another easily because of the extraordinarily high turnover in the maquila factories. "Look, it's not enough," she said. "If you're going to be living off that salary, it's not enough. I don't blame the companies. I blame the Mexican government because the wages are whatever the government requires."

In Mexico, the federal government does periodically raise the legal minimum-wage level but, for the last decade, the increases have lagged further and further behind the rising cost of living -- thus providing cheaper and cheaper labor for the American employers.

Indeed, the maquiladora industry boasts of this attraction in the glossy publication it distributes to prospective companies. In 1981, the industry association reported, the labor cost for a maquila worker was $1.12 an hour. By the end of 1989, the real cost had fallen to 56 cents an hour. [2]

What these workers have surmised is correct: Their own government is exploiting them too. Mired in debt to American banks since the early 1980s, Mexico has been desperate to raise more foreign-currency income to keep up with its foreign-debt payments. Aside from oil, the maquiladora industry provides the country with its largest influx of U.S. dollars, and the Mexican government has attracted more U.S. enterprise by steadily depressing the wages of the workers. If it had not, Mexico might have lost the jobs to its principal low-wage competitors (Singapore or Taiwan or South Korea) and lost the precious foreign-currency income it needed to pay its bankers.

Wages for workers are, thus, falling on both ends of this global transmission belt. The people who lost their premium manufacturing jobs in the United States are compelled to settle for lower incomes. But so are the Mexican peasants who inherited the jobs. On both sides of the border, workers are caught in a vicious competition with one another that richly benefits the employers.

Most labor unions in Mexico did not try to stand in the way of the wage exploitation and those that did were easily brushed aside. In Matamoros, militant unions initially attempted to organize the maquiladora workers but, for fifteen years, the companies simply ignored Matamoros and located their plants in other border cities -- until the Matamoros labor organization relented. In the United States, of course, industrial unions were drastically weakened as well, as they struggled against the shrinking employment and falling wages imposed by the global system.

The wage depression in Mexico is an extreme case, but not at all unique in the world. In many of the other countries attracting global production, similar exchanges occur that victimize workers and their communities and often benefit the country's established oligopoly of wealth and political power. The CEO of an American clothing company was asked if his company's imported goods from China might, in fact, have been manufactured with slave labor. "Everybody is a slave laborer," he replied. "The wage is so cheap." [3]

Most impoverished nations are understandably desperate to participate in this development. The denial of basic human rights is accepted as a temporary blemish; the long-term vision is that someday, when their people have become experienced industrial workers, they will become the next South Korea or Taiwan.

Mexico bought that vision twenty-five years ago when the duty-free rules for the maquiladora zone were first established, but the present reality of Ciudad Juarez and the other border cities denies the promise. The factories exist, it is true, but the capital investments are still easily portable, if attractive options appear elsewhere, and that threat hovers over every maquiladora factory. Meanwhile, the border cities deteriorate further and any attempt to improve them through higher taxes elicits rebukes from the companies.

"The government of Mexico in 1988 suggested a 5 percent tax on salaries that would be dedicated to urban infrastructure," Professor Valdes-Villalva recalled. "The suggestion was up in the air for about ten days before it was knocked down by the companies. The companies were saying they will have to leave if the tax is imposed. The association that represents them shot it down. The government dropped the idea."

Instead of an experienced workforce, the maquiladora zone has created a bewildering stream of young people tumbling randomly from one job to another.

"We have begun to see more fourteen-year-olds in the plants -- children fourteen to sixteen years old," Valdes-Villalva said. "The maquila workers are very young on the whole, we're talking sixteen to twenty-one years old. Usually, the companies are careful to see that the youngest girls and boys get permission slips from their parents.

"Workers do not age in this industry -- they leave. Because of the intensive work it entails, there's constant burnout. If they've been there three or four years, workers lose efficiency. They begin to have problems with eyesight. They begin to have allergies and kidney problems. They are less productive."

By maintaining a young and impermanent workforce, the companies are able to cut down on their labor costs because, under Mexican law, a worker who is fired gets severance pay and is compensated for every year of seniority. If a company plans to leave someday, it does not want a large experienced workforce that will be entitled to severance when the plant is moved to some other country.

The workers themselves matter-of-factly describe the reality of children who have left school for these jobs. "Quite a lot say they are sixteen but I know they are probably thirteen or fourteen or fifteen years old," said Sylvia Facoln at the GE plant. "I know of people who are less than fourteen years old and I myself brought one of them to work here. It's very common in all the maquilas."

The scandal of major American corporations employing adolescent children to do the industrial work that once belonged to American adults has been documented in many settings, yet it provokes no political response in either Washington or Mexico City. The Arizona Republic of Phoenix ran a prizewinning series on the maquiladora across from Nogales, Arizona, where, among other things, the reporter found thirteen-year-old Miriam Borquez working the night shift for General Electric (the same company that cares deeply about educating disadvantaged minorities at home).

The girl quit school to take the job, she explained, because her family needed the money. They were living in a nine-by-sixteen tin hut. The Arizona Republic's conservative editorial page lamented: "Has greed so consumed some businessmen that human lives in Mexico are less valuable than the next saxophone shipped to the U.S. from Sonora?" [4]

Maquiladora officials always protest their innocence in this matter. Mexican labor law permits them to hire fourteen-year-olds if their parents grant permission. These laws are faithfully observed, the officials explain, but companies cannot always verify the true age of young job applicants and children sometimes forge permission slips from parents or use someone else's documents. This is sometimes true, according to Ignacio Escandon, an El Paso businessman familiar with the Juarez labor market, but the excuse hardly relieves the corporations of their moral burden. "The companies don't ask many questions," Escandon said. "The demand for labor is constant."

There is a general lack of political scrutiny. Beyond anecdotes, no one knows the real dimensions of the exploitation. The use of child labor is one of the many aspects of the Mexican maquiladora that has never been authoritatively investigated, since neither government has much interest in exposing the truth.

Environmental damage from the maquiladora plants, likewise, has never been squarely examined by federal authorities though gross violations have been cited in numerous reports and accusations from private citizens and some state agencies. The National Toxics Campaign described the U.S.-Mexican border as already so polluted with dangerous chemicals that it may become a two-thousand-mile Love Canal."

From twenty-three tests, the grassroots environmental organization found seventeen maquiladora sites with significant discharges of toxics in groundwater or streams and eight sites with severe pollution. A University of Texas study found heightened levels of gall bladder and liver cancer in thirty-three Texas counties along the Rio Grande. In Nogales, where the streams (and sewage) flow north into Arizona, Arizona state officials detected a chemical plume of tetrachloroethylene that had crossed the border too. This is but a sampling of the evidence. [5]

In Ciudad Juarez, an official of the maquiladora industry association actually admitted to the El Paso Times that 40 percent or more of the hazardous wastes generated by the Juarez plants was probably dumped illegally. "Now I can't say for sure those maquiladoras are dumping their toxic wastes in the city's sewer system or landfill," Lino Morales told the newspaper, "but where else would they be disposing of it?" [6]

For years, Professor Valdes-Villalva and her associates have tried to track down what the companies do with the toxic chemicals that are brought into the Mexican plants. Mexican law requires that imported hazardous materials must be shipped back to the United States but the researchers could only find customs documents covering less than 5 percent of the volume. They suspect -- but can't prove -- that the bulk is trucked to illegal dumps in the interior, future Superfund sites waiting to be discovered by Mexican authorities.

"For ten years," Valdes-Villalva said, "they told us they handled no toxic wastes. I was attacked by the plants as an alarmist. Now, they are beginning to admit that they do handle toxic wastes but, unless we can find out what they do with the wastes, there's no way to stop them."

The health consequences that frightened American citizens when they first encountered the casual disposal of toxic wastes in their own communities now worry Mexican citizens too. Like the Americans before them, the concerned Mexicans are confronted by official denial and a lack of reliable information to confirm or refute their fears.

"What most concerns me is the health within the plants," Valdes-Villalva said. "This is where we are lacking. We have no money for research, but we hear these complaints from workers. We find high levels of lead in blood samples. We have situations in which we find a tremendous amount of manic depressives, which does not follow the usual amount in the population. So what I'm beginning to think is that this is a central nervous system disorder, physical not psychological. It could be solvents. It's heavily concentrated in the electronics industry. There's also a tremendous number of Down's syndrome children. Other disorders you find in high incidence are cleft palates and other deformities."

Her description of working conditions is echoed in sidewalk conversations with young workers. The group outside the GE electrical assembly plant talked about the skin problems that some coworkers develop from working with fibers -- sometimes severe enough to send them to the hospital. Daniel Fortino described similar problems. "I use zinc and the only protection I've been given are glasses," he said. "Among some of the workers, I know they get all kinds of rashes on their arms and they've been told it's the materials they are using."

Like the American citizens who have formed thousands of grassroots political organizations to combat industrial pollution, Mexican citizens who summon the courage to protest are utterly on their own -- aligned against both industry and government, without the resources to challenge the official explanations or the political influence to force the government to act. But, of course, the Mexican citizens are in a much weaker position to undertake such political struggles. Their communities are impoverished. Their national economy depends crucially on these factories. Their own democratic institutions are weak and underdeveloped or corrupted.

The situation seems overwhelming, but not entirely hopeless. Along the border and elsewhere, some people of both nationalities are beginning to grasp the fact that citizens of neither nation can hope to change their own conditions without the support of the other. Mexicans cannot hope to stand up to General Motors or GE from the colonias of Ciudad Juarez. Nor can Americans expect to defend their own jobs or their own social standards without addressing the hopes and prospects and afflictions of their impoverished neighbors.

Genuine reform will require a new and unprecedented form of cross-border politics in which citizens develop continuing dialogues across national boundaries and learn to speak for their common values. Only by acting together can they hope to end the exploitation, not just in Mexico but elsewhere across the global production system.

This kind of sophisticated internationalism has not been characteristic among Americans, to put it mildly. It raises the stakes enormously for anyone who envisions a revitalized democracy for it means that, in addition to everything else, the restoration of American democracy will depend upon Americans thinking and acting with a larger perspective on the world. Most Americans, aside from what they are told about the Cold War rivalry and occasional military conflicts, have been educated into ignorance about the world at large.

That is the daunting nature of the global political dilemma. People like Valdes-Villalva have already seen it clearly and so do some Americans. A Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras was formed in 1991 by more than sixty American environmental, religious, community and labor organizations, including the AFL-CIO, in order to speak out against the injustices and confront the multinational corporations with demands for civilized conduct. Leaders from the Mexican maquiladora communities are being brought to the United States to spread the word to Americans on the true nature of the global economic system. [7]

"Moral behavior knows no borders," Sister Susan Mika, president of the coalition, declared. "What would be wrong in the United States is wrong in Mexico too."

Valdes-Villalva described the new democratic imperative:

"In order for workers to protect themselves, they have to see that they are tied to workers worldwide," she said. "It is the transnational economy that is undermining labor. A new union has to emerge that crosses national borders and makes a closer relationship among workers -- a new kind of union that cooperates worldwide. Companies can make agreements among themselves about markets and production. The only competition in the global economy is between the workers."


Wolfgang Sachs, the German social critic, offered a mordant metaphor to describe the antidemocratic qualities of the global economy. The global marketplace, he said, has become the world's new "closet dictator."

"The fear of falling behind in international competition has become the predominant organizing principle of politics, North and South, East and West," Sachs wrote. "Both enterprises and entire states see themselves trapped in a situation of relentless competition, where each participant is dependent on the decisions of all other players. What falls by the wayside in this hurly-burly is the possibility for self-determination." [8]

Others have expressed similar perceptions, albeit less dramatically. Jacques Attali, the French economist, noted: "We already know they [the global economic changes] demand that politicians and statesmen accept the unpopular abandonment of sovereignty." W. Michael Blumenthal, chairman of Unisys: "I wouldn't say the nation-state is dead, but the sovereignty has been greatly circumscribed ... even for a country as large as the U.S." [9]

For Americans, this is a new experience, profoundly at odds with national history and democratic legacy. We are now, suddenly, a nation whose citizens can no longer decide their own destiny. The implications offend the optimism and self-reliance of the American character, eclipsing our typical disregard for the rest of the world. Citizens of most foreign nations-smaller, less powerful and more dependent on others -- have had considerable practical experience with the limitations and frustrations of global interdependency. Americans have not. They are just beginning to discover what global economics means for their own politics.

ACORN, the grassroots citizens' organization, discovered, for instance, that the prospect for financing low-income housing -- a major priority for its members -- had been seriously damaged by a new banking regulation that assigns an extremely high risk rating to bank lending for multifamily housing projects. "This will be a disaster for poor people unless Congress intervenes immediately," Jane Uebelhoer of ACORN testified. "This is outright government red-lining and it will be the end of low-income home ownership in Detroit, in Chicago, in New York and elsewhere." [10]

But the new credit regulation did not flow out of any legislation enacted by Congress and the president. It was a small detail in an international agreement forged among the central bankers from a dozen industrial countries, including the United States. The central bankers met periodically in Basel, Switzerland, for several years as the Committee on Banking Regulations and Supervisory Practices, trying to reconcile the different banking laws of competing nations and create a "level playing field" that would standardize the capital requirements for banks.

America's representative (and the leading promoter of the agreement) was the Federal Reserve, the nonelected central bank that enjoys formal insulation from political accountability. While America's most important multinational banks were consulted beforehand, no consumer representatives were included in the Federal Reserve's deliberations nor were any of the groups that speak for low-income home buyers. [11]

By the time ACORN and other community organizations saw the implications, the Federal Reserve had already issued the implementing regulations. Unfavorable terms were thus set for low-income housing and decided in an obscure venue far distant from the affected citizens or even from their elected representatives. Community housing advocates pleaded with Congress (to no avail) to undo the deal fashioned in Switzerland. They asked the Federal Reserve and other bank regulatory agencies to reconsider (also to no avail).

"When we talk to the federal regulators," Chris Lewis, an ACORN lobbyist, complained, "they say to us: 'Oh, that's an international treaty, we can't possibly do anything about that.' So now we have housing policy determined by central bankers with no accountability whatsoever."

American politics, in other words, is moving offshore. The nature of the global economy pushes every important political debate in that direction -- further and further away from the citizens. As companies become multinational, able to coordinate production from many places and unify markets across national boundaries, they are taking the governing issues with them. From arcane regulatory provisions to large questions of national priorities, the corporations, not governments, become the connecting strand in offshore politics, since they are the only organizations active in every place and coping with all the world's many differences.

Arguments that were once decided, up or down, in the public forums of democratic debate are now floating off into the murk of international diplomacy and deal making, They are to be decided in settings where neither American citizens nor their elected representatives can be heard, where no institutional rules exist to guarantee democratic access and accountability.

Environmental activists discovered, for instance, that U.S. proposals for the current round of international trade negotiations would effectively vitiate domestic laws on food safety by assigning the question of standards to an obscure UN-sponsored commission in Rome. If the nation (or a state government) enacts laws on pesticides or food additives that exceed the health standards set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in Rome, then other nations can declare that the environmental standards are artificial "trade barriers" designed to block foreign products and, therefore, subject to penalties or retaliation.

The goal proclaimed by Bush's trade negotiators is to "harmonize" environmental laws across the boundaries of individual nations to encourage freer trade. But that objective, inevitably, means lowering U.S. standards. Indeed, that is the objective for major components of American agribusiness, including the multinational chemical manufacturers who are enthusiastic supporters of what is blandly called "harmonization."

Agriculture Secretary Clayton Yeutter (later named national Republican chairman) declared: "If the rest of the world can agree what the standard ought to be on a given product, maybe the U.S. or the European Community will have to admit they are wrong when their standards differ." [12]

Thus, laws and regulation that go beyond the status-quo consensus of the global economy are depicted as obstacles to prosperity. When California voters ratified their strict new food-labeling law by referendum in 1986, Yeutter accused California of "going off on a tangent" by writing its own rules. "How can we get international harmonization when we can't get it here at home?" he complained. When the European Community proposed a ban on imported beef treated with artificial growth hormones (that is, U.S. beef), Yeutter objected that the European regulation would "contravene our mutual objective of achieving international harmonization in this sensitive area of food safety."

Yeutter's real target, as his remarks made clear, was the domestic political opposition from American environmentalists who are themselves pushing for more stringent food regulations. The European ban, he complained, will simply "add fuel to the fires for those who wish to have public policy decisions made on the basis of emotion and political pressure." [13]

The scientific experts whom Yeutter claims will make rational decisions, free of "emotion and political pressure," are not free of corporate influence, however. The Codex is an obscure agency utterly unknown to ordinary citizens, but the multinational companies that help devise its standards are well aware of its significance. At a recent session of the commission, the American delegation included executives from three major chemical companies -- Du Pont, Monsanto and Hercules -- serving alongside U.S. government officials. Among other things, the Codex standard permits DDT residues on fruit and vegetables that are thirty-three to fifty times higher than U.S. law allows. [14]

As environmentalists and some allied farm groups have argued, the current round of high- level treaty negotiations known as GATT (for General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) is actually aimed at fostering a new generation of deregulation for business -- without the inconvenience of domestic political debate.

"The U.S. proposals (for GATT) represent a radical attempt to preempt the authority of its own citizens and the citizenry of other countries to regulate commerce in the pursuit of environmental and social ends," David Morris of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in St. Paul, Minnesota, declared. "It is an attempt to impose a laissez-faire philosophy on a worldwide basis, to allow the global corporations unfettered ability to transfer capital, goods, services and raw materials across national boundaries."

Other citizen groups and interests, from sugar growers to insurance companies to state governments, have also discovered that global politics is encroaching on their domains. Japan protests that state-set limits on U.S. timber harvesting constitute a GATT violation. European trade officials complain that the state of Maine's new law on throwaway bottles is an artificial trade barrier that the federal government should preempt in accordance with the international trade agreement.

The centrifugal diversity of the American federalist system, in which states can legislate and experiment independent of the national government, is thus headed for collision with the leveling, homogenizing force of the global marketplace. One or the other will have to yield power and prerogatives. [15]
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Postby admin » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:05 am

PART 2 OF 2 (CH. 17 CONT'D.)

American democracy is ill equipped to cope with offshore politics, both in its institutional arrangements and in its customary responses to foreign affairs. Treaty making and diplomacy belong traditionally to the presidency, even though the U.S. Senate must ratify the results, and there is a time-honored tendency to defer to the chief executive in negotiating foreign relations so that the nation may speak with one voice.

Congress, for instance, has ceded its lawmaking authority to the president across vast areas by authorizing the so-called "fast track" status for trade negotiations like GATT or the proposed trade agreement with Mexico. "Fast track" means that, when the agreement is completed, Congress will take only a single up-or-down vote on approving the entire package, with no chance to amend or reject particular sections. Naturally, this strengthens the president's bargaining position in the international arena, but it also cuts out the democratic process.

Since the trade agreements will repeal or alter numerous sections of existing domestic law, the members of Congress have put themselves in a very weak position to legislate. The only way to resist these changes in law will be to vote "no" on the finished trade agreement and thus undercut the president in global affairs. This would also incur the wrath of corporate interests and the other sectors who are beneficiaries.

The "fast track" approach is another form of political cover for cowardly legislators -- a way for them to accomplish unpopular results while pleading that their hands are tied by the president. In 1991, both organized labor and a broad front of environmental groups joined forces to mount an energetic campaign against the "fast track" status for the Mexican trade negotiations. They cited the maquiladora experience as evidence of what will follow in terms of lost jobs, environmental damage and exploitation of Mexican workers. They lost -- a measure of how strongly the corporate political organizations (and conventional wisdom) are pulling in the opposite direction. [16]

The overall political effect of globalization is to further enhance the power of the presidency -- just as the Cold War did -- at the expense of representative forums, public debate and accountability. Once an issue has become part of high-level diplomatic exchanges, all of the details naturally become murkier, since negotiators do not wish to talk too freely about their negotiating strategies. The discussions often literally move offshore and behind closed doors -- more irregular deal making that will have the force of law.

When international deals are being struck, it mailers enormously who is doing the bargaining and who is in the room offering expert advice. The so-called G-7, for instance, meets regularly to "coordinate" economic policies among the major industrial nations (including fiscal policy, a realm the Constitution assigns to Congress). Yet there is no visible procedure -- much less legislated agenda -- by which the Treasury secretary or the Federal Reserve chairman is empowered to make international economic policy for the nation. Those two officers, by their nature, represent a very narrow spectrum of American interests-mainly banks and the financial system -- and they cannot be expected to reflect the full, rich diversity of American perspectives on economic issues. Bankers are well represented, but who speaks for the home builders or the auto industry or machine tools or the farmers?

Substantial institutional reforms are needed, obviously, to prevent global politics from gradually eclipsing the substance of democratic debate and action. At the very least, that would mean democratizing reforms to ventilate the U.S. negotiating routines in a systematic way so that everyone can follow the action. It might also require refusal to participate in any international forum or agency that lacks democratic access to the information and decision making. If the chemical companies can lobby the Codex in Rome for weaker health standards, then surely any other American citizen should be able to sit at the table too. When central bankers meet in Basel to decide U.S. housing policy, then housing advocates should also be in the room.

The first, overriding imperative, however, is to defend the nation's power to govern its own affairs. If democracy is to retain any meaning, Americans will need to draw a hard line in defense of their own national sovereignty. This is not just about protecting American jobs, but also about protecting the very core of self-government -- laws that are fashioned in open debate by representatives who are directly accountable to the people. Among other things, this challenge requires Congress to confront the presidency and restrain it -- to refuse to grant the chief executive the power to bargain away American laws in the name of free trade or competitiveness or any other slogan.

Offshore politics threatens the ability of free people to decide the terms of their own social relations; it allows the closet dictator to decide things according to the narrow interest of "efficiency." The "harmonizing" process begins with the regulatory laws that business interests consider meddlesome and too expensive, but the attack will lead eventually to the nation's largest social guarantees, welfare or Social Security or health, since those programs also add to the cost of production and thus interfere with the free-flowing commerce among boundaryless companies.

Who will decide what is equitable and just for American society? A closed meeting of finance ministers in Geneva? An obscure group of experts in Rome coached by corporate lobbyists? Such questions have already penetrated the fabric of self-government. Americans, in addition to their other democratic burdens, need to get educated on the answers.

Other nations, with more experience at global interdependence, are caught in the same pressures, but many of them understand, much better than Americans do, how to protect their own social values and institutions against the closet dictator's hand. Japan is the leading example of a nation that espouses free trade but ignores the principle whenever it needs to defend its domestic institutions against foreign intrusion. Japan does not do this only for economic advantage, as Americans suppose, but often to satisfy domestic political values. Japan shelters its rice growers from cheap imports (that is, American rice) because the island nation feels strongly about self-sufficient food production. It protects small retail outlets against the intrusion of giant retailing corporations because the tradition of small shops and shop owners is valued.

Japan breaks the "rules" in countless ways when its own prerogatives are threatened by global economics, but so do many others. The nations of western Europe have resisted more successfully than the American government has, even as they move toward an integrated European economic community. For that matter, many developing nations impose protective rules as the entry price for foreign investment, rules the multinational companies cheerfully accept. Some countries, such as South Korea, virtually seal their borders to foreign products that might undermine domestic development. Only in America are these governmental actions regarded as forbidden. [17]

The political problem this issue poses in America, aside from the ignorance and powerlessness of citizens, is that the elite groups that govern are mobilized on the other side. The elites of media, business, academia and politics have already made up their minds on these questions. They are committed to promoting the global economic system -- and to defending it against the occasional attacks from angry, injured citizens.

To speak for national sovereignty, to speak on behalf of American jobs or political values, is to be labeled reactionary by the dominant political culture. The corporate political organizations, with their overwhelming resources, are able to depict any dissenting voice as a backward protectionist, standing in the way of modernizing enterprise. The gross injustices of global commerce are concealed behind the high-minded platitudes about free trade.

The governing elites face one large impediment, however, in their campaign for unfettered globalization: The American public, on the whole, doesn't buy it. As virtually every opinion poll demonstrates, the public wants the national government to defend American jobs and economic independence more aggressively, especially against trading partners like Japan or West Germany. The public envisions the U.S. government leading the world toward stronger public standards on the environment and other issues, not promoting the leveling process that pul1s American laws down to the lowest common denominator. Americans, it is true, may be unfamiliar with the complexities of global politics, but their gut suspicion -- that valuable assets are being lost -- is not misguided.

The tension on this subject between the people at large and the powerful interests that dominate politics and government is emerging as the most serious, fundamental conflict in the decayed American democracy. The politics of the global economy, more profoundly than any other issue, puts the self-interest of the governing elites in conflict with the common ambitions of the governed. The governing elites have the power to advance their own narrow interests. For the public at large, however, their actions carry disturbing implications of disloyalty and betrayal.


The concept of the "boundaryless company" has now become commonplace among executives of major multinational corporations. They are American companies -- sort of but not really, only now and then when it suits them. IBM, the flagship of American industrial enterprise, is composed of 40 percent foreign employees. Whirlpool is mostly not Americans. GE puts its logo on microwaves made by Samsung in South Korea. [18] Chrysler buys cars from Mitsubishi and sells them as its own. America's most important banks operate legally authorized "foreign facilities" right in Manhattan for the benefit of depositors who wish to keep their money "offshore."

The question of what is foreign and what is American has become wildly scrambled by global commerce. The multinational enterprises, unlike Americans generally, are already securing alliances in this fierce world of global competition-networks of joint ventures, coproduction and shared ownership with their ostensible rivals in the world, including state-owned enterprises in foreign nations. Every U.S. auto company has become partners one way or another with its competitors, the Japanese car companies. Producers of electronic equipment, computers, even aircraft have melded their American citizenship in similar arrangements.

Multinational executives work to enhance the company, not the country. The president of NCR Corporation told The New York Times: "I was asked the other day about United States competitiveness and I replied that I don't think about it at all." A vice-president of Colgate-Palmolive observed: "The United States does not have an automatic call on our resources. There is no mindset that puts this country first." And the head of GE Taiwan, where so many U.S. industrial jobs have migrated, explained: "The U.S. trade deficit is not the most important thing in my life ... running an effective business is." [19]

John Reed, CEO of Citibank, America's largest troubled bank, has said he is actively scouting options for moving the corporation headquarters to a foreign country in order to escape U.S. banking laws. "The United States is the wrong country for an international bank to be based," Reed declared. Meanwhile, his bank's deposits are protected by the U.S. taxpayers and his lobbyists in Washington actively promote a multi-billion-dollar government bailout to save large commercial banks like Citibank from insolvency. [20]

These men are merely expressing the prevailing values of the "stateless corporation," as Business Week called it. This creature operates most successfully when it discards sentimental attachments like patriotism and analyzes global opportunities with a cold, clear eye. Some of these same corporations, it is true, wave the flag vigorously when bidding for defense contracts or beseeching the U.S. government for tax subsidies, but their exuberant Americanism dissipates rapidly when the subject is wages or the burden of supporting public institutions.

Their weak national loyalty has profound implications for the nation's politics because these men, on the whole, are also influential voices in shaping the outlines (and often the close details) of national economic policy -- not just for trade policy, but for taxation and government spending priorities. Politicians in both parties (especially the Republican party) defer to their worldly .experience. Most economists and political commentators have embraced their argument that America's future prosperity will be best served by a laissez- faire regime in which governments get out of the way and let the marketplace develop its global structure.

But here is the blunt question: Can these people really be trusted to speak for the rest of us? How can they faithfully define America's best interest when their own business strategies are designed to escape the bounds of national loyalty? What is good for IBM or General Electric mayor may not be reliable advice for the country as a whole and for most of its citizens.


The impressive fact about ordinary Americans is that, despite years of education and propaganda, they still cling stubbornly to their skepticism about the global economy. With the usual condescension, elite commentators dismiss the popular expressions of concern as uninformed and nativist, the misplaced fears of people ill equipped to grasp the larger dimensions of economics.

Ordinary citizens generally form their economic opinions and perceptions, not from distant abstractions or even from the endless tides of propaganda, but from their own commonsense values and their own firsthand experiences. What they have seen of the global economy in the last two decades tells them to be wary and even hostile. In a functioning democracy, these popular insights, though not derived from sophisticated techniques of analysis, would be respected as the baseline for political debate and decision making.

Common sense tells people that it cannot be good for America's long-term prosperity to lose millions of high-wage manufacturing jobs. Even if this hasn't affected their own employment, it means that middle-class families are losing the wherewithal to be viable consumers, and sooner or later, that has to hurt the overall economy. Workers know this; so do merchants.

While most citizens do not sit down and try to calculate exactly what "declining real wages" have meant to their own incomes, they do know something bad is happening to them. They are working longer hours, but their paychecks don't seem to buy the same things they used to buy. When they go to look for a new car or a home, they discover that their idea of where they stood financially was mistaken -- their expectations are now beyond the reach of their incomes. This widely shared anxiety is expressed in opinion polls as a preoccupation with the "cost of living" and, when analyzed by political elites, is interpreted as a complaint about rising prices and inflation.

Actually, as pollster Stanley Greenberg discovered in his focus groups with voters, the personal fears about the "cost of living" are really grounded in shrinking wages. The common perceptions are quite accurate. In 1979, for instance, an American worker earning average wages had to work twenty-three weeks to earn enough to buy an average-priced car. A decade later, he or she had to work thirty-two weeks to buy the same car. As the president of Chrysler put it: "We're looking at the pooring of America."

At this stage, people are not much beyond a general quandary about why this is happening to them. If pressed for explanations, they will blame various things, from welfare and affirmative action to crooked politicians. But the principal explanation expressed in public opinion is foreign competition. Industrial workers, who have now had two decades of close experience with the global marketplace, are more knowledgeable than others. They can explain the effects of internationalized labor and pricing in rich, detailed analysis based on the circumstances in their own workplaces. Americans are gradually being educated about the world through their own painful encounters with it.

People generally do not have coherent ideas about how the wage deterioration might be reversed -- except that the government ought to be fighting aggressively on that front. Virtually no one in the top ranks of American politics -- with the exception of the Reverend Jesse Jackson -- speaks for this unorthodox point of view. To take it seriously would require politicians to debate the nature of the "stateless corporations" and entertain legislation aimed at their unfettered conduct.

The erosion of U.S. wages has proceeded unevenly since the early 1970s and will not soon be reversed. An average weekly paycheck worth $270 in 1981, if measured in constant purchasing power, declined to $254 by 1991 and is heading still lower. This average loss was, of course, not spread uniformly through the society, since some gained enormously while many others lost much more than the average. [21]

In fact, many orthodox economists routinely assume that the American wage decline must continue for at least another generation. The subject came up occasionally during interviews I conducted with various economists at Wall Street brokerages in the mid-1980s and the Wall Street economists, without exception, predicted further erosion for the next twenty to twenty-five years. Unfortunate but inevitable, they said. The trend is driven, they explained, by the deep and ineluctable process in which worldwide wage patterns are moving toward equilibrium -- a "harmonization" of labor costs among nations, just as some officials wish to "harmonize" the environmental laws.

American workers will not descend to the poverty levels of Indonesia or Bangladesh, the economists assured me, but their standard of living must decline further until the relative costs and advantages of production locations in the world system have found a balancing point. American workers, once the best paid in the world, have naturally suffered the consequences first but, over time, others will feel it too. U.S. industrial wages have already fallen behind those of Germany and some other European nations, even though American productivity remains the highest in the world.

Apostles of the global economy constantly preach to American workers that, if they want to maintain their incomes, they must increase their productivity. But the evidence of the 1980s contradicts those sermons. The productivity of U. S. workers overall increased cumulatively by more than 12 percent during the decade, while their hourly wage rates increased by only 2 percent. For manufacturing workers, the disparity was much greater: Their output per hour increased most dramatically during the industrial realignments of the 1980s, but they were not compensated for it. [22]

The dismal forecast for American wages is a predicate for explosive politics in America, but the Wall Street economists did not anticipate any great rebellion. Wages have been falling for nearly two decades, they noted, and so far the American people have accepted it with patience and maturity. Indeed, American voters keep electing conservative governments that are committed to unfettered globalization.

The trend, however, has a flavor of betrayal that could ignite political upheaval, as it becomes clearer to people. The globalization process is generating great prosperity for the upper stratum of the society, the best-educated and least vulnerable citizens. Roughly speaking, if one is securely connected to one of the emerging global enterprises, whether American or foreign-owned, the future looks bright. Indeed, the last decade has been an extraordinary time of expanding incomes and wealth for those who are managers or professionals or investors attached to the international commerce.

The fissuring of common interests -- and the power relationship behind it -- is expressed most vividly in what has happened to executive compensation. The people at the top are literally leaving everyone else behind. Between 1977 and 1990, the period when average wages were stagnating, compensation for top corporate executives rose by 220 percent (this was, of course, also when the people in the top income brackets were winning their dramatic tax cuts). In 1960, the average pay for chief executives at the largest American corporations, after taxes, was twelve times greater than the average wage for factory workers. By 1990, it was seventy times greater. [23]

In fact, the upper stratum of citizens and their global enterprises benefit enormously from the very things that injure the other classes of workers -- the depression of wages and the dismantling of national sovereignty. National interest is fracturing into two distinct and opposing poles. The new global elites are gradually "seceding" from their responsibilities to the general well-being of the nation, as Robert B. Reich has put it. The process could accurately be described in harsher terms -- as betrayal -- except that probably no one sets out deliberately to accomplish that. It is simply a matter of the people with power taking care of themselves, while leaving the nation mired in an awesome backlog of economic and social problems.

The diverging political interest explains much of what has happened in government in recent years and it shows up regularly in different forms on the governing agenda. The Bush administration's bank reform proposal, for instance, was based on the German and Japanese model of concentrated banking power and designed to create a handful of U.S. global banks, freed of regulatory restriction and able to dominate American industry as well as finance (though still sheltered from loss by the "full faith and credit" of the American taxpayers).

In education, the so-called "school choice" issue is also an effort of elites to separate themselves from the mass. Stripped of reformer rhetoric, "school choice" is really a scheme to divert taxpayer financing to private schools and thus foster a two-tiered educational system -- an elite, selective school system that trains the professional talent needed by global enterprise and an underfinanced public school system for everyone else. The Business Roundtable and leading multinational companies are promoting the cause as their own -- in the name of competitiveness.

The elites' abandonment of national loyalty is also reflected in the political commerce of Washington. It is now commonplace for top operatives in both parties to use the skills and influence they acquired from government service on behalf of foreign interests. The Center for Public Integrity checked the career paths of fifty-three senior officials who had left the office of U.S. trade representative over fifteen years and found that 47 percent of them went to work for the other side -- registered as foreign agents.

"Japan is running an ongoing political campaign in America as if it were a third major political party, " economist Pat Choate wrote in his book Agents of Influence, which described the awesome dimensions of how the Japanese interests manipulate U.S. policy through their hired American agents. [24]

Focusing on the influential Americans who work as Japanese agents misses the fundamental point, however, and wrongly demonizes that country. The Japanese are simply emulating -- albeit with lots of money -- the methodology of American corporate politics, They have adapted efficiently to Washington's techniques for mock democracy: Hire squads of well-connected lobbyists and lawyers from both political parties, contribute generously to think tanks and other ostensibly civic organizations, finance research and propaganda on behalf of your position. "A big part of the problem," said Karel van Wolferen, the Dutch journalist who is an authority on Japanese politics, "is that Americans can be bought so easily."

The more fundamental point, however, is that the Japanese line in American politics is not essentially different from the line of America's own multinational corporations and banks. The two interests even merge in such places as the Institute for International Economics, where they speak as one voice. Japanese and American multinationals compete with one another for market shares in global commerce, but both want roughly the same things from the U.S. government -- the same policies on trade, on taxes, on managing the American economy.

The unpleasant truth is that, on the largest political issues, the views of America's global corporations are much closer to those of their Japanese economic rivals than they are to those of the majority of American citizens. For that matter, the managers and technicians active everywhere in global commerce are closer to their counterparts in other nations than to their fellow citizens. They have a common political perspective, regardless of their citizenship, which they promote in the politics of Europe, Asia and the United States. In America, a bewildered and intimidated political system can no longer even figure out what the "American position" is.


The majority of Americans are not wrong in their unsophisticated skepticism. The new reality of global competition generates a vicious economic trap for worldwide prosperity: a permanent condition of overcapacity in production that insures destructive economic consequences. Simply put, the world's existing structure of manufacturing facilities, constantly being expanded on cheap labor and new technologies, can now turn out far more goods than the world's consumers can afford to buy. That is, more cars, computers, aircraft, appliances, steel and so forth are made than the marketplace can possibly absorb.

The auto industry is an uncomplicated example: Auto factories worldwide have the capacity to produce 45 million cars annually for a market that, in the best years, will buy no more than 35 million cars. "We have too many cars chasing too few drivers," a Chrysler executive remarked. The economic consequences are obvious: Somebody has to close his auto factory and stop producing. This marketplace imbalance in supply and demand is the larger reality that underlies the fierce competition for advantage among companies and among nations -- the awesome force driving everyone toward the lowest common denominator.

Whose factory must be closed to bring the worldwide supply into balance with the worldwide demand? Whose workers will be laid off? The older, less modern factories are closed first, of course, but also the plants that pay the highest wages and the ones where government provides less generous tax subsidies to the employer. American workers in steel and autos and other industries have had a lot of experience watching this process at work -- seeing factories they knew were viable and productive suddenly declared obsolete. But so will workers in the less abundant nations. This process closed Ohio factories and someday it will close Mexico's. So long as global productive capacity exceeds global demand by such extravagant margins, somebody somewhere in the world has to keep closing factories, old and new.

The companies have no choice. They must keep moving their production, keep seeking the lowest possible costs and most favorable political conditions, in order to defend their market shares. Eventually, as economist Jeff Faux has written, South Korea will be losing jobs to cheap labor in Thailand and even China may someday lose factories to Bangladesh. The popular notion among struggling nations that they can someday become the next South Korea -- as the reward for a generation or so of the degradation of their workers -- is fatally at odds with the logic of permanent overcapacity. The Mexican maquiladora cities thought they were going to become the next South Korea, but instead they may be the next Detroit. [25]

In fundamental economic terms, the globalization process produces three interlocking economic consequences that together are deleterious to everyone's well-being. First, it destroys capital on a large scale by rendering productive investments useless to the marketplace. That is the meaning of closing viable factories that can no longer meet the price competition: The invested capital is lost, the idle factories are written off as tax losses. Modernizing production with new technologies always produces this destruction, of course, but the global dispersion of production lives on it -- like a game of checkers in which advantage goes to the player who made the last jump.

Second, the overcapacity permanently depresses wage levels worldwide, since no workers anywhere can organize and bargain very successfully against the threat of a closed factory, whether they are well-paid Americans or impoverished peasants working somewhere in the Third World.

Finally, these two effects -- the instability of capital investment and the depression of wages -- combine to guarantee that global demand can never catch up with global supply. New consumers for the world's output, to be sure, emerge with new development, but other existing consumers are lost, as their jobs are lost or their wages decline in real terms. So long as the process is allowed to run its course, the flight will continue downhill -- too many factories making too many goods for a marketplace where too many families lack the wherewithal to buy them.

The way out of this economic trap is a grand political strategy for growth that focuses on workers and wages worldwide. The global economy can proceed to develop, without the destructive qualities, if an economic order of accelerated global growth is designed to generate rising incomes for ordinary citizens and, thus, greater consumer capacity for what the world is able to produce. A strategy that fosters higher wage levels would gradually unwind the condition of enormous overcapacity, while it also discourages the desperate edge of capital flight.

This approach would require, of course, a great reversal in the conservative economic doctrines that now dominate most governments in the industrial world. It would also require convincing guarantees to the citizens of impoverished nations who long for jobs -- guarantees that they will not be shut out of the rising prosperity. The economic policies for accomplishing such a strategy are plausible enough. What is not plausible at this moment in history is the politics. [26]

* * *

It does not require great political imagination to see that the world system is heading toward a further dispersion of governing power so the closet dictator of the marketplace can command things more efficiently, from everywhere and nowhere. The historic paradox is breathtaking: At the very moment when western democracies and capitalism have triumphed over the communist alternative, their own systems of self-government are being gradually unraveled by the market system.

To cope with this complicated new world, every government naturally seeks to centralize its command of policy and thus become more hierarchical, less democratic. Societies like Japan have a natural advantage because they already practice a feudal form of state- administered capitalism, dominated by a one-party monopoly in politics, managed through government-assisted cartels and insulated from popular resistance. Some elites in the United States, though they do not say so directly, would like to emulate the efficiency of the Japanese political structure -- equipping the chief executive with even more authority and putting citizens at even greater distance from government.

For many years, a wishful presumption has existed that, in time, the hegemony of global corporations would lead the way to the construction of a new international political order - world institutions that have the representative capacity to govern equitably across national borders. That prospect is not at hand in our time.

On the contrary, what is emerging for now is a power system that more nearly resembles a kind of global feudalism -- a system in which the private economic enterprises function like rival dukes and barons, warring for territories across the world and oblivious to local interests, since none of the local centers are strong enough to govern them. Like feudal lords, the stateless corporations will make alliances with one another or launch raids against one another's stake. They will play weakening national governments off against each other and select obscure offshore meeting places to decide the terms of law governing their competition. National armies, including especially America's, will exist mainly to keep the contest free of interference.

In that event, the vast throngs of citizens are reduced to a political position resembling that of the serfs or small landholders who followed church or nobility in the feudal system. They will be utterly dependent on the fortunes of the corporate regimes, the dukes and barons flying their national flag. But citizens will have nothing much to say about the governing of these global institutions, for those questions will have moved beyond their own government. If national laws are rendered impotent, then so are a nation's citizens.

A different vision of the future requires great political imagination -- a new democratic sensibility in which people in many places manage simultaneously to overcome their sense of helplessness. Americans, given their heritage, are as well positioned as anyone in the world to take up the challenge and begin to develop a different script, one that is grounded in democratic principle and action. As its starting point, ironically, this requires a wise, purposeful kind of nationalism -- in which Americans confront the global system and defend their own political values against it.

A single nation is not helpless before these forces, despite what conventional wisdom teaches, and the United States especially is not helpless. Citizens have enormous potential leverage over the global economy if they decide to use it through their own national governing system. A corporation's behavior abroad is not separable from its home country because it enjoys so many special benefits at home.

In the United States, a multinational corporation that wishes to be treated as an American citizen for the purposes of the law and government benefits can be made to play by America's rules, just as Japan's are, or else surrender all the tax subsidies, government contracts and other considerations, including national defense, that American taxpayers provide.

Why should Americans, for instance, provide research and development tax subsidies for corporations that intend to export their new production and to violate common standards of decency by exploiting the weak? Why should American military forces be deployed to protect companies that do not reciprocate the national loyalty?

These are among the many contradictions created by the global system that only nationalism can reconcile. American law cannot police the world and need not try, but it can police what is American. To take the starkest example, no U.S. company should be treated as a lawful entity, entitled to all the usual privileges, if its production is found to exploit child labor in other countries. The same approach applies across the range of corporate behavior, from environmental degradation to ignoring tax laws.

The American political system also has enormous leverage over the behavior of foreign-owned multinational enterprises -- access to the largest, richest marketplace in the world. Because of that asset, the United States could lead the way to new international standards of conduct by first asserting its own values unilaterally. If trade depends upon price advantages derived mainly from poverty wages for children or defenseless workers prohibited from organizing their own unions or factories that cause great environmental destruction, this trade cannot truly be called free.

The purpose of asserting America's political power through its own marketplace would be to create the incentive for a new international system of global standards, one which all the trading nations would negotiate and accept. For a start, the United States ought to reject any new trade agreements that do not include a meaningful social contract -- rules that establish baseline standards for health, labor law, working conditions, the environment, wages. The U.S. government might also prohibit the familiar tax-dodging practices of companies that exploit communities as the price for new jobs. Indeed, companies ought to post community bonds when they relocate -- guaranteeing that they will not run away from their obligations to develop roads and schools and the other public investments. [27]

Fundamentally, it is not just the exploited workers in the United States who need a higher minimum-wage law. The world economy needs a global minimum-wage law -- one that establishes a rising floor under the most impoverished workers in industrial employment. A global minimum-wage law would recognize, of course, the wide gaps that exist between rich and poor, but it could establish flexible ratios aimed at gradually reducing the differences and prohibiting raw exploitation like that in the maquiladora zone in Mexico. No one imagines that world incomes will be equalized, not in our time certainly. But, as nations move toward equilibrium, they ought to be governed by a global economic system that pushes the bottom up rather than pulling the top down.

The democratic imperative is nothing less than that: to refashion the global economy so that it runs uphill for everyone, so that it enhances democracy rather than crippling it, so that the economic returns are distributed widely among all classes instead of narrowly at the top. This is the daunting outline of the next frontier for citizens who still believe in the idea of democracy. It will be as difficult as any barrier to democracy that Americans have faced previously in their history.

Despite our insularity, Americans are equipped in special ways to lead the next march toward democracy. After all, we have come from almost everywhere else in the world. Many of us still speak the languages of home countries and still know the cultures and political contexts of other places. Furthermore, the American popular culture travels before us everywhere in the world, expressing the nation's joyful sense of invention and optimism and individualism -- the American qualities others wish to share.

The American people, however, also have a peculiar handicap to overcome. It is their own source of shame. While the American system is the world's beacon, speaking to the universal thirst for democratic possibilities, the reality of democracy is quite different at home, as Americans know. However brave and resourceful they may be, Americans cannot teach democracy to the world until they restore their own.
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Postby admin » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:07 am

Conclusion: The American Moment

My earliest political memory was the death of Lincoln when I cried inconsolably. I was four or five years old at the time and my mother read to me from one of those picture books with exemplary messages. The story of Lincoln's life unfolded in simple black-and-white etchings, from the humble origins in a frontier cabin to the White House. Young Abe learning to read by the light of the hearth, honest Abe the store clerk who walked many miles to return a customer's change, President Lincoln who freed the slaves and preserved the Union. Then, at the moment of triumph, the cruel assassination. The pictures ended in black bunting, a tragedy I found inexplicable.

My mother, who has romantic sensibilities, did not attempt to explain away the contradiction. Life is strange, life is wonderful, she often mused. The best and the worst, she meant, are frequently side by side in human experience. I came away, I suppose, with her melodramatic sense of things.

Lincoln, I believed as a child, was the actual fulfillment of America's democratic faith. He embodied the possibility that sovereign citizens, regardless of birth or status, could collectively decide their own destiny and somehow become greater than themselves. Yet the potential for tragic disappointment was also always present.

As an adult, I read deeper histories and learned the mature facts about Lincoln, the devious politician, the elusive and uncertain commander, but none of this contradicted what I had learned as a child. In fact, the full portrait made Lincoln seem even larger because, fully human and fallible, he could encompass every paradox about the nation's character -- the crass and cunning side alongside its virtuous principles, the blind willfulness and also America's capacity to defy history.

He was still Lincoln. He still stood for an idea of democracy that I think is now widely dismissed as mystical -- the belief that only from the many can this nation fulfill its larger qualities. My impression is that many Americans, perhaps most of them, no longer really believe this. Or they are sullenly resigned to the assumption that, given modern complexities, a genuine, full-throated democracy is no longer practical in America. Given the realities of power, it no longer seems plausible to them. Possibly, they are correct. If so, America will come to be identified, like other nations before it, by its grosser parts -- mere geography defined by muscle and appetites and national eccentricities.

I choose to believe otherwise: The American saga always was and still remains a difficult search for democratic meaning. This nation, more than most, is driven by a transcendental imperative, an idea never fully realized, often blunted and even suppressed, but central to the society's energies. Genuine democracy, as Vaclav Havel has said, is like a distant horizon that no human society has yet reached or perhaps ever will reach. But that does not end the story and, in some ways, the search in America may be only just beginning.

At this moment of history, Americans are in the awkward position of receiving congratulations from around the world for upholding the democratic example when they know, if they are honest, that this adulation is directed at a political system that is not functioning in good faith with its own ideals and principles. No one can contemplate American democracy in the late twentieth century without experiencing the dissonance between the idea and the reality. Some citizens, the energetic minority who still believe, struggle to resolve these contradictions.

In a cynical era, a childhood reverie on Lincoln may seem ludicrously romantic. Reflections on democratic faith are dismissed as "unrealistic," like the tired boilerplate of campaign speeches. My conviction, however, is that an active faith in democratic possibilities dwells at the very center of the American experience. The first step toward renewal is to free ourselves of the cynical expectations of these times and to reassert that faith without hesitation or apology -- to declare stubbornly that what we were all taught in childhood is still true, or can be true, if we decide to make it so.

The burden of this book has been critical, an attempt to explain the antidemocratic conditions that deform American politics. A clear-eyed understanding of these circumstances may be necessary in order to change things, but it is not a guarantee that things will change. Certainly, history provides abundant evidence of human societies that were well aware of their own contradictions and simply chose to evade them. Americans have the capacity for evasion too, as the nation's history amply demonstrates.

But the United States is still quite young as nations go and still a country capable of new departures, with the potential to surprise the world and even surprise itself. In the nature of things, this capacity is mainly a matter of faith.


After thirty years of working as a reporter, I am steeped in disappointing facts about self-government. Having observed politics from the small-town courthouse to the loftiest reaches of the federal establishment, I know quite a lot about duplicitous politicians and feckless bureaucracies, about gullible voters and citizens who are mean-spirited cranks. These experiences, strangely enough, have not undermined my childhood faith in democratic possibilities, but rather tended to confirm it.

Reporting for newspapers (or magazines or broadcasting) is not a reflective occupation, but the work has one wonderful, redeeming quality to it. Reporters have a license to go almost everywhere in the society and talk to almost anyone, from U.S. senators and corporate managers to bus drivers and schoolteachers and poor people on welfare. In a random, roving manner, a reporter may experience this country firsthand -- from top to bottom -- with a variety of encounters not accessible to most other citizens. What I learned about America deepened my faith in the democratic possibilities.

Among other things, I have seen up close the frailties of power. At the pinnacles of political command, whenever I have been able to peer behind the veil of platitudes, I have usually glimpsed a scene of confusion and often chaos -- the trial and error, folly and misapprehensions of people in charge trying to decide what to do. The randomness of human endeavor exists at the top too; history confirms that this is nearly always the reality of power.

For several generations, however, Americans have been systematically taught to defer to authority and expertise in a complicated world. The modern political culture, transmitted by schools and universities and the news media, teaches implicitly that those chosen to hold power have access to special knowledge and intelligence not available to others and, therefore, their deliberations and actions are supposedly grounded in a firmer reality. My own experience, on the contrary, has corroborated again and again the native American skepticism of elites. I believe that, if the real inside story were known, every statesman and politician would prove to be as recklessly human as the rest of us.

This fallibility should not be held against them; the same qualities exist in authority figures of every kind, from corporate executives to church prelates. There is a "reassuring anarchy," as I once called it, in the most exalted realms of power and this encourages my conviction that rigid arrangements of power are much more vulnerable to intrusion and change than the experts and authorities wish people to believe. If citizens could grasp, sympathetically, the human dimension of the political failures that are periodically revealed in high places, they might recognize a greater capacity in themselves for influencing and even commanding the larger outcomes of the society.

The people who are running things are especially prone to error when they are isolated from the shared ideas and instincts of the larger community. Indeed, that is the pragmatic argument for democracy: A governing system that is well grounded in the common reality of the society at large is likely to produce sounder decisions, connected to real facts and conditions. The hard work of democracy involves constructing and sustaining those connections.

My encounters as a reporter with ordinary citizens have also led to optimism about the potential for democratic renewal. America has its full quota of fools and scoundrels, but this is a nation of people who are mostly smart and capable and, on the whole, generously disposed. If one is open to it, the wild variety of American life is endlessly strange and entrancing. As one gets to know these different people in their own peculiar circumstances, it seems extraordinary that we are all Americans, living in the same vast nation and with more or less the same civic values, and yet we are.

As a younger reporter, I spent many years getting on airplanes, flying around the country and dropping down into the lives of strangers, often at their worst moments, when a local crisis or conflict had become newsworthy. Nearly always, I came away refreshed by these encounters and even awed by the people and their stories, their openness and level-headed sense of things, the raw eloquence and inventive humor and sometimes their courage. Some of those citizens have appeared in this book.

Even in the most benighted comers of this country, in burned-out slums or on desolate Indian reservations, I have always met some whose forceful intelligence shone through the barriers of language and education and class. I frequently came away thinking to myself: Those people would be running things if they had been born with a bit more luck. If they spoke in formal English and dressed in blue pinstripes, they could pass for U.S. senators or bank presidents. I recognized, of course, that my insubstantial sympathies did not answer their complaints. Their anger would be satisfied only when it could speak for itself.

This is difficult, I know, for the well born and well educated to believe about the ordinary run of Americans (and perhaps threatening to some) for it suggests there is a vast pool of unrealized ability dwelling in the American population -- people with important things to say who are not heard. America, it is true, would be a very different place if all of those unheard ideas and aspirations were given a full voice in politics. Democracy disrupts power.

Ordinary people, as this book has illustrated, do assert themselves despite the obstacles. Indeed, if there is one constant in all my years of observing politics, it is the single, shocking fact that the most far-reaching developments in my memory did not emanate from Washington or anywhere else in the elected structure of politics but came instead from obscure, unpredictable places where unanointed citizens found a way to express themselves. The civil rights movement is, of course, the most compelling example. It changed the fabric of American life more profoundly than anything else in my lifetime, save World War II.

I remember, in particular, interviewing the aging black leaders of Summerton, South Carolina, nearly two decades after they had filed one of the initial lawsuits that led to the Supreme Court's historic school-desegregation decision. These were yeoman farmers and laborers, a school principal, a minister, a cafe owner. Many of them had paid a terrible personal price for challenging the status quo. Men and women were fired from jobs, small businesses were ruined. Some had been driven out of the county permanently.

Looking back, they spoke with the pride of people who knew they had helped to move the national history but also with self-conscious precision, like witnesses wanting to set down the true facts, not inflated afterthoughts. Their struggle had begun over a pitifully small matter, they explained, when they asked the white school board to supply coal to heat the black children's one-room country schoolhouse. When the school board refused, their anger deepened. Some of these men had just come home from World War II and the contradictions of the racial caste system mocked their patriotic sacrifice.

So they raised their demands further. They also wanted school buses for the black kids and no more hand-me-down textbooks, and decent buildings with indoor plumbing. Politics failed and the dispute became a lawsuit. When the civil rights lawyer came down from New York (he was Thurgood Marshall, later a Supreme Court justice), he told them that, since they were in this fight, they might as well go all the way and challenge the caste system itself. The idea was frightening and some hesitated. These people were already enduring reprisals and the intimate hostilities that are part of life in a small town. They agreed to go forward, however. Their legal cause was expanded to challenge the law of racial segregation itself and eventually their suit became a companion in the decision known as Brown v. Board of Education.

Long years later, I am still awed by their elemental courage. "Courage" is another word not often used now in politics, along with "loyalty" and "trust," but these humble citizens were pulling themselves at risk in terms much more stark than losing an election and for a far larger public purpose.

They did not presume to reach for power for themselves and certainly not to change the social order. They embarked on a quite modest plea for justice and, improbably, found themselves perfecting its meaning. Years later, in fact, the underlying social order of Summerton itself had not changed that much, even though their struggle had helped to change the nation. Life is strange, as my mother said. These people balanced their political disappointments with the intangible rewards of self-realization. In addition to changing America, they discovered that they had also changed themselves and this achievement was permanent.

If there is a mystical chord in democracy, it probably revolves around that notion -- that unexpected music can resonate from politics when people are pursuing questions larger than self. As a reporter, I have seen that ennobling effect in people many, many times -- expressed by those who found themselves engaged in genuine acts of democratic expression, who claimed their right to help define the larger destiny of their community, their nation. Power can accumulate in mysterious ways, if citizens believe they possess this right. Their power atrophies when they no longer believe in it. This book is for the believers.


Rehabilitating democracy will require citizens to devote themselves first to challenging the status quo, disrupting the existing contours of power and opening the way for renewal. The ultimate task, however, is even more difficult than that: building something new that creates the institutional basis for politics as a shared enterprise. The search for democratic meaning is necessarily a path of hard conflict, but the distant horizon is reconciliation. Americans coming to terms with themselves -- that is the high purpose politics was meant to serve.

This renewal, if it occurs, will not come from books. A democratic insurgency does not begin with ideas, as intellectuals presume, or even with great political leaders who seize the moment. It originates among the ordinary people who find the will to engage themselves with their surrounding reality and to question the conflict between what they are told and what they see and experience. My modest ambition for this book is that it will assist some citizens to enter into "democratic conversations" with one another, asking the questions that may lead them to action. [1]

The random anger visibly accumulating in so many sectors of the society can be therapeutic, but only in a limited sense. The democratic problem requires hard work from citizens who have been taught to be passive consumers in politics. It means people must learn once again to come together and develop their own understanding of events, free of the slogans and propaganda. It requires them to take the daring step of assuming some personal responsibility for self-government.

The task of learning is naturally intimidating. This book has set out many of the complicated conditions that history has dealt to the present -- the political circumstances that confine citizens to cramped roles and warp the lines of accountability and control. I have also suggested various new ways that people might think about how to reform the political order. But there are no easy and simple ways around these barriers. In my estimate, the status quo is much more vulnerable to purposeful challenges organized by citizens than conventional wisdom supposes. But I do not presume to know exactly how or where the insurgency begins.

Democratic solutions will emerge only from the trial-and-error of active citizens who learn for themselves how to do politics, who discover the methods and principles that work because people have tried and occasionally failed. It requires of people the patience to accumulate social understandings that they have tested against reality and then to pass on their knowledge freely to others.

Strange as it may seem to an era governed by mass-market politics, democracy begins in human conversation. The simplest, least threatening investment any citizen may make in democratic renewal is to begin talking with other people about these questions, as though the answers matter to them. Harmless talk around a kitchen table or in a church basement will not affect anyone but themselves, unless they decide that it ought to. When the circle is enlarged to include others, they will be embarking on the fertile terrain of politics that now seems so barren.

A democratic conversation does not require elaborate rules of procedure or utopian notions of perfect consensus. What it does require is a spirit of mutual respect -- people conversing critically with one another in an atmosphere of honesty and shared regard. Those with specialized expertise serve as teachers, not commanders, and will learn themselves from listening to the experience of others. The respect must extend even to hostile adversaries, since the democratic objective is not to destroy them but to reach eventual understanding. At its core, the idea of democracy is as simple as that -- a society based on mutual respect.

This obvious human quality, seemingly available to all, is what's missing from American politics, drenched as it is in mass manipulation and deception and sour resentments. Indeed, mutual respect, above and beyond the usual social and economic distinctions, is missing from the general fabric of American life. A society that regularly proclaims democratic pieties also devotes extraordinary energy and wealth to establishing the symbols and trappings of hierarchy, the material markings that delineate who is better than whom.

The search for honest conversation, like other aspects of the democratic experience, can be its own reward, whether or not it leads to the fulfillment of power. It opens a path to self-realization grounded in social relationships -- knowing others on terms that are reliable and enduring. Americans are already searching for "relationships," almost frantically it seems, on a close personal level. What many of them fail to grasp is that politics, in its original sense, also offers a practical means for mending the damaged social relations that afflict American life.

Building a politics grounded in intimate human terms seems so remote from the present that many will regard it as an impossible task. The organizational barriers are obvious and formidable, reflecting the inequalities of private status and the fractured nature of the society itself. Certainly, it is work for years or decades, not seasons.

But ordinary citizens, as this book has demonstrated, have their own inherent advantages in this enterprise, including their ability to see the reality more clearly sometimes than those who hold power. In some scattered places, the democratic ideal is already in motion, often among humble citizens who lack any personal advantages. These are people who still believe, as the Ohio auto worker said, that "the ultimate power is in their hands." They regularly find their faith confirmed in actual experiences.

When incumbent officeholders begin to perceive a real threat developing to their power, that is the moment when electoral politics can begin to become serious and interesting again. A genuine democratic dialogue can follow, one that promises accountability and also trust between the governed and their government. When the organized presence of citizens can deprive others of power, all the deeper power relationships surrounding government will be put at risk too.

The cynical cannot grasp this possibility, but the believers know that it is the actual history of American democracy. At the most creative moments in the American past, the nation found its true source of political energy and ideas among those citizens in unexpected quarters who took it upon themselves to renew the search.


As a nation, Americans are coming to the hard part of the saga, I believe, the time when things become less easy and the true character of the nation is revealed. In my romantic optimism, I have come to imagine that this may be the moment of testing that history was preparing for us all along. After two hundred years of fabulous invention, adventure and abundance, we are on new ground: awesomely powerful yet insecure and dependent, a democratic beacon for others yet profoundly troubled in our own social reality.

Americans are about to learn whether the American experiment was truly unique -- capable of defying history -- or simply another chapter in the rise and fall of muscular nation-states. Until now, the national experience seemed to unfold without boundaries, either geographical or material or psychological. The transcendental expectations were regularly fulfilled and the promise of future fulfillment was kept alive for almost everyone. But the space of that promise has shrunk visibly and the nation is bumping up against some harsh new obstacles to its power. National reputation and the military might of empire do not necessarily prevail over the new economic forces at work in the world. Citizens are told to temper their ambitions and appetites; the new realities are said to be beyond our control.

If the idea of America as specially positioned in history was nothing more than legend, then the future seems fairly clear and is commonly described as decline. Nothing in history guarantees, after all, that the richest, most energetic and inventive place on earth will remain so forever. The usual story of great powers is that sooner or later, when the glory faded, they sank into social decay and bitterness. That is the usual ending for a political system that persistently ignores reality, and for a people who become alienated from their own values.

My own optimism insists that this new crucible can yield a different outcome. But this is the hard part: The only way I can imagine this may happen is through the restoration of the civic faith. The American moment cannot be about accumulating more wealth or weaponry or territory; the facts will not allow it. It must involve a more difficult and introspective search for social invention -- politics that takes the democratic idea to its next plateau in human history.

The present generation and the next, in other words, must find tangible ways to reinvigorate the social faith in the promise of democracy. The nation's sense of its own continuing search for something better is endangered and, without that civic faith, this nation is in deep trouble. If democratic character is lost, America has the potential to deteriorate into a rather brutish place, ruled by naked power and random social aggression. Innocent faith is what makes America work.

That faith does not imply impossible notions of perfection, but it does require convincing forward motion toward a social contract that most everyone will understand and accept -- mutual understandings that promise equitable and shared objectives. To achieve this in the contemporary circumstances, the present generation of Americans may have to face some of the Republic's oldest contradictions, contradictions that were always successfully evaded in the past.

Boundless prosperity and adventure, throwing off new wealth and dispersing it widely, allowed the political system to avoid confronting questions of hierarchy and class and race, the inequalities of poverty and plenty, the privileges embedded in the political order. Endless expansion ignored the accumulating damage to the natural environment. General abundance made it easier to accept a political system that had become steadily more distant from popular control. Now we are up against those questions again.

These matters have been evaded for good reason; they are the most difficult to resolve and no society anywhere that calls itself a democracy has succeeded in facing them. Americans, however, have much more at stake because this nation depends crucially upon sustaining the idea of a democratic society. It is the essential strand that binds diverse peoples together and enables the society to see itself as a functioning whole.

Americans need a new parable for themselves -- a story of national purpose that faces the present realities maturely but does not sacrifice the country's youthful idealism and inventiveness and self-confidence. If Americans set out to rehabilitate their own democracy, they may discover new democratic vistas for others. It is a chance to organize the future -- to lead the world to ground where no one has ever been before.

Despite the centuries of struggle and advance, democracy is still a radical proposition. "This is an unsanctioned idea," historian Lawrence Goodwyn observed, "but this is the democratic idea: that the people will participate in the process by which their lives are organized."

New possibilities are opened for any society that takes that idea seriously. The oldest questions of human existence remain unanswered by modern societies, despite the gloss of technology and wealth. The complexities of modern life have ensnared people in new forms of subservience. Why do millions still starve when the world is awash in surplus food? How can the modern economic system be transformed so that growth and prosperity do not depend so centrally on waste and despoliation? What are the outlines of a democratic system in which workers and owners and communities would truly share a voice in organizing their own lives? None of these matters remains unresolved because of physical constraints. They are political questions, waiting on democratic answers.

Americans should not suppose that they are the only people who need to ask such questions or are equipped to find the answers. While American democracy has decayed, people in the most unlikely nations have become the new inventors of democratic possibilities -- toppling the most rigid forms of power with the force of organized people.

Their experiments, even their failures, have provided a tonic for small-d democrats everywhere in the world. They have restored, above all, honest language-the capacity to speak about democracy with clarity and sincerity, as if the idea of self-governing people is fresh and alive and still practical. They have further restored an understanding that, as Vaclav Havel said, democracy is the unfinished story of human aspirations.

"Man must in some way come to his senses," Havel wrote from his prison cell. "He must extricate himself from this terrible involvement in both the obvious and hidden mechanisms of totality, from consumption to repression, from advertising to manipulation through television. He must rebel against his role as a helpless cog in the gigantic and enormous machinery hurtling God knows where. He must discover again, within himself, a deeper sense of responsibility toward the world, which means responsibility toward something higher than himself." [2]

The American beacon helped to teach people everywhere to aspire to self-realization and to rebel against powerlessness. Now, it seems, the former students must re-educate Americans in the meaning of their own faith. Perhaps that is when the American moment will begin: when Americans find the courage to speak honestly again in the language of democracy.
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INTRODUCTION: Mutual Contempt

1. The human yearning for democracy is profound and universal, as the upheavals in Communist nations have most recently confirmed. It is driven fundamentally by the impulse for individual self-realization, a desire to discover and establish one's one worth in the collective context of the surrounding world. The struggle to achieve this is so difficult that the search has proceeded fitfully even in the most congenial settings, such as the United States.

The history of nations has reflected this search over the last four or five hundred years as different societies sought to discover democratic meaning and establish its terms. Some places have advanced not at all; some created the forms of democracy but without the substance. Other places -- most notably the United States -- embraced the idea in their national character and have worked fairly steadily toward improving upon it. Democracy is a presumption, not that the majority of the voters will always be right, but that real choices will be put before them.

2. Alexander Hamilton defined the paternalistic skepticism of popular rule that is still reflected in the modern elites of both political parties. Quoted in John F. Manley, "The American Dream," Nature, Society and Thought, Fall 1988.

3. The New York Times published a four-part series in March 1990, called "The Trouble with Politics, Running vs. Governing," which concluded: "Politicians in both parties say government is being crippled by a new superstructure of politics that makes ideas harder to discuss and exalts public opinion over leadership."

4. Ernesto Cortes, Jr., "Powerlessness also corrupts," Speech to Farm Crisis Workers Conference, published in Texas Observer, July 11, 1986.

5. The voting decline of 20 percent was calculated by Curtis Gans of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate. Dissatisfaction with the 1990 elections was described in "The People, the Press & Politics 1990," Times Mirror Company, November 16, 1990.

6. The poll was taken by Stanley Greenberg and Celinda Lake and reported in The Commonwealth Report, April 1989.

7. Polls on public perceptions of who controls government have shown increasing alienation for nearly thirty years with a brief reversal in the early 1980s when Ronald Reagan took office. Data from the Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan, were cited, for instance, by Herbert Gans, Middle American Individualism: The Future of Liberal Democracy, Free Press, 1988.

8. Lewis H. Lapham, "Inspectors General," Harper's, July 1989.

9. Senator D'Amato was quoted in The Wall Street Journal, January 30, 1990.

10. Inventories of the powerful are generally compiled by eccentric scholars of the left and right and their work often inspires a kind of brittle paranoia -- the image of a few influentials meeting somewhere in some dark room. Power in American politics is too diffuse -- and sometimes chaotic -- for such facile definitions. The sociologist C. Wright Mills came much closer a generation ago when he defined the "power elite" as five generic subcategories: the upper classes and wealthy; corporate executives and owners; the political directorate at the top of government, including lawyer-statesmen; the military managers and their industrial partners; and that vague status system known as celebrity. See C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite, Oxford University Press, 1956.

ONE: Mock Democracy

1. An analysis by Common Cause determined that 239 practitioners of leveraged buyouts, their wives and children contributed $3.5 million, including $1.2 million in so-called "soft money" for George Bush. Washington Post, October 22, 1989.

2. The internal details of how the Superfund Coalition was organized were provided in memorandums made public by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other protesting environmental organizations.

3. I have no evidence to indicate that the New York Times story by Peter Passell on September 1, 1991, was directly linked to the Superfund Coalition, but it relied prominently on experts from General Electric and Clean Sites, an industry-sponsored organization that deals with toxic cleanup projects.

The major polluters were also active on the legal front in their efforts to stymie Superfund enforcement and force Congress to rewrite the law. The corporations launched a flurry of liability lawsuits against municipalities and small businesses -- even pizza parlors -- arguing that these enterprises had also contributed toxic wastes and should share in the cleanup costs, even if their liability was minuscule compared to that of the large manufacturers and insurance companies. This effort was designed to stimulate a political backlash against Superfund and persuade Congress to back off the original legislation. See Wall Street Journal, April 2, 1991.

4. Tommy Boggs was quoted in the National Journal, June 13, 1990.

5. The sampling of AEI's corporate patrons is from 1987, reported by James T. Bennett, Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy: Ideas, Advocacy and the Corporation, Capital Research Center, 1989.

6. Some details on how business set out to mobilize in Washington are drawn from David Vogel, Fluctuating Fortunes: The Political Power of Business in America, Basic Books, 1989.

7. The Commerce Department per-capita income rankings are for 1987, Washington Post, March 1, 1990.

8. The rise of high incomes and the decline of low-income families in the Washington area are from Market Trends, Greater Washington Research Center, November 1988.

9. Business's growing share of interest organizations is from Michael D. Reagan, Regulation: The Politics of Policy, Little, Brown, 1987. The Senate Government Affairs Committee study of citizen participation was done in 1979 in an effort to rally support for government grants to citizen representation groups, a brief experiment that had its own flaws but, in any case, was killed during the Reagan years. The data were cited in Gary C. Bryner, Bureaucratic Discretion: Law and Policy in Federal Regulatory Agencies, Pergamon Press, 1987.

10. Anthony Downs, an economist at the Brookings Institution, is better known in contemporary Washington as an authority on real estate and urban development. His thesis in political philosophy challenged the civic smugness promoted by the mainstream political scientists extolling the virtues of pluralism. Anthony Downs, An Economic Theory of Democracy, Harper & Row, 1957.

11. Politicians in tax-exempt activities, National Journal, December 9, 1989.

12. The New York Academy of Sciences reported, for instance, that the cancer death rate among men, excluding lung cancer, which is often attributable to smoking, has increased by 9 percent since 1950 in industrial nations. The report, compiled by twenty-six scientists in thirteen countries, adjusted for such factors as aging populations -- the explanation often offered for the rising cancer rates. Washington Post, December 10, 1990; also the Natural Resources Defense Council's report in Cancer Statistics Review, 1973-1986, National Cancer Institute, May 1989.

13. The study of scientific bias was cited by Gary C. Bryner in Bureaucratic Discretion, previously cited.

14. An exhaustive academic literature exists on the vagaries of cost-benefit analysis, most of it written by policy thinkers who deplore the weaknesses and inconsistencies. but still regard it as a useful tool for decisions of resource allocation. They do not, by and large, acknowledge the broader moral context in which they are operating and they seem unaware that public decisions made by government rely on a different kind of authority than the cost-benefit decisions made by private business.

The examples of life value arguments are drawn from several sources: Michael D. Reagan, Regulation, previously cited; V. Kerry Smith, editor, Environmental Policy under Reagan's Executive Order: The Role of Benefit-Cost Analysis, University of North Carolina Press, 1984; Martin J. Bailey, Reducing Risks to Life: Measurements of the Benefits, American Enterprise Institute, 1980; and an interview with David Vladeck of Public Citizen.

15. Charles E. Lindblom described democracy as "imprisoned" by markets. See "The Market as Prison," in Thomas Ferguson and Joel Rogers, editors, The Political Economy: Readings in the Politics and Economics of American Public Policy, M.. E. Sharpe, 1984. Lindblom's argument was elaborated more fully in his own book, Politics and Markets: The World's Political-Economic Systems, Basic Books, 1977.

Two: Well-Kept Secrets

1. The frayed principles of liberals on the House Banking Committee were displayed in raw form when some of them in late 1989 tried to depose Henry Gonzalez as chairman. Their complaint was that he had failed to consult them on committee business and was insufficiently partisan. The reality is that Gonzalez is an independent-minded critic of the cozy relations between banking and the federal regulatory apparatus. Gonzalez, furthermore, had embarrassed his own party by holding a series of investigative hearings on Charles Keating and other S&L moguls who had manipulated various Democratic politicians with campaign money. For years, the liberals were silent when their committee was chaired by a corrupt finagler. When an honest politician became chairman, they rebelled. In any case, Gonzalez prevailed, by a vote of 163-89, in the House Democratic caucus.

2. I described the financial and economic consequences of the 1980 financial deregulation in Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country, Simon & Schuster, 1987, and also in The Trouble with Money, Whittle Direct Books, 1989. The most deft description of how deregulation doomed the savings and loan industry came from Albert M. Wojnilower, chief economist of First Boston Corporation. "Freeing the thrift and mortgage markets from government subsidy and guarantee, " he wrote, "is like freeing the family pets by abandoning them in the jungle."

3. Senators Garn and Proxmire were quoted by the Associated Press, July 26, 1985. The Treasury secretary's testimony was before a Senate banking subcommittee on June 13, 1985.

4. Alan Greenspan, as private consultant, wrote to federal regulators and asked them to give Lincoln Savings and Loan an exemption from the regulation limiting direct real-estate investment. He described Lincoln's management as "seasoned and expert in making direct investments" -- the very opposite of what subsequent events proved about Charles Keating's management. The Federal Reserve chairman, when asked later about his intervention in behalf of Keating, replied, "Of course I'm embarrassed." New York Times, November 20, 1989.

5. See my article, "The Growing Crisis in Our S&L Industry," Rolling Stone, August 11, 1988, which quoted Robert Dugger and other bank lobbyists on how they intended to do the taxpayer bailout right after the election.

6. The separation of electoral politics from governing politics is deeply ingrained in the culture that shapes and limits corporate journalism. After the 1988 election, with some embarrassment, political reporters recognized that they had missed the savings and loan story, but they pursued it in the same narrow terms -- which party might suffer more from this scandal at the next election? Political reporters are averse to the "substance" of such issues and often quite ignorant about them. In general, despite their embarrassment with the savings and loan debacle, the media repeated the same opacity as the crisis of failing commercial banks grew larger.

7. Theodore J. Lowi, a Cornell political scientist, wrote: "The people are shut out at the most creative phase of policy making -- where the problem is defined. " See "The New Public Philosophy: Interest-Group Liberalism," in Thomas Ferguson and Joel Rogers, editors, The Political Economy: Readings in the Politics and Economics of American Public Policy, M. E. Sharpe, 1984.

8. General Electric purchased the apartment complexes with a promise that one third of the units would be available to low-income families. Robert Bass, the wealthy Texas investor, was among others who acquired defaulted properties under the program that reformers had enacted. See Leslie Wayne in The New York Times, June 27, 1991.

9. As one who participated in discussions of the Financial Democracy Campaign's proposals, I witnessed up close the dilemma of citizen groups that try to penetrate the special-interest circle surrounding legislative issues. At meeting after meeting, the participants in the coalition fen into the same argument among themselves: whether to push genuinely fundamental reforms that went far beyond the conventional terms of debate or to advance modest proposals on the margins that had at least some chance of acceptance.

Generally, the old hands from Washington-based groups tended to favor the moderate strategy since they had considerable experience in the frustrating task of lobbying for large ideas that no one in Congress would listen to. People who have spent years establishing working relationships with a handful of sympathetic members of Congress are not anxious to sacrifice their connections by pushing them to sponsor ideas bound to lose.

The other side, including myself, argued that nothing fundamental was likely to happen in Washington anyway until the general public became aroused and much better educated about their stake in the contest. The process of political education could only begin if the reformers pushed the larger ideas, regardless of whether Congress was ready to listen.

In the end, the campaign did a bit of both but its legislative efforts inevitably gravitated toward the narrower focus of modest amendments that seemed doable, given existing political realities. In this manner, even groups that wish to change the political agenda are co-opted by the status quo.

THREE: Bait and Switch

1. The shift in tax burdens was described in "The Decline in Progressivity and the Decline in Revenue," Citizens for Tax Justice, February 23, 1990.

2. Kevin P. Phillips described the shift of tax burdens with brilliant documentation in The Politics of Rich and Poor, Random House, 1990. But Phillips concluded by predicting that old cycles of American politics would correct the injustices -- Democrats would rediscover the working class and return to power to make things right. My argument is that the cyclical swings in which Phillips puts his faith are another of the self-correcting mechanisms that no longer seem to work. Democrats were principal coauthors of the vast shift in taxation and, unless there is a dramatic turnover within that party, Democrats will be reluctant to undo what they helped to create.

3. The imbalance of financial wealth was reported in the Federal Reserve Board's "Survey of Consumer Finances, 1983," Federal Reserve Bulletin, September and December 1984.

4. For more details on how elite opinion rallied around an austerity agenda during the presidential campaign, see my articles in Rolling Stone, "The Shadow Debate on the American Economy" and "The Real Election in America This Year," July 14 and August 25, 1988.

5. Alan Greenspan's statement on the need to curtail domestic consumption was in response to a written question submitted by Senator William Proxmire at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, February 24, 1988.

6. "Opinion leaders respond very differently from the general public when asked about potential new revenue sources to cut the deficit," the Gallup survey reported. "While much of the public would support a new tax on gasoline only as a last resort, opinion leaders overwhelmingly favor (74 percent) such a tax.... A majority of corporate leaders (54 percent) and about half of financial leaders (48 percent) favor the establishment of a national sales tax.... Slightly over half of the financial leaders surveyed (52 percent) favor taxing Social Security at the same rate as ordinary income." See "The Press, People & Economics," Times Mirror Company, May 1989.

7. The Gallup and IRS surveys as well as much other data on the public's opposition to the regressive trend in taxation are described by Barry Sussman in What Americans Really Think: And Why Our Politicians Pay No Attention, Pantheon, 1988.

8. Details on tax collection can be found in "Income Tax Compliance Research, Gross Tax Gap Estimates and Projections for 1973-1992," IRS; statement of Representative J. J. Pickle, oversight chairman, House Ways and Means Committee, February 20, 1990; speech by Charles A. Bowsher, comptroller general, "An Emergency Crisis: The Disinvestment of Government," December 2, 1988; and "Facts on the Federal Income Tax System-1989," National Treasury Employees Union.

9. The shifting income shares were described by Joseph A. Pechman of the Brookings Institution in "The Future of the Income Tax," a paper distributed December 22, 1990.

10. Darman was referring approvingly to the 1986 tax legislation that sharply reduced tax rates for the upper-income brackets, Washington Post, February 26, 1989.

11. Anthony Downs, in An Economic Theory of Democracy, described democracy's theoretical inclination to favor the many over the few. "The equality of franchise in a democratic society," Downs wrote, "creates a tendency for government action to equalize incomes by redistributing them from a few wealthy persons to many less wealthy ones."

12. Mellon's celebrated dictum was quoted in "Less Taxing Alternatives," Democracy Project Reports, March 1984. For an authoritative account of the intellectual combat surrounding the progressive income tax, see Ronald Frederick Key, "From Redistributive to Hegemonic Logic: The Transformation of American Tax Politics, 1894-1963," Policy & Society, 1983.

13. "Put the jam on the lower shelf" has been attributed to Ralph Yarborough by those who heard him campaign in the 1950s. I first heard the slogan in Kentucky politics in the early 1960s, employed by a Republican state senator from a rural district.

14. Darman's remarks were in a speech at the National Press Club, July 20, 1989.

15. Thomas B. Edsall, The New Politics of Inequality, W. W. Norton, 1984.

16. David Stockman was quoted by the author in The Education of David Stockman and Other Americans, New American Library, 1986.

17. The Wall Street Journal poll found that people with incomes over $50,000 favor a higher tax rate on unearned income, 61 percent to 19 percent. Wall Street Journal, October 26, 1990.

18. John D. Raffaelli was quoted in "Zap! You're Taxed," National Journal, February 3, 1990.

19. The White House argument that persuaded Reagan to endorse the Social Security tax increase was related by Richard E. Neustadt and Ernest R. May, Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision-Makers, The Free Press, 1986.

20. Survey data on the 1983 Social Security legislation are from Barry Sussman, What Americans Really Think. Neustadt and May, professors at Harvard's Kennedy School, offered the Social Security episode as one of several case studies of wise political management in their book, Thinking in Time.

21. The statistics on the revenue shifts are from a statement by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, January 14, 1991.

22. See Barry Sussman, What Americans Really Think, for an insightful discussion of the public's skepticism toward tax reform. Bums Roper testified before the Joint Economic Committee, quoted in my article, "Break Dancing," Rolling Stone, October 1986. The windfall tax cuts in the 1986 legislation are drawn from data from the Joint Committee on Taxation. Other wealthy individuals were, of course, forced to pay more taxes since they were losing the benefit of various loopholes. Overall, however, all people with incomes above $200,000 enjoyed an average tax cut of $2,856 each-compared to a $200 tax cut for middle-income families. Sponsors argued the income-tax legislation was marginally progressive, but that claim was meaningless since it left out the rising burden imposed on most families by Social Security taxes.

23. Rostenkowski disparaged Moynihan's proposal in a speech before the Futures Industry Association convention in Boca Raton, Florida, March 9, 1990, where he promised to protect the brokers against federal taxes on their transactions. The evasion of Representative Richard Gephardt, House majority leader, was described by Fred Barnes, "Leaders to Follow," New Republic, May 14, 1990.

24. See The Wall Street Journal, March 14, 1990, and Washington Post, March 11, 1990, for details of Rostenkowski's plan.

25. For an insightful discussion of the Democrats' collaboration with Republicans on taxes and other matters, see Robert Kuttner, "Congress Without Cohabitation," American Prospect, Winter 1991.

26. The Wall Street Journal, because it rigorously and unsentimentally covers business's interface with government, is the best available source for news of the governing politics that I have described in this book. Journal reporters usually go right to the bottom line: Who won and who lost and how much? Three of its reporters, Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, David Wessel and Jackie Calmes, undoubtedly contributed to the 1990 rank-and-file revolt in Congress by describing the implications of the bipartisan budget agreement with such inescapable clarity. Wall Street Journal, October 2 and 3, 1990.

27. Reporters Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele found that a provision limiting personal exemptions for the well-to-do, which was billed as raising $10.8 billion from the wealthy, would actually yield no more than $2 billion or $3 billion-and that money would come from upper-middle-income families, not the rich. The same measure was proffered by congressional tax writers as proof of their even-handedness back in 1986 when it was first enacted. See Philadelphia Inquirer, November 4, 1990.

28. The Lipsey-Kravis study also challenged the conventional argument that the U.S. saving and investment rate lags far below its competitors' and that this explains disappointing economic growth. The different savings rates, they concluded, are really in large part differences in economic definitions of what counts as capital formation and in the cultural preferences of different nations. Robert E. Lipsey and Irving B. Kravis, Saving and Economic Growth: Is the United States Really Falling Behind? The Conference Board, 1987.

FOUR: The Grand Bazaar

1. Robert B. Reich's regulatory community included 12,000 lawyers in law firms representing business before courts and agencies, 9,000 lobbyists in firms specializing in lobbying, 42,000 trade association lobbyists and employees, 9,300 public-relations and public-affairs specialists, 1,200 trade journalists, 3,500 consultants advising government agencies and 15,500 lawyers and lobbyists from large corporations and federal agencies. Reich, "Regulation by Confrontation or Negotiation," Harvard Business Review, May-June 1981, cited by Bryner in Bureaucratic Discretion.

2. I can testify from personal experience on the enormous difficulty of covering regulatory politics in a manner that matches the demands of a daily newspaper. As assistant managing editor for national news at The Washington Post, I made several attempts to do so and all failed. In 1981, under my supervision, the Post initiated the "Federal Page," devoted each day to large and small stories from the regulatory government. For a year or so, the expanded coverage of regulation seemed engaging and occasionally significant, hut in time the effort lost its energy and focus.

To cover the full range of complex regulatory battles with any depth would require a substantial number of reasonably sophisticated reporters and lots of patience -- an investment of resources that very few news organizations are able or willing to make. As a result, the coverage of regulatory issues is almost totally dependent on the sporadic alarums sounded by interested parties. A news story may be generated, for instance, by an environmental organization that exposes malign behavior in an agency's decisions. But otherwise reporters keep their distance from the process and are usually quite ignorant of who is winning or losing.

3. The growth of regulatory laws was cited by Bryner, Bureaucratic Discretion.

4. The unifying effect of modern regulation on business political action is described by Carl J. Mayer in "Personalizing the Impersonal: Corporations and the Bill of Rights," Hastings Law Journal, March 1990.

5. Theodore J. Lowi is the most penetrating critic of the governing system he calls "interest-group liberalism." See The End of Liberalism: The Second Republic of the United States, W. W. Norton, 1979.

6. The environmentalists' record of winning 68 percent of those challenges to EPA that were decided by judges was between 1970 and 1980, cited in Bryner, Bureaucratic Discretion.

7. The "grand bazaar" metaphor I am using in this chapter is borrowed from an essay I wrote on the same subject fifteen years ago on the eve of Jimmy Carter's inauguration. This ought to establish at least that my own analysis of lawless government did not result from the scandals in the Reagan years. See Washington Post, January 20, 1977.

8. The Nixon-Ford-Iacocca dialogue lasted only thirty-five minutes on the morning of April 27, 1971. The ill-focused quality of their conversation is a jarring contrast with the conventional claim that regulatory matters of health and safety should be decided with scientific precision. The tangled history of airbag regulation was recounted by Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen and highway-safety administrator under Jimmy Carter, in a speech, "Influencing Agency Decision-Making," August 1, 1983.

9. The delayed enforcement of the ban on red dyes was reported by Bryner, Bureaucratic Discretion.

10. Nuclear accidents and fines were analyzed by Ken Bossong, leader of Critical Mass, Ralph Nader's watchdog organization on nuclear power.

11. The fraud cases involving defense manufacturers covered seven years before 1990, New York Times, November 12, 1990.

12. On EPA's lax enforcement, see Michael Reagan, Regulation: The Politics of Policy, Little, Brown, 1987, and the testimony of John C. Martin, EPA inspector general, before Senator John Glenn of Ohio in "Serious Management Problems in the U.S. Government," Senate Government Affairs Committee, September 28, 1989.

13. Frederick Malek's manual on how to politicize the civil service was revealed during the Watergate investigations into the Nixon administration. The text was published in Federal Times, December 18, 1974. Malek himself became campaign manager for George Bush's 1992 re-election campaign.

14. Data on federal regulatory personnel are from Michael Reagan, Regulation: The Politics of Policy. Details on how the Reagan administration cut back enforcement are from David Vogel, Fluctuating Fortunes.

15. Gregg Easterbrook, "Radio Free Watkins and the Crisis at Energy," Washington Post Magazine, February 18, 1990.

16. Senator Pryor was quoted by Kirk Victor, "Farming It Out," National Journal, December 16, 1989.

17. Elite leaders, led by Lloyd Cutler and fanner Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, began a campaign in the late 1980s to reverse the decline of government management. The National Commission on the Public Service, chaired by Volcker, warned of a "quiet crisis" in the senior ranks of the civil service. The campaign produced some progress on salaries for senior executives, but it also collided with the antigovernment attitudes that conservative business interests had spent two decades encouraging. It seemed out of character for a think tank like the American Enterprise Institute to begin worrying about the quality of government employees, when AEI had devoted so much scholarship over the years to demeaning their efforts.

18. The New York Times's dramatic and repetitious coverage of this scandal actually drew some reproach from other news organizations, which seemed to consider it untoward for a major newspaper to "crusade" on public matters. In an earlier time, repetition and dramatic emphasis were the standard techniques that newspapers used to force political attention to neglected issues. See Washington Post, January 8, 1989.

19. Exhaustive congressional hearings as well as press investigations have focused on pollution by federal agencies, particularly the Energy and Defense departments. These few examples are from among scores cited in the following sources: "Review of Hazardous Waste Disposal Practices at Federal Facilities," August 15, 1983, and "Hazardous Waste Problems at Department of Defense Facilities," November 5, 1987, House Government Operations Committee; "Environmental Compliance by Federal Agencies," April 28, 1987, and "Cleanup at Federal Facilities," March 3, I988, House Commerce Committee. See also: Howard Kahn, "America's Worst Polluter," Rolling Stone, May 3, 1990.

20. The issues surrounding EPA's ability to enforce the law against other federal departments were explored in "Environmental Compliance by Federal Agencies," House Commerce Committee, April 28, 1987.

21. Data on OSHA prosecutions is from Raymond Maria, Labor Department inspector general, in "Serious Management Problems in the U.S. Government," Senate Government Affairs Committee, September 28, 1989. The National Safe Workplace Institute in Chicago has published a series of shocking reports on OSHA's weak enforcement, including "Unintended Consequences: The Failure of OSHA's Megafine Strategy," June 25, 1989.

22. Construction industry data are from "Construction: The Most Hazardous Industry in the Nation," Laborers' National Health and Safety Fund, 1990.

23. EPA also responded to the Lordstown workers' complaints and fined General Motors $1.5 million for toxic air pollution from the plant. Union and company officials again dismissed the action, claiming that GM had already complied with the law. Youngstown Vindicator, March 7, 1991.

FIVE: Hollow Laws

1. Mary Johnson's account of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Nation, October 23, 1989.

2. The academic studies on the failure of modern regulation, some of which have been cited here, generally focus on the managerial questions, not the larger democratic principles enunciated by Theodore Lowi. Many critical scholars start from a conservative probusiness position that assumes these laws were ill advised in the first place and attempted to deliver impossible goals that would not truly benefit the society. Others tend to focus on the techniques by which the laws are frustrated and propose various managerial reforms, but without examining the larger framework of power.

3. The EPA data on high-risk industrial facilities were released by Representative Henry Waxman, chairman of the House subcommittee on health and the environment, January 12, 1990. EPA placed a cautionary disclaimer on the data, which, it said, were calculated for purposes of relative comparisons and rankings of pollution sources but could not be relied upon as a plant-by-plant measure of health risks. Waxman acknowledged that the ratings were based on simplified assumptions but should nevertheless "raise a red warning flag in communities where these facilities are locating -- and spur prompt action to investigate the plants further."

4. Senator Moynihan sarcastically announced his own more modest goal for the year 2000- hat by then the nation would at least understand that the political system is not serious about improving education. See his speech, "Goals for the Year 2000," March 12, 1990.

5. The surveys of public opinion on environmental trade-offs were reported in The Wall Street Journal. April 20, 1990, and The New York Times, April 17, 1990.

6. Robert W. Crandell, "The Political Economy of Clean Air: Practical Constraints on White House Review." in V. Kerry Smith, editor, Environmental Policy Under Reagan's Executive Order, University of North Carolina Press, 1984. Some environmentalists predict that the modest progress on clean air will be reversed during the I 990s as the number of vehicles continues to multiply without offsetting improvements in emission controls.

7. The leisurely development of RCRA regulations in the Carter administration was described by Marc K. Landy, Marc J. Roberts and Stephen R. Thomas, The Environmental Protection Agency: Asking the Wrong Questions. Oxford University Press, 1990. The frustrations that led to development of the "hammer" provisions in the 1984 legislation are recounted by Richard C. Fortuna and David J. Lennett, Hazardous Waste Regulation: The New Era, McGraw-Hill, 1987.

8. The corporate intention to abandon deep-well injection in favor of higher treatment was reported in Pollution Prevention News, published by EPA, August 1990.

9. The intense discussions between EPA and industry lobbyists conducted between the proposed rule and the final rule are partially revealed in the administrative record-meeting notes that agency officials are required to maintain on their contacts with regulated industries. This record does not disclose, however, any of the informal political conversations at the White House or EPA that may have accompanied the decision making.

SIX: The Fixers

1. Many details on the Bush task force are from my article, "When Big Business Needs a Favor, George Bush Gets the Call," Rolling Stone, April 12, 1984.

2. Invoking global competition as an argument against sterner environmental regulation is particularly specious because the main industrial competitors in Europe and Japan have much better performance in this area. The leading foreign producers generate 50 percent to 80 percent less industrial waste than American companies -- efficiency that gives them a significant cost advantage in their production. See Warren Brookes, Washington Times, January 9, 1990. Vice-President Quayle's intervention was disclosed in The Washington Post, December 20, 1990.

3. When regulators, members of Congress and public-interest advocates became increasingly alarmed at Quayle's tampering in behalf of business, OMB Watch and Public Citizen's Congress Watch issued a joint report, "All the Vice President's Men: How the Quayle Council on Competitiveness Secretly Undermines Health, Safety and Environmental Programs," September 1991.

4. In 1986, Congress threatened to rein in OMB's powers by cutting off funding for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, but settled for an informal letter of agreement by which OMB promised to make public after the fact its communications with agencies and private interests. In practice, the reporting requirement has produced a grossly inadequate record of what transpired. The studies on OMB's impact on regulation in the Reagan and Bush terms were reported in the OMB Watch newsletter, OMB Watcher, September 30, 1990, and in testimony by Gary D. Bass before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, February 21, 1990.

5. Douglas Costle is quoted in Landy, Roberts and Thomas, The Environmental Protection Agency: Asking the Wrong Questions.

6. The analysis of desk officers at OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs was reported in "Playing the Numbers: OMB and Paperwork Reduction," OMB Watch, October 1989.

7. The anonymous policy analyst is quoted in Landy, Roberts and Thomas, The Environmental Protection Agency: Asking the Wrong Questions.

8. The examples of inconsistency in Regulatory Impact Analyses are from W. Norton Grubb, Dale Whittington and Michael Humphries, "The Ambiguities of Benefit-Cost Analysis: An Evaluation of Regulatory Impact Analysis under Executive Order 12291," in Environmental Policy Under Reagan's Executive Order. V. Kerry Smith, editor.

9. The examples of OMB intervention are from OMB Watcher. the newsletter of OMB Watch, and congressional testimony from Gary D. Bass, executive director of OMB Watch.

10. Patricia M. Wald, "The Sizzling Sleeper: The Use of Legislative History in Construing Statutes in the 1988-89 Term of the U.S. Supreme Court," American University Law Review. Winter 1990.

11. Robert Bork's complaint was in a review of Jeremy Rabkin's book Judicial Compulsions: How Public Law Distorts Public Policy, which makes similar arguments, Wall Street Journal, October 13, 1989.

12. Judge Laurence H. Silberman, "Chevron -- The Intersection of Law and Policy," George Washington Law Review, 1990.

13. For a parallel argument about democracy and the confusion over government authority, see James A. Morone, The Democratic Wish: Popular Participation and the Limits of American Government, Basic Books, 1990.

14. Data on what the poor receive in federal assistance are from "Receipt of Selected Non- ash Benefits: 1987," Bureau of the Census. Among 11.9 million designated as poor, 7.6 million received no cash stipends from welfare or Social Security. And 4.6 million received neither cash nor noncash benefits. The nonrecipients are typically screened out by the complex eligibility requirements of different programs, but the Reagan administration also conducted a visible campaign to drive poor people out of programs by challenging their applications and tightening the rules. The lives of the poor were one of the few areas of government activity that Reagan conservatives did not try to deregulate.

15. For further discussion of preventative protection for the environment, see Bruce Piasecki and Peter Asmus, In Search of Environmental Excellence: Moving Beyond Blame, Touchstone, 1990, and Barry Commoner, Making Peace with the Planer, Pantheon, 1990. How the tax code favors exploitation of virgin materials is described in "Facing America's Trash: What Next for Municipal Solid Waste?" Office of Technology Assessment, Congress, 1989.

16. Examples of state initiatives are from Margaret E. Kriz, "Ahead of the Feds," National Journal, December 9, 1989, and "Building an Environmentally Sustainable Economy," Center for Policy Alternatives, December 15, 1990.

SEVEN: The Politics of "Rude and Crude"

1. The Citizen's Clearinghouse estimate of seven thousand grassroots environmental groups seems excessive on its face, since it would mean an average of 140 such organizations in each of the fifty states. On the other hand, some states where environmental degradation has become a principal public issue have several hundred of these community organizations. Because the groups come and go or merge with others, it is difficult to find a precise answer to the question of their number.

2. The examples of successful protest tactics are taken from Everyone's Backyard, December 1990, monthly newsletter of the Citizen's Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes. Literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of such encounters occur every year and provoke local controversy but seldom rise to the level of national news events.

3. The Union Carbide memo was written by C. E. Greenert, director of corporate contributions, public issues and administration, November 24, 1989. A letter of apology from Ronald S. Wishart, Union Carbide's vice-president for public affairs, said: "I'm sorry that Mr. Greenert's (purloined) internal memorandum implies that the founder of CCHW has communist leanings, which was his short hand for a concern about the political directions some environmental activism seems to be taking."

4. EPA research, reported in the Archives of Environmental Health, March 1989, found excessive deaths from various kinds of cancers in Superfund counties in different regions of the country compared with counties that had no major hazardous-waste dumps. The patterns of increased disease, the EPA researchers noted, might be attributable to other causes, such as direct pollution from local industries, not exactly a comforting explanation for local citizens. A summary of the findings was reported in Rachel's Hazardous Waste News, May 2, 1989.

5. William Ruckelshaus was named CEO of Browning-Ferris Industries in 1988 to improve the company's environmental image, but BFI's hazardous-waste division, a small part of its overall operations, continued to face expensive controversies. New York State rejected its application for a new hazardous-waste site in Niagara Falls. In Ohio, BFI paid $3.5 million in fines and civil damages for past pollution at a dump outside Cincinnati. In Louisiana, it paid $1.5 million to settle allegations of violating hazardous-waste rules. Wall Street Journal, April 6, 1990.

6. The survey on political sophistication was cited by Herbert J. Gans, Middle American Individualism: The Future of Liberal Democracy, The Free Press, 1988. For an insightful essay on the strengths and weaknesses of citizen activism, see Karen Paget, "Citizen Organizing: Many Movements, No Majority," The American Prospect, Summer 1990.

7. The Washington Post's 1983 survey on environmental issues was cited by Barry Sussman, What Americans Really Think. Next to environmentalists, people most trusted local governments (55 percent favorable; 30 percent unfavorable), then the EPA (46 percent to 36 percent). President Reagan scored almost as poorly as business leaders (36 percent favorable; 45 percent unfavorable).

8. The StarKist boycott and others were described in The Wall Street Journal, "Facing a Boycott, Many Companies Bend," November 8, 1990.

9. Gillette, Dow Chemical, Sara Lee, and Sears Roebuck are among the companies that modified products in order to comply with California's "Prop 65" requirement of warning labels. In the political debates, of course, this is the sort of remedial action that corporations usually insist is impossible. See "California Spurs Reformulated Products," Wall Street Journal, November 1, 1990.

10. The Los Angeles survey was cited by Ken Hoover, "On the Take," Golden State Report, March 1990.

11. Tax-cutting measures were rejected in Massachusetts, Colorado, Nebraska and Utah, among other places, in 1990. California entertainment celebrities campaigned for "Big Green," the omnibus environmental initiative, but the chemical and agriculture industries countered with a trustworthy celebrity of their own, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who advised voters that the proposed bans on carcinogenic chemicals would not benefit the health of children. For a survey of initiatives, see The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 1990.

12. Mervin Field's analysis of referendum voters was in "Falling Turnout -- A Nonvoting Majority," Public Affairs Report, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California at Berkeley, March 1990.

13. The plastics industry's alarm and Larry Thomas's letter were reported in Everyone's Backyard, Citizen's Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes, March 1990.

14. Robert O. Aders's remarks to Produce Marketing Association are from an unpublished text, October 17, 1989.

15. I am indebted to the National Journal for its excellent coverage of regulatory politics and, in particular, its continuing reports on the power struggles between the states and the federal government and the cross-pressures generated by business interests and citizen reform groups. See, for instance, W. John Moore, "Stopping the States," July 21, 1990; Margaret E. Kriz, "Ahead of the Feds," December 9, 1989; and Julie Kosterlitz, "The Food Lobby's Menu," September 29, 1990.

16. The industry petition to the Federal Trade Commission was reported in The New York Times, February 15, 1991. 17. The Advocacy Institute and Congress Watch declaration was cited by W. John Moore, "Stopping the States," National Journal.

18. Enactment of federal preemptions for business regulation and health and safety laws increased from 65 in the 1970s to 72 in the 1980s. The data from the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations were reported by W. John Moore in "Stopping the States," National Journal. The agency counted a total of 350 federal preemptions, 127 for business regulation and 134 for health and safety regulations. In two other areas, civil rights and financial regulation, the number of new preemptions declined during the decade.

EIGHT: Political Orphans

1. The leaflet was quoted by Jon Cohen, "Down and Dirty," City Paper, May 19, 1989.

2. AEI's complete catalog of books, Fall 1989, lists the minimum-wage literature it has sponsored.

3. Richard Thompson was quoted in City Paper, May 19, 1989.

4. Details on the NLRB are from David Vogel, Fluctuating Fortunes: The Political Power of Business in America, Basic Books, 1989.

5. For a compelling account of how law has helped to collapse the labor movement, see Thomas Geoghegan, Which Side Are You On? Trying to Be for Labor When It's Flat on Its Back, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1991.

6. Michael Merrill, "Why There Will Be a Labor Party by the Year 2000," Social Policy, Spring 1990. See also my article, "Down but Not Out: Labor Struggles to Find Its Voice," Rolling Stone, October 17, 1991.

7. The D.C. minimum wage, like that of many states, was higher than the level set by federal law and would have been pushed upward if Congress had enacted a sufficiently large increase. The D.C. wage board subsequently adopted a $7.25 minimum for clerical workers (though not janitors), but the city council reduced this to $5.25 under pressure from local businesses.

8. The Progressive Policy Institute's report was entitled "Work and Poverty: A Progressive View of the Minimum Wage and the Earned Income Tax Credit," June 1989.

9. The survival "cheating" on federal benefits by the working poor is described by Christopher Jencks and Kathryn Edin in "The Real Welfare Problem," American Prospect, Spring 1990.

10. The late Joseph A. Pechman of the Brookings Institution, leading expert on tax equity, described the perverse effect of improving welfare benefits when the income-tax structure was no longer progressive: "The tax system has been getting less progressive in the last two decades, while the ratio of transfers to income has been increasing. In other words, the recent increases in transfer payments in the United States have been financed by the low and middle-income groups, while the rich have been getting tax cuts." Pechman, "The Future of the Income Tax," Brookings, December 22, 1989.

11. The charity event was a fund-raising gala for the Jewish Community Center of metropolitan Washington, and the Charles E. Smith Company changed its labor policies after several rabbis in the Washington area expressed their support for the demands made by "Justice for Janitors." Jewish Week, the community newspaper, also published a sympathetic account of why the janitors had staged their demonstration at the community center's banquet.
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NINE: Class Conflict

1. For an enthralling history of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the politics of the civil rights movement, see Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters, Simon & Schuster, 1988.

2. This insight was elaborated by J. Hunter O'Dell in his essay, "Notes on the Movement, Then, Now and Tomorrow," Southern Exposure, Spring 1981.

3. Michael Waldman is director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch. See his book, Who Robbed America? A Citizen's Guide to the Savings & Loan Scandal, Random House, 1990.

4. The contours of "political avoidance" are described by Herbert J. Gans, Middle American Individualism, The Free Press, 1988.

5. Outside magazine, September 1990. The magazine's lowest regard -- Milquetoast"-was for the National Wildlife Federation and the Nature Conservancy.

6. Lois Gibbs's remark on poor people is from Ana Radelat, "Avenging Angel," Public Citizen, September 1990.

7. The community leaders were invited to subsequent conferences at the behest of Tufts University, a cosponsor, according to a letter from Lois Gibbs to Nancy Newman, league president, October 21, 1986.

8. Grassroots activists dubbed the private meeting between Reilly, Waste Management's Dean Buntrock and Jay Hair, president of the Wildlife Federation, "Reillygate." Details are from the EPA investigative record into charges that Reilly's meeting was in violation of agency rules. The administrator was cleared and the controversy never achieved visibility in the national press but was covered aggressively by some local newspapers where citizen groups are aroused on toxic-waste issues. See the Winston-Salem Journal, April 21, 1989.

9. Samuel P. Huntington was among the academics who originally expressed alarm at the upsurge of citizen politics, fearing that reformers were immobilizing government. In the 1970s, he described these challenges as "an excess of democracy" but moderated his views subsequently when it became clear that neither government nor business interests were in danger of losing their power. Samuel P. Huntington, American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony, Harvard University Press, 1981.

10. My account of class conflicts in the environmental movement has been enriched by Eric Mann, "Environmentalism in the Corporate Climate," and Robert Gottlieb, "Earth Day Revisited," both in Tikkun, March 1990. Penny Newman was quoted in Mann's essay.

11. Details on corporate gifts to environmental groups are from Everyone's Backyard, October 1990.

12. The study of philanthropists was based mainly on individuals, and the portrait is less apt for some of the larger, long-established foundations such as Ford or Carnegie or Mellon that are now distant from the family wealth that created them. On the other hand, the new generation of corporate foundations provides grants that are usually intimately connected to the political self-interest of the companies that provided the money. See Teresa Odendahl, Charity Begins at Home: Generosity and Self-Interest Among the Philanthropic Elite, Basic Books, 1990.

TEN: Democratic Promise

1. Father Leo J. Penta, "Organizing and Public Philosophy: Fifty Years of the Industrial Areas Foundation," IAF Reflects, August 1990.

2. The story of Alinsky's career and political philosophy is told by Sanford D. Horwitt, Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky, His Life and Legacy, Alfred A. Knopf, 1989.

3. Edward Chambers was quoted by Geoffrey Rips, "A Democratic Conversation," Texas Observer, November 22, 1990. The Observer issue included two other valuable articles on IAF: Mary Beth Rogers, "Gospel Values and Secular Politics," excerpted from her book, Cold Anger: A Story of Faith and Power Politics, University of North Texas Press, and Linda Rocawich, "Interview: Ernesto Cortes Jr."

4. Cortes's remark about the "conjugal" nature of power and love is from his speech to the Farm Crisis Workers Conference, Texas Observer, July 11, 1986.

5. The IAF Texas network conducts a running series of seminars for its organizers and senior community leaders on a vast range of subjects. As the author of a book about the Federal Reserve and the money and credit system, I was invited to teach at one of these sessions and was deeply impressed by their seriousness.

6. Andres Sarabia's remark on anger was in the San Antonio Light, November 26, 1990.

7. Cortes's remark on "bullying" is from Linda Rocawich, "Interview: Ernesto Cortes Jr.," Texas Observer.

8. Alinsky's acknowledgment is from Sanford D. Horwitt, Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky, His Life and Legacy.

ELEVEN: Who Owns the Democrats?

1. Thomas Jefferson's letter to President Washington is a wonderfully evocative political document, even if it does not quite say what modern Democrats suppose. Jefferson described the political divisions -- North and South, agrarian and rural -- developing around Washington. He lamented that the Federalist financial interests, led by his rival Alexander Hamilton, were steadily corrupting the Congress. Once they succeeded in seizing control, Jefferson warned, they would install a monarchial form of government centered in the presidency and the people's right to govern themselves would be effectively extinguished. His letter is found in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 23, Charles T. Cullen, editor, Princeton University Press, 1990.

2. Michael McCurry, a former aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt during his brief campaign for president, left his DNC post in late 1990 to work in a political public-relations firm. His candid remarks on the party's condition were made to me, however, while he was still working for the DNC.

3. The National Association of Manufacturers, like other business groups, lobbied to defeat the toxics-labeling legislation, but Eizenstat says he merely addressed its "significant flaws." Among other things, he urged Congress to give certain employers immunity from damage suits and to keep the identity of notified workers confidential so they could not be readily recruited for lawsuits. Daily Labor Report, Bureau of National Affairs, February 16, 1988.

4. When PSI Holdings, Inc., added Eizenstat to its board, it also added Kenneth M. Duberstein, a Republican lobbyist who had served as chief of staff in Ronald Reagan's White House. Indianapolis Business Journal, January 29, 1990.

5. Tommy Boggs was quoted in the National Journal, January 13, 1990.

6. Williams and Jensen's lobbying for Pittston was reported in Legal Times, October 16, 1989. Its role in financing a study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute was reported in Pensions & Investment Age, April 2, 1990. Williams's jocular remark on arguing the "merits" was quoted in Legal Times, May 23, 1988.

7. Details on O'Connor and Hannan's work for ARENA and the Minneapolis City Council's reaction are from the Bulletin of Municipal Foreign Policy, Winter 1989-1990.

8. Among other tax-issue clients, Akin, Gump represented the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and the Mutual Fairness Taxation Association, formed by mutual insurance companies. The lobbying of the NEC by his firm's clients was described in Legal Times, November 7, 1988.

9. Akin, Gump's Fujitsu account was reported in the Financial Times, February 19, 1990. The lobbying on trade by prominent Democrats was described by John B. Judis, "K Street's Rise to Power of Special Interest to U.S.," In These Times, November 1, 1989. Judis wrote: "The denizens of K Street constitute a new mandarin class in America. Unlike the Chinese bureaucrats of old, however, the lawyer-lobbyist-pollsters of K Street are beholden not to a higher wisdom but to the highest bidder."

10. Frank Lorenzo's assembling of influential Democrats to represent him was described in Legal Times, May 16, 1988, and the American Lawyer, July 1988. The $12.7 million in legal bills for the bankrupt airline was described in The Wall Street Journal, May 21, 1990.

11. The Legal Times estimate of law firms with PACs was •reported in the National Journal, December 16, 1989. The Common Cause estimate is from The New York Times, December 29, 1989. Charles Babcock provided a systematic analysis of campaign money in The Washington Post, September 30, 1991.

12. Kirk O'Donnell was quoted in Legal Times, June 26, 1989.

13. The DLC's corporate sponsors were described in The Washington Post, March 29, 1990. See also Robert Kuttner, "What's the Beef'?" The New Republic, April 2, 1990.

TWELVE: Rancid Populism

I. Karen Olshan and Paula Drillman were quoted by Bernice Kanner of New York magazine in "Mind Games," Best of Business Quarterly, Winter 1990.

2. Lee Atwater was quoted in The New York Times, March 19, 1990, and Douglas Bailey in The Washington Post, April 20, 1990.

3. Douglas Bailey spoke at a seminar on the Republican presidential coalition sponsored by the Progressive Policy Institute, February 26, 1990.

4. The data on advertising costs and proliferation are from The Wall Street Journal, March 22, 1991.

5. The New York Times/CBS poll was cited by William A. Galston, "Rebuilding a Presidential Majority," unpublished paper, March 1989.

6. Lee Atwater's description of the "populist swing vote" is from my interview, Rolling Stone, January 12, 1989. "Power is evil" is from Marjorie Williams, "The New Lee Atwater Lies Low," Washington Post Magazine, November 19, 1989.

7. If readers wish to glimpse the outlines of a genuine democratic experience in American history, they will find it in the powerful narrative of the original Populist movement, recounted by Lawrence Goodwyn, The Populist Movement: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America, Oxford University Press, 1978.

8. Representative Newt Gingrich was quoted in The Washington Post, February 26, 1989, and The Wall Street Journal, May 20, 1988.

9. An example of social conservatives trying to develop a broader perspective that would let them address economic issues is an essay published by an affiliate of the Free Congress Foundation. See William S. Lind and William H. Marshner, Cultural Conservatism: Toward a New National Agenda, Institute for Cultural Conservatism, 1987.

10. Lee Atwater's account of his illness and self-discovery was entitled "Lee Atwater's Last Campaign," Life, February 1991.

11. David Stockman's remark is from my book, The Education of David Stockman and Other Americans.

12. For an exposition of Thomas Ferguson's theory, see "Party Realignment and American Industrial Structure: The Investment Theory of Political Parties in Historical Perspective," Research in Political Economy, Volume 6, JAI Press, 1983.

13. For a more precise version of Thomas Ferguson's analysis of the Republican party, see his article, "Who Bought Bush, and Why," International Economy, January 1989. His analysis of the major investors dominating the Democratic party-investment banking, major real-estate developers, high-tech manufacturers and others-was reported in "Private Money and Public Policy," International Economy, September 1988.

THIRTEEN: Angle of Vision

1. Jean G. Padioleau spent some months in the Post newsroom as part of a comparative organizational study in which he concluded that The Washington Post, notwithstanding its corporate hierarchy, had elements of freedom and innovation that were stronger than those at Le Monde, a newspaper ostensibly controlled by its own staff members. The insights quoted here are from an unpublished essay Padioleau prepared on the Post's newsroom management. See also Jean G. Padioleau, Le Monde et le Washington Post, Presses Universitaires de France, 1985.

2. The Washington Post's monopoly was complicated slightly by the founding of the Washington Times. a staunchly conservative daily financed by the Unification Church. The Times produces a lively contrast to the Post, but is utterly unthreatening to it, as an alternative for either readers or advertisers. Despite many millions invested by its right-wing sponsors, the Washington Times remains small and unprofitable.

3. The studies of Nightline and MacNeil/Lehrer were reported in FAIR's newsletter, Extra!, Winter 1990.

4. David Ignatius described think tanks in "Fishing for a Few Good Ideas," Washington Post, March 11, 1990.

5. Burt Solomon's reflections were in "Bush Cultivates the Press Corps ... Hoping for a Harvest of Goodwill," National Journal, May 5, 1990.

6. The social intimacies between the media and government are so commonplace that dozens of other examples could be cited. The participants are utterly oblivious to the implications and indeed offended by the suggestion that their closeness to power has compromised their rugged independence. Some of these details have been drawn from the National Journal, May 5, 1990; Washington Post, January 20, 1989; and The Wall Street Journal, December 28, 1989.

7. Barry Sussman discusses public criticism of the media in What Americans Really Think: And Why Our Politicians Pay No Attention, Pantheon, 1988.

8. For an excellent academic analysis of how the media fail democracy, see Robert M. Entman, Democracy Without Citizens: Media and the Decay of American Politics, Oxford University Press, 1989.

9. The Times Mirror Company, publisher of the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and other high-quality newspapers, has at least begun to explore this terrain -- the distance between orthodox news and the public -- by commissioning a series of polls that measure the interest levels and inattention of readers to the stories that editors and reporters regard as important. Thus far, however, the focus of these studies has been on the readers' responses, not on the production values of the news media.

FOURTEEN: The Lost Generation

1. Among the critics, one of the most insightful pessimists is Neil Postman, a professor of communications at New York University and author of many books. See, for instance, Conscientious Objections, Alfred A. Knopf, 1988.

2. Jacques Cousteau was quoted by columnist Jim Hoagland as Hoagland pondered the political implications of his own young daughter and her school friends' taking responsibility for protecting the global environment. See Washington Post, July 10, 1990.

3. The voting data are based on surveys by the U.S. Census Bureau in which people are asked whether they voted in the last election. This approach usually inflates the numbers slightly, since some people are always reluctant to admit they did not vote. In the census data, voting participation fel1 from 50 percent to 36 percent among eighteen- to twenty- four-year-olds, from 1972 to 1988. It fell from 63 percent to 54 percent among those who are twenty-five to forty-four years old during the same period. Voting levels were virtual1y unchanged among those forty-five to sixty-four years old (68 percent in 1988) and actual1y increased modestly among those who are sixty-five and older (69 percent in 1988, up from 64 percent in 1972). See "The Age of Indifference: A Study of Young Americans and How They View the News," Times Mirror Center for The People & The Press, June 28, 1990.

4. The Times Mirror Center has taken month-by-month surveys of what in the news captures the most interest of the audience. See especially "The Age of Indifference," among its other periodic reports.

5. Jim Bellows was quoted in The Washington Post, January 9, 1989.

6. The Rolling Stone survey, conducted by Peter Hart, covered a broad group of people, ranging in age from eighteen to forty-four, and demonstrated that, notwithstanding al1 the generalizations about younger people, they are as diverse in their attitudes as any other generation of Americans. My discussion in this chapter of political behavior and perspectives has relied substantial1y on the findings. See my article, "The Rolling Stone Survey," Rolling Stone, April 7, 1988.

7. The scientific dispute over Alar centered on samplings that tested how much residue was found on apples in the marketplace and whether that constituted a risk to humans. The NRDC research argued that government standards were too lax because they did not take into account the smaller body weight of young children and the large amount of fruit that they consume.

8. The details on EPA's advisory panel on pesticides are from The Washington Post, May 26, 1989.

9. The apple growers subsequently sued the NRDC for damages, but Alar remained off the market and the NRDC had performed a public service by exposing EPA's lack of enforcement. The product was first linked to cancer in 1973 and nothing had happened for more than fifteen years, according to Adrian de Wind, NRDC chairman. The NRDC report found that Alar in apple products created cancer risks at least 240 times greater than EPA said were safe. See New York Times. July 9, 1991, and a letter from de Wind, New York Times, July 30, 1991.

10. The Publishers Weekly list was printed in The Wall Street Journal, January 16, 1990.

11. James Dobson's "profamily" politics and organization were described in The Wall Street Journal, October 17, 1988.

12. I am indebted to Frank Mankiewicz for this insight about the deeper content of Michael Moore's film, which, Mankiewicz said, "captures the strange new terms in which the victims are laughing at themselves. Everyone is standing at the center of the debate, watching the show. There's nobody saying; those bastards."

13. George Gilder describes his vision of the coming revolution in Life After Television: The Coming Transformation of Media and American Life, Whittle Direct Books, 1990.

14. See Ben H. Bagdikian, The Media Monopoly, Beacon Press, 1983.

15. Michael Kinsley wrote; "Media companies in the U.S. enjoy the First Amendment rights of all American citizens. But like other major corporations they are 'artificial persons,' legal fictions; and if they begin to abuse their editorial prerogatives through systematic in-house cross-promotions, government may restrict them to a more limited set of First Amendment privileges." See New Republic, May 7, 1990. The NBC stories promoting GE products were reported by FAIR in its newsletter, Extra!, January 1991.

16. Among his many projects, Ralph Nader has created the Audience Network Coalition in Washington in an attempt to generate support for fundamental reform of the federal communications laws.


1. This account of why Benjamin Heineman, Jr., and other Washington lawyers joined General Electric relies mainly on reporting in the American Lawyer, September 1989, and D. M. Osborne, "The Sidley-Heineman Connection," May 1990, as well as the National Journal, April 7, 1990.

2. Philip Lacovara filed "Preliminary Comments of General Electric Company on the U.S. Sentencing Commission's Proposed Organizational Sanctions," September 11, 1989. The brief was cosigned by Victoria Toensing, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration who as a Washington lawyer was hired by GE to fight the corporate-crime sentencing guidelines. It was Toensing who lobbied the White House and persuaded the president's counsel, C. Boyden Gray, to intervene at the Justice Department. She was representing GE, Martin Marietta, ITT and other firms, according to The Washington Post, April 28, 1990.

3. The Sidley & Austin memorandum on Superfund litigation was circulated by Stephen Ramsey at an American Bar Association teleconference on hazardous waste, according to David T. Buente, chief of EPA's environmental enforcement section. Buente in turn distributed it to EPA lawyers with a warning memo on June 4, 1986.

4. The description of General Electric's potential Superfund liability is from "Nuclear Power Development and Related Energy Issues: General Electric Co.," Proxy Issues Report, Investor Responsibility Research Center, March 30, 1990. Ramsey was quoted in the American Lawyer, May 1990.

5. Details on GE's scope are drawn from the company's 1989 Annual Report and the 1989 GE Foundations Annual Report; Stratford P. Sherman, "The Mind of Jack Welch, " Fortune, March 27, 1989; Russell Mitchell and Judith H. Dobrzynski, "Jack Welch Reinvents GE," Business Week, December 14, 1987; and Doug Henwood, "NBC: The GE Broadcasting Co.," Extra!, May 1989.

6. General Electric, as bespeaks its power, declined to cooperate with my examination of its political operations. Frank P. Doyle turned down my request for an interview. The public-affairs officer for GE's Washington office acknowledged that there is a company named General Electric, but declined to provide additional details.

7. Common Cause, which calculated GE's political contributions, filed a shareholder's resolution challenging the practice, Wall Street Journal, January 9, 1989. The GE honoraria were for 1985 and reported in "INFACT Brights GE to Light," INFACT, 1988. Robert W. Barrie's role in raising money for Democrats was described by Thomas B. Edsall, "Bringing Good Things to GE," Washington Post, April 13, 1985.

8. The corporate lobbying on product-liability legislation was described by Gary Lee in The Washington Post, July 29, 1991.

9. GE's lobbying blitz to protect its venture in Hungary against what it called "the inherent uncertainties" was described by the National Journal, February 10, 1990.

10. Obviously, corporate-image advertising is often intended to produce a commercial benefit as well as political protection, but the propaganda effect is the same, regardless of intent. In the survey of nonproduct corporate advertising for 1987, General Electric was the ninth-largest spender. Dow Chemical was the fourth-largest spender with the commercials attempting to overcome its reputation as a polluter. See Amy J. Barnes, "Top Heavy: The 17th Annual Review of Corporate Advertising Expenditures," Public Relations Journal, September 1988.

11. The Northrop episode was reported in The Wall Street Journal, February 20, 1990.

12. The Chevron campaign was reported by its director of research in public affairs, Lewis C. Winters, "Does It Pay to Advertise to Hostile Audiences with Corporate Advertising?" Journal of Advertising Research, June 1988.

13. Frank Doyle testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee subcommittee on European affairs, March 28, 1990.

14. Details on the taxation of GE and other corporations are drawn from Citizens for Tax Justice's "Annual Survey of Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Freeloaders," October 1989.

15. In 1990, for instance, overseas investment by American companies grew by 16 percent while capital spending in the United States increased by a tepid 6.7 percent. See Robert B. Reich, The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism, Alfred A. Knopf, 1991.

16. Bob Barrie's lobbying on tax leasing was described by Thomas Edsall in "Bringing Good Things to GE," Washington Post, April 13, 1985.

17. GE's 1989 tax rate was calculated from its Annual Report. Details on the shortfall in corporate tax revenue are from The Wall Street Journal, February 8, 1990, and The New York Times, March 6, 1990.

18. Though the process has received little attention from the press, the real political action on universal health care is located in the high-level negotiations that have been convened as the "National Leadership Coalition for Health Care Reform." The discussions include an extraordinary list of major corporations and labor unions and a few health groups, but not the hospitals, doctors and insurance companies that are the main supporters of the status quo. See Frank Swoboda, "Devising a Cure for High Costs of Health Care," Washington Post, February 12, 1991.

19. Frank Doyle testified for increased Head Start funding before the Senate Labor Committee, March 1, 1990.

20. The so-called "skills shortage" was refuted by Lawrence Mishel and Ruy A. Teixeira, "The Myth of the Coming Labor Shortage: Jobs, Skills, and Incomes of America's Workforce 2000," Economic Policy Institute, July 1991.

21. John Welch was quoted on loyalty in The Wall Street Journal. August 4, 1988, and Frank Doyle on "ready to go" employees in Business Week, December 14, 1987. The loss of loyalty evidently extends fairly high up the management ladder. According to the Journal ""count, top-level managers transferred to GE's consumer electronics division, based on Welch's expressed interest in revitalizing it. They were stunned when Welch sold the entire product line a few months later.

22. Frank Doyle described GE's global premises for the company and for America before the Congressional Economic Leadership Institute with the Congressional Competitiveness Caucus, July 30, 1987.

23. The history and legal arguments surrounding corporate use of constitutional rights are recounted by Carl Mayer in their political context: Corporations had to invent new strategies for countering the more intrusive noneconomic regulation for the environment or health and safety that developed in the modern era. See Carl J. Mayer, "Personalizing the Impersonal: Corporations and the Bill of Rights," Hastings Law Journal, March 1990.

24. The facts on GE's legal offenses are all drawn from regular news accounts. The company's dossier is rarely, if ever, examined in full by the news media, so each new episode of corporate misbehavior is reported as if it were a shocking aberration. See these dispatches: Army battlefield computers, Associated Press, Philadelphia, February 3,1990, and The New York Times, July 27, 1990; military jet engines, AP, Cincinnati, February 24, 1989; Army M-I tanks, Wall Street Journal, October 13, 1989; Navy missile frigates, Wall Street Journal, February 10, 1988; and Air Force Minuteman, AP, March 24 and July 26, 1985.

25. For the assortment of GE offenses, see these news reports: Puerto Rican bribery, Associated Press, Trenton, February 11 and June 23, 1981; Kidder Peabody insider trading, AP, New York, June 4, 1987; GE Capital consumer discrimination, AP, Washington, October 3, 1989; GE job discrimination, AP, Washington, June 15, 1978; and price-fixing in Canada, Wall Street Journal, April 14, 1977.

26. General Electric's latest case of fraud was reported in The New York Times, August 15, 1991.

27. General Electric's role in nuclear-bomb manufacture and attendant environmental problems are described in "INFACT Brings GE to Light," INFACT, 1988. GE's plan to discontinue its management of the Pinellas nuclear plant, confirmed by the company, was reported in Everyone's Backyard, Citizen's Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes, February 1991.

28. For GE pollution cases, see these news reports: Coosa River pollution, Associated Press, Birmingham, November 14, 1979; Hudson River contamination, Christian Science Monitor, June 12, 1990; Waterford, New York, settlement, AP, Albany, September 3, 1987; New Hampshire and Massachusetts toxic dumping, AP, Boston, August 4, 1988; and Ohio dump settlement, AP, Washington, December 20, 1989.

29. A General Electric subsidiary, RCA, was also involved in the defense-industry scandal of companies' obtaining classified Pentagon documents to enhance their bidding on contracts. However, the criminal events occurred before RCA was acquired by GE (which later sold off the company, except NBC). RCA pleaded guilty and paid a $2.5 million fine, Associated Press, Fairfield, Connecticut, February 5, 1990. For other corporate cases, see these news reports: Mobil Oil, Washington Post, November 22, 1990; Northrop, Wall Street Journal, September 20, 1990; Waste Management, Wall Street Journal, May I, 1991; Eastern Air, lines, New York Times, July 26, 1990; and Hughes Aircraft, Wall Street Journal, July 6, 1990.

30. Professor Amitai Etzioni's findings were reported to the U.S. Sentencing Commission. See also his book Capital Corruption: The New Attack on American Democracy, Transaction Books, 1988.

31. The judge's criticism of GE was reported in The Wall Street Journal, September 27, 1990.

32. Philip Lacovara proposed "substantial mitigation" for companies that cooperate in disclosing criminal conduct. He suggested that prosecutors regard corporate managements as "partners" and reward them with "an explicit, corresponding adjustment in any penal sanction." Even so, he added, "it is important to recognize that corporations cannot necessarily cooperate to the extent prosecutors would prefer." See "Preliminary Comments of General Electric Company," U.S. Sentencing Commission, September 11, 1989.

33. The survey of corporate managers on ethical dilemmas was conducted in the late 1980s and reported in "Corporate Ethics," the Conference Board, Research Report No. 900, undated.

34. In 1990, the California legislature passed a tough new law called the Corporate Criminal Liability Act, which, among other things, puts companies and their managers at risk of criminal prosecution if they fail to report internal health-and-safety dangers promptly. Another new measure, setting up five-year probation status for environmental offenders, was enacted by the California legislature but vetoed by the governor. See Jaye Scholl, "Giving Business the Business," Barron's, March 25, 1991.

35. The statistics on 1988 prosecutions are from a study done for the U.S. Sentencing Commission by Mark A. Cohen, "Corporate Crime and Punishment: An Update on Sentencing Practice in the Federal Courts, 1988-90."

SIXTEEN: Crackpot Realism

1. Senator Moynihan's argument for restoring respect for international law in American foreign policy is elaborated in his book, On the Law of Nations: A Historical and Personal Account of the Role of International Law in Foreign Policy, Harvard University Press, 1990.

2. The costs of the Persian Gulf War were shared by allied contributions but, even so, the U.S. share offset the modest reduction in defense spending that had been in place for 1991. See Robert L. Borosage, "How Bush Kept the Guns from Turning into Butter," Rolling Stone, February 21, 1991.

3. George Soros, "A Great Light in the East?" Geopolitique, No. 26, 1989.

4. The postwar opinion survey was conducted jointly by Market Strategies, a firm that specializes in research for Republicans, and Greenberg/Lake, a Democratic firm. See "Americans Talk Issues," Survey No. 15, April 1991.

5. Details on the CIA's exaggeration of Soviet power are drawn from an interview with Senator Moynihan as well as his book, On the Law of Nations, and his article in The Washington Post, July 11, 1990.

6. The revised' 'threat" assessment in Europe was made jointly by the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and reported by Patrick Tyler in The Washington Post, November 29, 1989.

7. A full account of the government's actions against domestic political opponents in the 1980s was produced by Jonathan Dann of the Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco and published in the Los Angeles Reader, June 10, 1988.

8. All but about 50 of Reagan's 298 national-security directives remained secret. The outlines of the secret "lawmaking" process at the National Security Council were described by Angus Mackenzie and Eve Pell of the Freedom of Information Project at the Center for Investigative Reporting, Albuquerque Journal, October 16, 1988.

9. Moynihan's statement is from his book, On the Law of Nations.

10. The foreign minister of Iraq, surveying the nations allied against his country, observed: "A lot of money, billions of dollars, was spent to create that coalition." The full facts of the Bush administration's actions are not known, of course. Representative Henry Gonzalez outlined his accusations in the Congressional Record, January 16, 1991. See also The Wall Street Journal, January 14, 1991.

11. The defense share of manufacturing is from "Bolstering Defense Industrial Competitiveness," Report of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, July 1988. Other estimates of defense-driven spending and investment are from Jacques S. Gansler, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and chairman of Defense Science Board's 1990 study on technology and the defense industry.

12. For detailed accounts of the defense-budget politics, see David C. Morrison, "End of the Line," National Journal, June 8, 1991, and "Schizophrenic Budget," National Journal, February 9, 1991.

13. Secretary Cheney's declaration is from the 1989 edition of "Soviet Military Power," quoted by Jacques S. Gansler in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, March 1, 1990.

14. Jacques S. Gansler's argument for integration of defense and commercial manufacturing was made in his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, March 1, 1990.

SEVENTEEN: The Closet Dictator

1. Professor Gueramina Valdes-Villalva, whom I interviewed in July 1990, worked for many years to aid the exploited maquiladora workers and to challenge the practices of the companies. She died in a plane crash in Texas on February 13, 1991.
My guides and translators in Ciudad Juarez were two Americans, Sister Maribeth Larkin, an organizer with EPISO, the IAF organization in El Paso, and Ignacio Escandon, a businessman who is active in EPISO.

2. The statistics on falling labor costs are from Twin Plant News: The Magazine of the Maquiladora Industry, May 1990.

3. The "slave labor" remark was quoted by Lane Kirkland, president of the AFL-CIO, speech to the American International Club of Geneva, June 24, 1991.

4. The Arizona Republic and reporters Jerry Kammer and Sandy Tolan of Desert West News Service won the Robert F. Kennedy journalism award for their series on the Nogales industries, published in April 1989. The Wall Street Journal published a harrowing account of a twelve-year-old working in a Mexican shoe factory and described child labor as general throughout the country -- exploiting five to ten million underage workers. See Matt Moffett, "Working Children: Underage Laborers Fill Mexican Factories," Wall Street Journal, April 8, 1991.

5. This is a small sample of the complaints about environmental damage from the maquiladora. Details were reported in In These Times, May 22, 1991, and "Border Trouble: Rivers in Peril," National Toxics Campaign, May 1991, as well as the Arizona Republic series.

6. The Juarez official was quoted by Guadalupe Silva, "Twin Plant Toxics May Reach Water Table," El Paso Times, May 21, 1989.

7. Formation of the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras was reported in the newsletter of the Federation for Industrial Retention and Renewal, Spring 1991. Coalition members include FIRR, the National Toxics Campaign, the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, the AFL-CIO and a variety of others.

Some major labor unions such as the food and commercial workers' are beginning to develop their own strategies for cross-border politics with similar unions in Europe, Asia and Latin America, having discovered that they are up against the same companies and similar labor practices, regardless of their own nation.

8. Wolfgang Sachs, of the Essen Institute for Advanced Studies, wrote in New Perspectives Quarterly, Spring 1990.

9. Jacques Attali, former advisor to President Mitterrand, wrote in the New Perspectives Quarterly, Spring 1990. W. Michael Blumenthal was quoted in "The Stateless Corporation," Business Week. May 14, 1990.

10. Jane Uebelhoer of ACORN testified before the Senate Banking Committee, April 4, 1990.

11. The international agreement signed by the Federal Reserve and other central banks created a system of risk-based capital ratios for banking-capital requirements geared to the level of risk in each bank's portfolio. Housing suffered because the Federal Reserve assigned a 100 percent risk ratio for multifamily projects -- a rating identical to the most speculative business loans-which would raise the cost of such lending for banks. The central bank, in effect, had promulgated a credit-allocation policy that would discourage investment in low-income housing-when the nation faced an obvious shortage. Federal regulators claimed that they were bound by international agreement, but the fact is that other nations' central banks were prepared to assign a more favorable risk rating to housing than was the Federal Reserve.

12. Clayton Yeutter was quoted by Mark Ritchie, "Trading Away Our Environment: GATT and Global Harmonization," Journal of Pesticide Reform, Fall 1990.

13. Clayton Yeutter's remarks on California's "Prop 65" food-safety law were quoted by David Morris, "Trading Our Future: Talking Back to GAIT," Institute for Local Self- Reliance, St. Paul, Minnesota, undated. His comments on the European ban of beef growth hormones are from Mark Ritchie, "Trading Away Our Environment."

14. Details on Codex standards and the influence of American chemical companies are from Eric Christensen, "Food Fight: How GATT Undermines Food Safety Regulations," Multinational Monitor, November 1990. The GAIT negotiations reached an impasse in early 1991 on other economic issues but presumably will resume.

15. Examples of GATT objections to U.S. state laws were recounted by Bruce Stokes, "State Rules and World Business," National Journal, October 27, 1990.

16. The Bush administration, responding to attacks on the "fast track" approach, issued various promises to address the problems of environmental damage and working conditions in the trade negotiations with Mexico, but these were no more than expressions of good intent. The overall effect of the agreement will be to extend the maquiladora preferences to all of Mexico-and thus set off another round of U.S. job losses as well as other consequences. In economic terms, the Mexican government expects to gain the U.S. currency income to deal with its foreign debt -- a powerful incentive to ignore the ancillary effects on its citizens. In the end, the flight of U.S. jobs to Mexico will directly benefit the U.S. banks -- the major banks that loaned tens of billions to Mexico in the first place and would now have some chance of being paid back. Given the timing, the Mexican agreement will probably not reach completion and political debate until sometime after the 1992 election.

17. The mythologies of "free trade" and national sovereignty are examined in a devastating critique by David Morris, "Free Trade: The Great Destroyer," Institute for Local Self- Reliance, January 16, 1988.

In western Europe, where organized labor has a much stronger political position, unions are encountering the same threatening effects of multinational politics that undermined American labor and many of its hard-won protections. In response, European unions have proposed a "social charter" for the European Economic Community that would establish minimum legal requirements on Working conditions, social guarantees and other matters for the entire community of nations. The effort has been weakened, however, by political deadlock led by Britain's conservative government, and the new social charter mayor may not become a reality.

18. Details on IBM, Whirlpool and GE microwaves are from Robert B. Reich, The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism, Alfred A. Knopf, 1991.

19. The three corporate executives from NCR, Colgate-Palmolive and GE were quoted by David Morris, "Trading Our Future."

20. John Reed's efforts to relocate Citicorp in a foreign country were described as his "pet project" by The Wall Street Journal, August 9, 1991. Lloyd Cutler, whose Washington law firm represents Citibank, has proposed a vast recapitalization of commercial banks by the Federal Reserve.

21. The weekly wage average is from Economic Indicators, Joint Economics Committee, May 1991. Many families, it is true, manage to make up for the shortfall in various ways, usually by someone else in the family going to work. This exchange of time for money may maintain their financial status for a time, but it also erodes family life.

22. The productivity-wage gap for all employees in business is from Economic Indicators, May 1991, Joint Economics Committee. Conservative columnist Warren Brookes has described a much starker disparity for manufacturing workers. Their productivity increased more than 35 percent during the 1980s but their real wages rose only 2.7 percent. This is in contrast to the 1960s, when manufacturing productivity increased by 32 percent and wages rose by 22 percent. See Warren Brookes, Washington Times, March 20, 1991.

23. The compensation data are from Robert B. Reich, The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism. Reich described global webs of what he calls "symbolic analysts" linked in common enterprise.

24. The office of U.S. trade representative as a trade school for foreign lobbyists is described in "America's Frontline Trade Officials," Center for Public Integrity, December 1990. Pat Choate detailed Japanese influence in Agents of Influence: How Japan's Lobbyists in the United States Manipulate America's Political and Economic System, Alfred A. Knopf, 1990. Karel van Wolferen is quoted by Choate.

25. The contours of the global process were described by the Economic Policy Institute's director, Jeff Faux, "Labor in the New Global Economy," Dissent, Summer 1990.

26. The outlines of a global growth strategy based on rising wages and incomes have been described in many places, including my own book, Secrets of the Temple. Walter Russell Mead's book, Mortal Splendor, and his various essays in the World Policy Journal provide perhaps the most comprehensive and plausible description of the new economic order that the world needs.

27. Lane Kirkland, president of the AFL-CIO, spoke for this idea in terms of labor rights: "A trade policy that encourages or tolerates the spectacle of corporations roaming the world in search of the cheapest and most repressed labor is more perversely protectionist than any tariff or quota, and serves in the last analysis to restrict and undermine markets and lower standards the world over. In the interest of basic fairness and the continued elevation of the human condition, the denial of workers' rights should be clearly defined internationally as the unfair trading practice it is, through the incorporation of a social clause in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade." Speech to American International Club of Geneva, June 24, 1991.

CONCLUSION: The American Moment

1. The origin of political movements and the painstaking effort they require of people are explained by Lawrence Goodwyn in his authoritative history of the Populist movement and also in Breaking the Barrier: The Rise of Solidarity in Poland, Oxford University Press, 1991. The kind of political development that produces fundamental change requires many years, even decades, to achieve power and is so difficult that throughout history it has regularly failed. For a portrait of contemporary Americans trying to recreate their own politics, see also Harry C. Boyte, Commonwealth: A Return to Citizen Politics, The Free Press, 1989.

2. The statement is from Vaclav Havel, Disturbing the Peace, Alfred A. Knopf, 1990.
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Postby admin » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:18 am


Many wise teachers prepared me to write this book, too many to name, but I wish to thank them all. They include active politicians, critical editors and thousands of engaged citizens whom I encountered along the way during three decades as a reporter. My own education in politics was formed not from theory, but mainly from their experiences and insights and the hard questions they asked. This book borrowed freely from them.

I owe a special debt, as should be evident from the text, to the influence of three professional teachers -- Lawrence Goodwyn, Theodore Lowi and Thomas Ferguson. Courageous scholars are rarer than courageous politicians, but each of these thinkers has opened important new understandings of American politics by standing outside the confines of conventional academic thinking. The language of "democratic promise" is Goodwyn's. The resonant phrase "How may the people speak to power?" is borrowed from Lowi. My economic analysis of political institutions was enriched by what Tom Ferguson taught me.

Larry Goodwyn, in particular, served as a wise teacher and generous friend in his critical reading of the manuscript. An extended "democratic conversation" ensued between us on the ideas contained in this book, many of which were inspired by Goodwyn's own work on the neglected subject of democratic development. His patient questions and moral support amounted to a great gift from a brilliant teacher. Readers who intend to explore further into the meaning of democracy ought to begin with Goodwyn's engrossing accounts of people in democratic action -- The Populist Moment and Breaking the Barrier: The Rise of Solidarity in Poland.

I am also indebted to my editors at Simon & Schuster, Alice Mayhew and George Hodgman, who brought their own critical talents to this project and, like Larry Goodwyn, challenged my excesses and pushed to make the argument as coherent and direct as possible. I thank as well all of the other people at Simon & Schuster, including especially Marcia Peterson, Sean Devlin, and Stephen Messina for excellent copyediting, and also my agent, Lynn Nesbit, for her support and counsel.

The sum of everything I know about human relationships, how they are nurtured and sustained, I learned from my family -- my parents, Harold and Gladys Greider, and Linda Furry Greider, my wife, and my children, Cameron and Katharine, to whom this book is dedicated. The qualities that are missing in politics -- loyalty and trust, integrity and courage, honesty and responsibility -- I have found in my family. Learning from our children has been the most exalting experience of our lives; it continues in interesting new directions, The relationships they have formed as adults -- Katharine with David Ullman Andrews, Cameron with Lalou Lambelet Dammond -- enlarge the dimensions of our optimism for the future.
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Postby admin » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:21 am


ABC, 93, 299-300, 302
abortion issue, 238-39, 277, 279
ACORN, 170, 210, 387-88
Acton, Lord, 20
Aders, Robert 0., 179
advertising, 311-12
activist use of, 320-23
for corporate image, 338-40, 346
Republican mastery of, 270-78
Advertising Age, 175
Advocacy Institute, 39, 181
Aetna Insurance, 42, 187
AFL-CIO, 99, 192, 193, 195, 248, 251,
255, 261, 386-87
"Age of Indifference, The," 315-16
Agnew, Spiro, 297
Agriculture Department, U.S., 147, 179,
airbags, 111-12, 142
Air Force, U.S., 339, 350
airline industry, 39, 108
Akin, Gump, 254, 257
Alabama, 158, 178, 352
Alar pesticide, 320-23, 328
Alinsky, Saul, 224-25, 228, 234-35,
Allied Communities of Tarrant (ACT),
Altman, Roger, 82
American Airlines, 343
American Association of Retired Persons,
19, 99, 248
American Bankers Association (ABA),
72-73, 76-77
American Chrome, 124-25
American Council for Capital Formation,
American Council on Life Insurance, 102
American Enterprise Institute (AEI), 48,
187, 300, 338
American Express, 258
American Israel Public Affairs Committee,
American Lawyer, 333
American Petroleum Institute, 263
Americans for Generational Equity 338
Americans with Disabilities Act (1990),
America's Funniest Home Videos, 326
Amnesty International, 172-73, 248, 324
Amoco, 281
Andrea Doria, 290
Anthony, Beryl, 72
apple growers, pesticides and, 320-23
Aquino, Corazon, 315, 320
ARCO, 138, 263
ARENA, 256
Arizona, 158, 237, 385
Arizona Republic, 384
Army, U.S., 350
Asarco, 124-25
Ashley, Thomas "Lud," 249, 253, 255
Aspin, Les, 52
Association of Bank Holding Companies,
249, 256, 258
AT&T, 42, 48, 254, 257, 339
Atlantic, 82, 185
Attali, Jacques, 387
Atwater, Lee, 261, 274, 281-82, 319
Audubon Society, 44, 215, 220
Automobile Import Dealers Association,
automobile industry, 394, 399
health hazards in, 119, 120, 121-22
regulation avoided by, 37-38, 1I1-12,
113, 142
Autopac, 256
Ayres, Richard, 127, 129, 132, 215

Babcock, Charles R., 259
Bagdikian, Ben H., 328, 329
Bailey, Douglas, 271
Baker, Howard, 73
Baker, James A., 111, 69, 70, 302
Baltimore, Md., 223
Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development
(BUILD), 223
Bangladesh, 381, 400
Bank Capital Markets Association, 258
banking industry, 91, 116, 258-60, 285
global economy and, 388, 391, 392,
393-94, 397-98
government bailout of, 69, 70, 283,
in lobbying on S&L bailout, 75-77, 78
Barrie, Robert W., 337
Bass, Gary D., 144
Bath Iron Works, 1I7-18
BBPO, 271
Beamish, Rita, 302
Bear Stearns, 258
Bechtel, 121
Beers, Steve, 173-74
Bell, Stephen E., 84, 85
Bellows, Jim, 317
Bentsen, Lloyd, 75, 251, 252
Bergsten, C. Fred, 82
Bernhard, Berl, 254, 257, 258
Bernstein, Carl, 297, 302
BA, 169, 170
Bhopal chemical disaster, 128
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Mahoning
Valley, 37
Billings, Leon, 171, 172
Black, Hugo, 348
Black Caucus, 261
blacks, 21, 153, 173, 291, 348
in civil rights movement, 203-8,
Blanchard, E. P., 139
Blumenthal, W. Michael, 387
Boeing, 112, 285
Boggs, Tommy, 45-46, 253, 254, 256;257,
Bonner, Jack, 36-39, 40, 51, 54
books, best-selling, 323
Bork, Robert H., 150
Boston Globe, 302
Bouton, Deborah, 164
boycott campaigns, 173-75, 338
Boycott News, 173
BP Chemicals, 137, 138
Bradlee, Benjamin C., 293-99, 305
Brady, Nicholas F., 76
Brazil, 366, 381
Brookings Institution, 48, 90, 132, 154,
300, 338
Brooklyn, N. Y., 222-23
Brown, Ronald H., 251, 252, 254, 257
Browning-Ferris Industries, 44, 168, 170
Brown v. Board of Education, 409
Brumbaugh, R. Dan, 69-70, 73
budget deficit, 95, 97, 282-83, 361, 371,
reduction plans for, 81, 92, 99-100
Budweiser beer, 272
Bumpers, Dale, 66, 133, 195
Bureau of Mines, U.S., 39
Burger King, 173
Bush, George, 44, 124, 130-31, 195,
258, 282, 302, 397
foreign affairs and, 63, 285, 315, 361,
368-69, 371, 372, 389
in 1988 elections, 22, 73, 261, 271,
275-76, 277
regulation impeded by, 1I0, 141-48,
158, 283, 333
S&L crisis and, 70, 75-77, 78, 210
tax issues and, 81, 83, 84, 89, 97,
citizen groups influenced by, 37-39,
54, 220
courts and, 110, 148-52, 154, 168,
333, 339, 348-55
economic tactics against, 169-70, 173175, 338
environmental regulation as viewed by,
24, 133-34, 353
executive salaries in, 397
industrial policy for, 373-74
legal constraints needed on, 156, 333,
as legal persons, 348-49, 353-55, 402
media intimidated by, 298
media owned by, 328-30, 335, 340,
as mediating institutions, 331-32, 336,
340, 343-48
as model for government, 47
political dominance of, 331-32, 343
public relations and, 48, 321-23
public view of, 170
regulation thwarted by, 26, 39, 105122,
124-30, 133, 134, 135-40,
212, 333, 334
Republicans and, 279-81, 282-85
tax burden shifted from, 79-81, 89-91,
94-96, 341-43, 355, 402
think tanks sponsored by, 37, 48, 51,
52, 82, 187-88, 300, 338
see also economy. global; specific
companies and industries
business lobbying, 215-16, 255, 256-57,
defining problems in, 43, 44, 76
ease of, at federal level, 141-48, 158,
178-82, 216
economic blackmail in, 138-40, 341
emotional climate in, 54-55
by foreign governments, 398-99
grassroots organizations in, 37-39, 54
public rationale in, 45-47, 88
see also specific industries and legislation
Business Roundtable, 338, 344, 398
Business Week, 345, 394

cable television, 328, 329, 335
Caesar, Pearl, 228
Califano, Joseph A., Jr., 254, 258
California, 158, 175-78, 223, 237, 339,
348, 354, 389
campaign contributions, see political contributions
Canada, 193
cancer risks:
from factory work, 119, 121-22
from food, 112, 320-23
pollution and, 55, 124-30, 165, 385
Carlton Group, 341
Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace, 300
Carter, Jimmy, 82, 89, 171, 254, 261,
regulation and, 67, 113, 128, 135,
144-45, 146
CBS, 274, 302, 320
celebrities, political role of, 320-24
Center for Economic Progress and Employment,
Center for National Policy. 262
Center for Public Integrity, 398
Center for The People & The Press,
Center for the Study of American Business,
Central America, 256-257, 366
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 369,
illegal activities of, 365-68
proposed abolishment of, 360
Soviet threat exaggerated by, 363-65
Chamber of Commerce, U.S., 141, 256
Chambers, Edward T., 225
Channelview, Tex., 138
Charles E. Smith Management Company.
187-88, 198, 201
Chase Manhattan Bank, 48, 187, 256,
258, 281, 283
Chavez, Laura, 382
chemical industry:
health risks and, 55, 56, 124-25, 128,
129-30, 320-23, 390, 391-92
waste-disposal regulation and, 135-40,
142, 147-48, 156
Chemical Manufacturers Association
(CMA), 38, 129-30, 137-39, 142
Chemical• Waste Management, 137
Chemical Week, 136
Cheney, Richard, 373
Chevron, 48, 150-51, 220, 339
Chevron U.S.A. v. NRDC, 150-51
Chicago, Ill., 224
Chicago Board Options Exchange, 258
Chicago Tribune, 302
Children's Defense Fund, 262
Chile, 366
China, People's Republic of, 369, 381,
383, 399
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), 158, 215
Choate, Pat, 398
Chrysler, 51, 112, 256, 343, 381, 393,
395, 399
Cincinnati Post, 288-89, 290-93, 301
Cincinnati Times-Star, 291
Citibank, 76, 258, 283, 285, 394
Citicorp, 38, 48
citizen groups, grassroots, 157, 161-82
civil rights movement and, 203-8,
224, 238, 409-10
corporate influence on, 37-39, 54,
Democrat aversion to, 263
economic strategies of, 169-70, 173-
175, 338
electoral politics avoided by, 238-41
growing participation in, 24, 170-71
national groups mistrusted by, 213-19
personal communication in, 222-38
citizen groups (cont.)
political organization in, 163--67,
206-7, 208-9
S&L bailout and, 77-78
see also specific organizations
citizen groups, national, 19, 58, 150,
157, 248-49, 256
corporate influence on, 219-20
media alerted by, 117
political reform and, 47-48, 49, 53
see also environmental movement;
specific organizations
Citizens & Southern, 256
Citizen's Clearinghouse for Hazardous
Waste, 56, 167, 178, 214
Citizens for Tax Justice, 79-80, 90. 341
Civil Aeronautics Board, 39, 108
civil rights, 124, 146, 291, 336
civil rights movement, 203-8, 224, 238,
civil service, 113-16
class conflict, 234-35, 236
civil rights movement and, 208
in environmental movement, 213-19
Republicans and, 276, 279
Claybrook, Joan, 212, 239-40
Clean Air Act (1970), 56, 171
nonenforcement of, 125-30, 132
worst offenders against, 124-25
Clean Air Act (1990), 56, 129-30, 132,
144, 215
debate on, 37-38, 51, 58, 158
Clean Air Coalition, 127, 129, 132, 215
Clean Water Act (1972), 142
Clifford, Clark, 254
Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras,
Codex Alimentarius Commission, 389390,
Cohen, David, 39
Cold War:
covert activities in, 365-68
end of, 359-60, 370-76, 377
Soviet threat exaggerated in, 362-65
Committee on Banking Regulations and
Supervisory Practices, 388
Committee on the Present Danger, 338
Common Cause, 259
communism, 276
see also Cold War
Communities Organized for Public Service
(COPS), 227, 229, 231, 239
computers, 47, 310. 328
Conference Board, 102, 353
Congress, U.S., 47, 62, 261, 310, 371
client relationships in, 26~27, 65-66,
91, 106, 210
committees of, 65-66, 67-68, 70; see
also House committees; Senate committees
distance from constituents in, 17, 64
in efforts to force regulation, 134-40,
143, 144, 154
hard choices avoided by, 132-34
Joint Committee on Taxation, 100
judiciary and, 149, 151, 154
pay raises for, 310
power ceded president by, 142-43,
151-52, 368--69, 390-91, 392
public deception by, 130-34
renewal needed in, 154, 155, 268-69
sneak amendments in, 40-42
see also specific legislation
Congressional Competitiveness Caucus,
Congress Watch, 181
Conservation Foundation, 44, 215, 216,
constituents, politicians' distance from,
17, 64
Constitution, U.S., 277
Bill of Rights, 348
Fourteenth Amendment, 348
Gonzalez on decline of, 62, 63, 64
power balance in, 151-52, 391
Consumers News and Business Channel,
Continental Illinois, 283
Conyers, John, 144
Coors, Joseph, 48
Cortes, Ernesto, Jr., 20, 28, 226-33,
237, 238, 240, 326
cost-benefit analysis, 56-58, 146
Council of Economic Advisors, 47, 48
Council on Capital Formation, 89
Council on Wage and Price Stability,
court system, 110, 148-52, 154, 168,
333, 339, 348-55
environmental organizations and, 126,
127-28, 149
Cousteau, Jacques, 312, 319
Covington & Burling, 138
Cox, Geraldine, 137-38
Crandell, Robert W., 132
crime bills, 123-24
Cuba, 364, 366
Cuomo Commission, 82
Current Affair, A, 316, 317
Cutler, Lloyd N., 134, 254, 258
Cyanamid, 138
CYRO Industries, 138

D'Amato, Alfonse, 27
Darman, Richard G., 84, 87, 89, 100,
Daschle, Thomas A., 37
deep-well waste disposal, 137, 138
Defense Department, U.S., 118, 360,
361, 370, 371, 372, 373
contractor fraud of, 112-13, 339, 350,
351, 352, 354
see also defense industry; military
defense industry, 52, 282-83, 285, 338,
340-41, 394
Cold War dominance of, 370-72
fraud in, 112-13, 339, 350, 351, 352,
in post-Cold War era, 371-74
Defense Science Board, 373
Delaware Paralyzed Veterans Association,
Democratic Congressional Campaign
Committee, 72, 252
Democratic Labor Council, 250
Democratic Leadership Council (DLC),
Democratic National Committee (DNC),
246-48, 249, 250-53, 266-67, 273
Democratic Party, 126, 155, 245-69,
274, 276, 280, 285, 291, 292, 336,
contributions to, 41, 194, 248, 250,
252, 253, 259-60, 273
declining local organization of, 246250, 251, 266, 267
influence of law firms on, 253-60
marketing expertise lacked by, 271-72,
membership of, 247-49
origins of, 246
policy formulation in, 260--64
renewal needed in, 264-69
S&Ls aligned with, 65, 67, 70, 72,
tax legislation and, 80, 83-84, 86,
88-91, 93, 96, 99-102
working class and, 90, 188, 191-92,
194, 253, 256, 267, 274
deregulation, 48, 67, 283
see also savings and loan crisis
Dingell, John, 128
Dobson, James, 324
Domestic Policy Council, 145
Donegan, Thomas J., 180
Doniger, David D., 127, 129, 130, 149,
151, 152
Dorgan, Byron, 39-42
Dow Chemical, 38, 42, 56, 125, 129,
138, 139, 216, 263, 339
Downs, Anthony, 50-51
Doyle, Frank P., 336-37, 340, 343-44,
Drexel Burnham Lambert, 41, 254, 258,
Drillman, Paula, 271
drug industry, 142
drugs, illegal, 187, 277
Dugger, Robert, 73, 76-77
Dukakis, Michael, 22, 75, 82, 84, 276,
Du Pont, 42, 115, 118, 125, 129, 137,
138, 139, 390

East Brooklyn Congregations, 222-23
Easterbrook, Gregg, 115
Eastern Airlines, 257-58, 352
Easter Seals Society of South Dakota, 37
economic democracy, 51-53
Economic Policy Institute, 262, 344-45
Economic Theory of Democracy, An
(Downs), 50-51
economy, global, 360, 362, 372, 377403
declining U.S. wages in, 395-97, 400
democracy threatened by, 377-78,
387-93, 401-3
international activism needed in, 378,
international agreements in, 387., ..93,
Mexican factories in, 379-87
national loyalty lacking in, 393-95,
Edison, Thomas A., 336
Edsall, Thomas B., 90, 342
education, 123, 124, 130-31, 314, 343-344, 398, 409-
in Texas, 226-27, 230-32
Ehrlichman, John, 112
Eizenstat, Stuart E., 145, 148, 254-55,
256, 258, 261
elderly, 19, 99, 248, 249
elections, 14, 23, 74-75, 313
activist distrust of, 238-41
marketing in, 270-78
participation in, 21-22, 177, 315
reform of, 268-69
elections of 1976, 89
elections of 1982, 93
elections of 1984, 278-79
elections of 1988, 22, 261, 271, 274,
275-76, 277, 278-79, 337
S&L bailout delayed for, 71-75
tax plans hidden in, 81, 83, 84
elections of 1990, 21, 268
El Paso, Tex" 230, 379
El Paso Times, 385
El Salvador, 256-57
Energy Department, U.S., 115, 116,
118, 352
Entman, Robert M., 305
environmental damage. see pollution
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), 44,
127-28, 214-15
environmental legislation, 143-44, 155156,
175-76, 212, 255
corporate efforts against, 36-39, 42-
45, 54, 111, 113,
158, 134-40,
158, 218, 334
corporate view of, 24, 133-34, 353
emotional climate and, 54
global economy and, 378, 389, 393
governmental violations of, 116-18,
public support for, 22, 131-32
at state level, 158
see also Clean Air Act (1970); Clean
Air Act (1990); Environmental Protection
Agency; Superfund law
environmental movement, 24, 42, 44,
143, 148, 149, 170, 205, 239
corporate influence on, 220, 339-40
global economy and, 389, 391
grassroots vs. national groups in,
legal action in, 126, 127-28, 149
TV used in, 320-23
waste disposal and, 136, 167-70, 385
worker concerns ignored in, 217-19
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
107, 121, 180, 216
cutbacks at, 115
studies by, 58, 118
weak enforcement at, 42-45, 109-10,
113, 118, 124-30, 133, 134-40,
142, 143-44, 151, 164, 165, 167,
179, 191, 320-23
Escandon, Ignacio, 384
Etzioni, Amitai, 352
Europe, Eastern, 194, 312-13, 315, 324,
380, 381
Europe, Western, 154, 193-94, 312-13,
European Community, 389
Evendale, Ohio, jet-engine plant at, 350,
Export-Import Bank, 340
Exxon, 48, 129, 187, 220, 285

Faber, Alberta, 119
Facoln, Sylvia, 384
FAIR, 299-300
Family Circle, 321
family issues, 280-81
Faux, Jeff, 399
Fears, Peter, 235
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA),
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 366
Federal Communications Commission, 39
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
(FDIC), 69, 70
Federal Reserve, 63, 69, 70, 76, 82, 92,
97, 302, 388, 391
Federal Trade Commission, 180
Fenton, David, 322, 328
Fenton Communications, 322
Ferguson, Thomas, 262, 284, 285, 286
Field, Mervin, 176-77
Financial Democracy Campaign (FDC),
77-78, 209-11
financial industry, 40-42, 49, 52, 82,
285, 335, 350, 391
lobbying by, 67, 72, 78, 258-59
party affiliations in, 65
see also banking industry; savings and
loan crisis; specific institutions
Financial News Network, 335
First Bank System, 258
First Boston, 258
First National Bank of Boston, 348
Fishman, Charles, 25, 47, 273
Flynn, Raymond L., 77
Focus on the Family, 324
Foley, Tom, 86, 255, 261, 315
Folgers Coffee, 174
Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
112, 115, 147, 179
food industry, 147, 158, 179, 389-90
pesticides and, 320-23, 389
Food Marketing Institute (PM!), 179
food stamps, 153, 186
Ford, Gerald R., 144, 334
Ford, Henry, 11, 111-12
Ford Motor Co., 51, 111-12, 338, 343,
foreign affairs, 172-73, 256, 299, 324,
see also Cold War; economy, global
Foreign Service, 113-14
Fortino Maltos, Daniel, 381-82, 386
Fortuna, Richard C., 124, 136, 139-40
Fort Worth, Tex., 230-31
France, 154, 313
Free Congress Research and Education
Foundation, 21, 273, 278
Friedman, Thomas L., 302
Fujitsu, 257
Full Employment Act (1946), 47

Gabriel, Peter, 324
Gallup Poll, 84, 85, 316
Gannett newspapers, 302-3
Gans, Herbert J., 214
Gansler, Jacques S., 373
Garn, Jake, 52, 75
GE Capital, 335, 340, 342, 350
General Accounting Office, 69, 146
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
(GATT), 390
General Electric, 48, 77, 174, 187, 220,
285, 331-55, 393
businesses bought by, 329, 335, 340,
342, 345
corporate image ads of, 338-40, 346
former government officials at, 332333,
illegal activities at, 112, 333, 338,
350-52, 353
layoffs at, 344-46
Mexican factories of, 379, 381-82,
384, 386
political influence of, 333-38, 341-43,
pollution and, 42, 118, 125, 129, 215,
351-52, 353
public agenda influenced by, 336, 340,
341, 343-48
social concern of, 336, 337, 343-44,
General Motors, 48, 51, 112, 204, 281,
325, 352
health violations of, 119, 120, 121-22
Mexican plants of, 379, 382, 386
Geoghegan, Thomas, 193
George Washington University, 190, 352
Georgia Baptist Convention, 37
Georgia Pacific, 263
Gephardt, Richard A., 255
German Democratic Republic (East Ger•
many), 313, 363
Germany, Federal Republic of (West
Germany), 154, 173, 193, 285, 361,
363, 374, 393, 396, 397-98
Gibbs, Lois Marie, 56, 167-68, 169-70,
182, 204, 214, 216
Gilder, George, 327
Gingrich, Newt, 276
Glauber, Robert R., 76
Glenn, John, 37, 144
global economy, see economy, global
Goldwater, Barry, 275, 283
Gonzalez, Henry B., 65
background and character of, 61-64
S&L warnings of, 61-62, 67, 71, 7374, 77, 78
on unbridled presidential power, 62-
64, 368-69
Goodwyn, Lawrence, 414
Goodyear, 124-25
Gorbachev, Mikhail, 313, 315, 363
Gorsuch, Anne, 135-36
Graf, Arnold, 219, 224, 230, 236-37,
Graham, Katharine, 293
grassroots organizations, see citizen
groups, grassroots
Gray, C. Boyden, 141, 142
Grbinick, Leonard, 119-20
Greenbaum, Bob, 164-65, 166, 182
Greenberg, Stanley, 395
Greenpeace, 172, 215
Green Seal, 174-75, 180
Greenspan, Alan, 70, 82-83, 92-93, 302
Greider, Linda, 314
Grenada, 62, 63, 364, 367
GROWL, 164
G-7, 391
Guatemala, 364, 366
Gulf War, 361, 362, 368-69

Habicht, F. Henry, II, 43-45, 139
Hamilton, Alexander, 17
"hammers, " regulatory, 135-40
Hand, Lloyd C., 254
Hanford nuclear weapons reservation,
118, 351
Hardesty, Rex, 196
Harvard University, 76, 277
Harvey, Paul, 324
Havel, Vaclav, 406, 414
Hayes, Denis, 174-75
hazardous waste, see waste, hazardous
Hazardous Waste Treatment Council,
136, 139
Head Start, 124, 343-44
Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW)
Department, U.S., 332
health care, 22, 154, 223, 343
health risks:
cancer, 55-56, 112, 119, 121-22,
124-30, 165, 320-23, 385
at foreign factories, 380, 383, 385-86
from pesticides, 310-11, 320-2f'389390,
in U.S. industries, 119-22, 142, 144,
145, 255
Healy, John G., 172-73, 324, 325
Hearst, William Randolph, 291, 292,
Heineman, Benjamin, Jr., 332, 333, 335,
Helms, Jesse, 173, 275-76
Heritage Foundation, 48, 282, 300, 338
Hernandez, Sonia, 231
Hessey, Jay, 185, 189
Hill & Knowlton, 24, 54, 321, 322
H. J. Heinz, 173
Holmes, Lessly, 204
Home Loan Bank Board, 68, 71, 72
Horowitz, Harry, 259
Horton, Willie, 74, 275, 276, 323
House committees:
Armed Services, 52, 116
Banking, 61, 69, 72, 73, 74, 75, 77
Commerce, 116-17, 128
Public Works, 124
Rules, 67
Ways and Means, 91, 99, 252
House of Representatives, U.S., see Congress,
U.S.; House committees
housing, 77, 186, 222-23, 388, 392
Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Department, U.S., 282
Houston Post, 230
Hughes Aircraft, 118, 352
human rights, 172-73, 256, 324
Hume, Brit, 302
Humphrey, Hubert H., 254
Hungary, 338-39
Hunt, Albert R., 302
Huntington, Samuel P., 217
Hurwitz, Geoffrey, 180
Hussein, Saddam, 361

Iacocca, Lee, 111-12, 323
IBM, 339, 393
Ignatius, David, 300
income, 86, 100, 101-2, 195-98, 223,
382, 395-97, 400, 403
Indonesia, 366, 381
Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) , 224238,
248, 260, 326
future prospects for, 233-38, 241
as model for Democratic party, 264,
265, 266
in Texas, 226-33, 235, 237, 240
INFACT, 174, 338
information politics, 36-39, 46-48, 59,
corporate domination of, 54-55, 90
Institute, W. Va., toxic chemical release
in, 121, 128
Institute for International Economics, 82,
338, 398
insurance industry, 42, 175-78
interest rates, 67, 83, 97
Interior Department, U.S., 115, 146
Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 85, 219
International Court of Justice, 368
Iowa, 158, 251
Iran, 114, 366
Iran-Contra affair, 63, 368
Iraq, 361, 367
Israel, 239, 351

Jackson, Andrew, 246
Jackson, Jesse, 73, 77, 263, 281, 396
Jankowsky, Joel, 257
Japan, 315, 361, 363, 374, 397-98, 401
trade with, 256, 257, 285, 346, 373,
390, 392, 393, 394, 398-99
Japanese-Americans, 367
Jefferson, Thomas. 50, 246
job training, 344-46
Johnson, Lyndon B., 62, 130, 149, 254,
Johnson, Mary, 124
Jones, David C., 335
Jones, Reginald H., 341
Juarez, Mexico, U. S, factories in,
judiciary, see court system
Justice Department, U.S., 43, 116, 118,
333, 334, 339, 351
"Justice for Janitors" strike, 184-90,
201, 304

Keating, Charles, 27, 70
Kemp, Jack, 282
Kennedy, Edward M., 195, 196, 197,
Kennedy, John F., 130, 149, 364
Kennedy, Robert F., 252, 320
Kentucky, 16, 380
KFI 640 radio, 308-11
Kidder Peabody, 335, 350
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 203-8, 224,
238, 320
Kinsley, Michael, 329
Kissinger, Henry, 299
Knight-Ridder newspapers, 293
Koch, Edward I., 73
Kogod, Robert, 198
Korea, Republic of (South Korea), 352,
382, 393, 399, 400
Kravis, Irving B.. 102
Kuwait, 361

Labor/Community Strategy Center, 218
Labor Department, U.S., 114, 146, 147,
191, 344
see also Occupational Safety and
Health Administration
labor legislation, 193-94, 195-98
labor unions, 48, 99, 108, 250, 255,
257-58, 343, 345, 382-83, 386_87,
decline of, 163, 183-84, 191-94
minimum wage and, 195-98
strikes by, 184-90, 201, 256
see also specific unions
Lacovara, Philip A., 333, 350-51, 353
LA Law, 321
Laos, 366
Lapham, Lewis, 26
public values ignored in, 53-55, 58,
59, 131-32, 155
as symbolic gestures, 123-40, 152,
153, 157
see also regulatory agencies, regulation;
specific legislation
Leach, Jim, 64-65, 71, 74
League of Conservation Voters, 239
League of Women Voters (LWV), 216
Lebanon, 63
Lewis, Chris, 388
Lewis, Jake, 65
Leykis, Tom, 308-11, 313
Libya, 63
Life, 281
Lima, Ohio, chemical plant at, 138
Limbaugh, Rush, 310
Lincoln, Abraham, 273, 367, 405-6
Lincoln Savings and Loan, 70
Lipsey, Robert E., 102
Litan, Robert, 154
local and state government, 148, 157-58,
170, 176, 178-82, 216
Lorenzo, Frank, 257-58
Los Angeles, Calif., 308-11, 327
Las Angeles Times, 176, 302
Louisiana, 126
Love Canal, 135, 167-70
Lowi, Theodore J., 108, 126, 132, 152,
157, 285
Lynd, Staughton, 121

McCann Erickson, 271
McCarthy, Eugene, 252, 301
McCarthy, Joseph, 276
McCurry, Michael, 247-48, 249, 252,
253, 254, 259, 266--{;7, 268, 272
McDonald's, 173
McDonnell Douglas, 254, 371
McGovern, George, 252
McIntyre, Robert S., 90, 96, 341
McLaughlin Group, 338
McLean, Kenneth, 72
McNamara, Robert, 299
MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, 299-300,
McPherson, Harry c., 254
Mahoning Valley, Ohio, 119-22
Maine, 158, 390
Malek, Frederick, 114
Manatt, Charles T., 254, 258
Mandela, Nelson, 320, 325
Mankiewicz, Frank, 24, 54, 321, 323
Mann, Eric, 218
maquiladora factories, 379-87, 391, 400,
Marcus, Jean, 230-31
Marshall, Thurgood, 409
Martin Marietta, 263
Massachusetts, 341, 352
Matamores, Mexico, 382-83
Mayer, Carl J., 348
medfly spraying, 310-11
media, 14, 16, 39, 47, 71, 171, 272,
287-88, 299-302, 307-8, 407-10
activist attention to, II7, 205-6, 211,
celebrities and, 323-25
corporate intimidation of, 298
issues ignored by, 72-75, 77, 83, 91,
92, 93, 106, 107
ownership of, 328-30, 335, 340, 342
politicians' influence on, 299, 301-2
think-tank influence on, 300-301
see also print media; radio; television;
specific networks and publications
Media Monopoly, The (Bagdikian), 328
mediating institutions:
business's replacement of, 331-32,
336, 340, 343-48
decline of, 163, 183-84
see also Democratic Party; labor
mediating institutions (cont.)
unions; media; print media; political
parties; radio; Republican Party; television
Medicare, 81, 84, 100
Mellon, Andrew, 87, 88, 97, 100, 102,
Merrill, Michael, 193
Merrill Lynch, 90, 258
Metro Alliance. 228
Metropolitan Organization, The (TMO),
Mexican-Americans, 218, 229
Mexico, 364
U.S. factories in, 379-87, 391, 400,
Meyerhoff, Albert H., 176
Michigan, University of, 194
middle class, 46-47, 278
proposed tax-break for, 89, 98, 99,
tax burden shifted to, 79-104
Mika, Susan, 387
in Cold War, 362-65, 375
in Gulf War, 361, 362
in post-Cold War era, 359-60, 361,
362, 372-75
see also Defense Department, U.S.;
defense industry
Milken, Michael, 258
Miller, James C., III, 142
Miller Brewing, 38, 173
Mills, C. Wright, 362
minimum-wage laws, 195-98, 223.382,
mining industry, 39, 115, 256, 380
Minneapolis City Council, 257
minorities, 249, 336, 337
Mitchell, Andrea, 302
Mitchell, George, 86, 252, 255
Mitsubishi, 257, ~93
Mobil Oil, 38, 124-25, 129, 298, 352
Moe, Richard, 49, 254, 258, 261
Mondale, Walter F., 49, 95
Monsanto, 42, 129, 137, 138, 352, 390
Moore, Curtis, 110-11, 131, 216
Moore, Michael, 325
Morales, Lino, 385
Moran, John, 114-15, 121
Morgan Guaranty, 76, 258
Morgan Stanley, 41, 258
"Morning After, The" (Peterson), 82
Morris, David, 390
Morris, Lucille, 184-85, 189, 200
Moss, Melissa, 250
Mothers and Others for Pesticide Limits,
Motion Picture Association of America,
Moynihan, Daniel Patrick, 86, 130-31
CIA criticized by, 360, 363, 364, 367,
progressive tax proposal of, 98-99,
MTV, 313-14
Mullins, David W., Jr., 76
municipal waste, 164

Nader, Ralph, 47, 50, 77, 109, 111, 156,
170, 175, 278, 310, 329-30, 354
elective office eschewed by, 239-40
as model for activists, 211-13, 224,
National Association of Manufacturers
(NAM1, 58, 255, 256
National Cancer Institute, 55
National Committee to Preserve Social
Security and Medicare, 248
National Economic Commission (NEC),
83-84, 99, 257
National Finance Council, 250
National Highway Traffic Safety Admin
istration, 115
National Institute of Occupational Safety
and Health, 121
National Journal, 42, 52, 180, 301
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB),
108, 193, 237
National Parent-Teacher Association,
248, 320-21
National Rifle Association (NRA), 19,
238, 248
National Sherriffs Association, 37
National Toxics Campaign, 384-85
National Wildlife Federation, 216, 220
Natural Resources Defense Council
(NRDC), 44, 127, 149, 150, 176,
214, 215, 320-23
Navy, U.S., 117-18, 350, 371
NBC, 131, 302, 329
Nebraska Farm Bureau, 37
New Deal, 27, 47, 93, 143, 153, 283
regulation and, 107, 108, 348
New Hampshire, 352
New Jersey, 164, 279
Newman, Penny, 217-18
New Republic, 329
Newsweek, 302, 321, 361
"New World Order, " 361, 362, 372
New York, 164, 167, 251, 352
New York Academy of Sciences, 55
New York Stock Exchange, 90
New York Times, 45, 112, 131, 271,
274, 302, 394
Washington Post compared with, 295296, 297
weapons-plant pollution exposed by,
Nicaragua, 63, 114, 364, 365, 366,
Nightline, 299-300
Nixon, Richard M., 62, 82, 111-12,
114, 144, 277
Nobel Peace Prize, 366
Nogales, Ariz., 384, 385
Northrop, 112, 339, 352
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 112
nuclear-weapons plants, 116-17
Nunn, Sam, 37, 263

Occupational Safety and Health Act
(OSHA) (1970), 118-19
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA), 57, 107, 145, 147148,
149, 348
weak enforcement by, 112, 115, 119122,
O'Connor, Patrick J., 254
O'Connor and Hanna, 254, 256-57,
O'Dell, J. Hunter, 206
Odendahl, Teresa, 220
O'Donnell, Kirk, 262
Office of Management and Budget
(OMB), 57, 69
regulation scuttled by, 141-48, 154
Ohio, 251, 352
oil industry, 69, 142, 146, 156
pollution and, 56, 129, 137, 139-40
Olin Foundation, 281
Olshan, Karen, 271
OMB Watch, 144
O'Neill, Thomas P. "Tip, " 262
opinion polls, 22, 23, 170, 176, 239, 301
on environment, 22, 131
on foreign affairs, 362, 375, 393
on media, 302
on Republicans, 274, 278-80
on taxation, 22, 84, 85, 92, 93, 95
of young people, 315-16, 320, 325
Organization of American States, 367
Outside, 214-15
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
(OPIC), 339

Padioleau, Jean G., 296
Paget, Karen, 170, 171-72
Paine Webber, 258
Panama, 63
participation, see public participation
Patton, Boggs and Blow, 254 .
PBS, 299-300, 302
Penta, Leo J., 223
Pentagon, see Defense Department, U.S.
People, 316, 321
Pepsico, 257
Persian Gulf War, 361, 362, 368-69
pesticides, 310-11, 320-23, 389-90
Peter, Phillips S., 341
Peterson, Peter G., 82, 94
Philadelphia Daily News, 292
Philadelphia Inquirer, 101
Phil Donahue Show, 321
Phillips, Kevin, 280, 282
Phoenix, Ariz., 235
Physicians for Social Responsibility
(PSR), 366
Pinellas nuclear plant, 351-52
Pittston Coal, 256
Poland, 194
policy analysis, 47, 56-58
political-action committees (PACs), 48,
253, 259, 337
political contributions, 25-27, 90, 96,
106, 114, 194, 195, 337-38
committee assignments and, 65-66,
to Democrats, 41, 194, 248, 250, 252,
253, 259-60, 273
to Republicans, 41, 273, 281
political parties, 70, 88, 155
alliance between, 161
declining local organizations of, 20,
64, 163, 192, 346-47
traditional roles abandoned by, 52, 66,
71, 172
see also Democratic Party; Republican
Politics of Rich and Poor, The (Phillips),
pollution, 142, 155-56, 339
GE and, 42, 118, 125, 129, 215, 351352,
by government facilities, 116-18, 374
health risk and, 55, 56, 124-30, 165,
310-11, 320-23, 385, 389-90,
from Mexican factories, 384-85, 386
non-enforcement of laws against,
public concern about, 22, 131-32
see also environmental legislation;
environmental movement; Clean
Air Act (1970); Clean Air Act
(1990); Superfund law; waste,
Pollution Prevention News, 137
Populism, 87, 274-75, 278-80
pornography, 277
Port Neches, Tex., 124-25
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, 117-18
poverty, 22, 153, 198-201, 234-35,
343-44, 346
Powell Goldstein, 255
presidency. see White House; specific
Presidential Council on Competitiveness,
press, see media; print media; radio; television
print media, 287-99, 302-6
controversy avoided by, 297-99, 303
educational role avoided by, 303-6
modern transformations in, 293-99,
302-3, 306
working-class voice lost in, 288-93
see also media; specific publications
Procter & Gamble, 48, 174, 180
Progressive movement, 46-47, 213
Progressive Policy Institute, 198
Proxmire, William, 68, 69, 72, 75
Prudential Bache, 263
Pryor, David, 116
Public Citizen, 57, 109, 143, 148, 212,
public hearings, 47, 50, 73, 165, 168
public-interest groups, see citizen groups,
grassroots; citizen groups, national;
environmental movement
public opinion, see opinion polls
public participation:
in civil rights movement, 203-8, 224,
238, 409-10
community relations needed in, 223238,
corporate influence on, 331-32, 336,
340, 343-48
democratic conversation needed for,
disparaged by elites, 17-18, 89, 167,
electronic media and, 308-11, 312-13,
314-23, 326-30
as goal of New Deal agencies, 108
improvement needed in, 66, 152~58,
165, 286
through irregular politics, 23-25, 161182,
judicial aversion to, 150-51
lacking in global economy, 377-78,
387-93, 401-3
lacking in tax legislation, 81-85, 87,
89, 92, 93, 94, 97
measurement of, 170
media's possible role in, 303-6,
as necessary to enforcement of laws,
118-22, 130, 212-13
obstacles to, 11-28, 50-53
ordinary citizens absent in, 50-51, 59;
71, 76
organizational training and, 163-67
parties' possible role in. 264-69
at polls, 21-22, 177, 315
promising models of, 222-41, 409-11
public attitudes as barrier to, 202-21
tax exemptions and, 51-53
through voter propositions, 175-78
working class absent in, 163, 183-201
see also citizen groups, grassroots; citizen
groups, national
public rationale, 45-48, 55-56, 88
Public Relations Journal, 339
Public Service Indiana, 255
Publisher's Weekly, 323
Pulitzer, Joseph, 291
Pulitzer Prize, 295, 298

Quayle, J. Danforth, 74, 143-44

radio, 312-13, 324
talk shows on, 308-11
Raffaelli, John D., 92
Ramer, James, 165, 166
Ramsey, Stephen D., 334
RCA, 342, 379
Reagan, Ronald, 62, 63, 131, 150, 157,
181, 193, 280, 285, 334, 335, 336
covert actions approved by, 367, 368
defense buildup of, 364, 366
economic policies of, 48, 67, 81, 88,
89, 90, 92, 93, 282-83, 341
environmental record of, 42, 43, 128
regulation and, 110, 113, 115, 118,
128, 133, 135, 141-48, 170-71,
S&L crisis and, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73
young people's admiration of, 316,
real estate, 67, 91, 97
janitors strike and, 184-90
recession, 81, 82, 83, 284
Redbook, 321
Reed, John, 394
reform movements, 46-48, 49-50
regulatory agencies, regulation, 47, 169
conservative objections to, 108
corporate influence on, 26, 39, 105122,
124-30, 133, 134, 135-40,
153, 333, 334, 348, 354
courts and, 110, 126, 127-28, 148-52,
154, 168, 333, 339, 348-55
decisions postponed by, 124-30, 133
global economy and, 387-93
governmental violation permitted by,
"hammers" to force action by, 135140
media in enforcement by, 116-17,
privatization of, 115-16
public participation in enforcement by,
118-22, 130, 212-13
reforms needed in, 152-58
rise of, 107
see also specific agencies and legislation
Reich, Robert B., 107, 397
Reighard, Charles, 121-22
Reilly, William K., 44, 216, 220
politics and, 222-23, 225, 231-32,
TV and, 324, 325-26
Republican National Committee, 248,
Republican Party, 110, 155, 196, 197,
264, 270-86, 394
CIA opposed by, 365-66
commercial banks aligned with, 65,
constituency of, 276, 278-81, 282-86,
contributions to, 41, 273, 281
marketing expertise of, 270-78
media and, 291, 292
membership of, 248
public perception of, 274
spiritual vacuum in, 281-82
tax legislation and, 80, 84, 86, 88, 89,
91, 93, 100-101
Republic Steel, 119--20
research projects, policy and, 44-45, 51,
55-56, 256
Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), 210
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
(RCRA) (1984), 135-40
"Responsible Care Initiative, " 129-30
Richards, Ann, 233
Rio Grande Valley', 223, 228
RJR Nabisco, 41
Robb, Charles S., 251, 263
Rockefeller Center, 315
rock music, 313-14, 324
Rockwell, 112
Rocky Flats, Colo., 116
Roger and Me, 325
Rolling Stone, 318, 320
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 46, 107, 283-84,
Roper, Burns, 95
Rosales, Fernando, 381
Rostenkowski, Dan, 91, 95, 99--100,
252, 342
Roth, William V., Jr., 37
Rubio, Fernando, 382
Ruckelshaus, William D., 43-45, 109-110,
127, 128, 130, 168-69, 170,

Sachs, Wolfgang, 387
Salomon Brothers, 41, 84
St. Germain, Fernand, 74
St. Petersburg Times, 351
San Antonio, Tex., 226-33, 239
Sarabia, Andres, 229, 236
savings and loan (S&L) crisis, 27, 40,
42, 60-78, 212, 258
action delayed on, 69, 71-73
bailout legislation in, 69, 75-78
cover-up of, 60, 61, 70-72
Democrats' allegiance in, 65, 67, 70,
72, 75
early warnings about, 61-62, 65, 67,
home-ownership goal ignored in, 61,
65, 67
lobbying in, 71-73, 75-77, 78
media in, 74-75, 210
1988 elections and, 71-75
public demonstrations and, 209-11
Sawhill, Isabel V., 188
Sawyer, David, 257
Scalia, Antonin, 151
Schlesinger, Tom, 78, 210-11
Schneider, Greg, 273
Schneider, Keith, 116-17
Schumer, Charles, 75
Scripps, E. W., 291, 293, 305
Scripps-Howard newspapers, 290-91,
Securities and Exchange Commission,
Securities Industry Association, 258
Seidman, William, 70
Senate, U.S., 50, 390
see also Congress, U.S.
Senate committees:
Banking, 52, 68, 69, 71, 72, 83
Budget, 84
Environment and Public Works, 1W-
111, 131, 171, 216
Finance, 92, 252, 341
Foreign Relations, 340
Intelligence, 364
Sentencing Commission, U.S., 333, 351,
Services Employees International Union
(SEIU), 185-90, 192
Sesame Street, 314
Shell Oil, 124-25, 137
Shrum, Robert, 259
Sidley & Austin, 332, 334
Sierra Club, 44, 127
Silberman, Laurence H., 151
Silverglade, Bruce, 180-81
Simon, Paul, 96
60 Minutes, 316, 320, 321
Smith, David, 196
Smith, David Bruce, 188-89
Smith, 1. T., 138
Smith, William French, 335
social programs, 123, 124, 153, 154,
186, 343-46
Social Security, 81, 84, 92-94, 98, 153-
154, 252, 283, 338
Society of the Plastics Industry, 178
Solidarity, 194
Solomon, Burt, 301-2
Sores, George:' 362
South Africa, 320, 325
Soviet Union, 369
Springsteen, Bruce, 172, 324, 325
Sri Lanka, 381, 382
StarKist Tuna, 173, 205
state and local government, 148, 157-58,
170, 176, 178-82, 216
State Department, U.S., 360, 366
Stavinoha, Marilyn, 227
steel industry, 56, 119-20, 125, 129,
142, 380
Stephens, Christine, 240
Sting, 172, 324
Stockman, David, 91, 283
STP, 163-67
Strauss, Robert S., 83, 94, 254, 257,
258, 261, 262-63
Streep, Meryl, 320-21, 323
Stringfellow acid pits, 217-18
Summers, Lawrence H., 82
Summerton, S.C., 409-10
Sununu, John H., 140
Superfund Coalition, 42-45, 54, 338
Superfund law (1986), 42-45, 118, 135,
136, 334, 351
Supreme Court, U.S., 150-51, 348, 349,
Sussman, Barry, 302
Synar, Mike, 116-17, 133

Taft, Robert A., 283, 291
Tarrance, Lance, 278-80
Task Force on Regulatory Relief, 141
taxation, 22, 43, 79-104
business favored in, 51-53, 79-81,
89-91, 94-96, 341-43, 355, 402
business lobbying on, 41-42, 81, 84,
89-90, 96-97, 338, 341-43
of capital gains, 89, 90, 97, 99-100,
102-3, 252
delinquent payments in, 85-86
exempt status of, 51 , 219-20, 262
global economy and, 378, 380, 394
graduated, origin of, 87
growing inequities in, 79-104
participation incentive needed in,
proposed progressive measures in, 89,
98-99, 101-2
reforms needed in, 156
S&L bailout and, 77
wealthy favored by, 79-104, 274, 280,
342, 398
tax legislation:
of 1977, 89
of 1978, 89-90
of 1981, 90-92, 341-42
of 1982, 92, 342
of 1983, 93
of 1984, 92
of 1986, 94-98, 342
of 1990, 99-102
Taylor, Paul, 263
television, 92, 174, 251
activist use of, 320-23
cable, 328, 329, 335
corporate image ads on, 338-40, 346
invited commentators on, 299-300
newspaper competition with, 293
ownership of, 329, 335, 340, 342
public participation role of, 308-11,
312-13, 314-23, 326-30
Republican mastery of, 270-78
rise of, 307-8
societal effect of, 311-20
world of young shaped by, 308,
see also media
term limitations, 64, 176
Texaco, 124-25, 129
Texas, 70, 126, 178, 223
community organization in, 226-33,
235, 237, 240
Texas, University of, 385
textile industry, 142, 145, 147, 198
Thailand, 381, 399
think tanks:
corporate sponsorship of, 37, 48, 51,
52, 82, 187-88, 300, 338
in Democratic policy formulation, 262
media influenced by, 300-301
tax code and, 51, 53
Third World, 285, 362, 372, 392-93,
Thomas, Larry, 178-79
Thomas, Lee, 44-45
Thomas Steel, 119
Thompson, Daniel, 164
Thompson, Richard, 188
Tierney, James A., 117-18
Tijuana, Mexico, 381
Tillich, Paul, 226
timber industry, 390
Time, 302, 316, 321
Times Mirror Company, 84, 315-16
trade, foreign, 81, 82, 256, 257, 387-93,
Transportation Department, U.S., Ill,
Treasury Department, U.S., 41, 87, 334,
S&L crisis and, 69, 73, 76, 77
Tully, Paul, 251, 252
Tungsram Company, 338-39
Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant,

Uebelhoer, Jane, 388
Union Carbide, 42, 121, 128, 168, 220,
Uniroyal, 124-25, 321-23
United Auto Workers (UAW), 120, 122,
United Mine Workers (UMW), 256
United Nations, 362, 367, 369, 389
United Way, 337
Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Urban Institute, 187, 188, 201
Urban League, 336
Urrabazo, Rosendo, 231
USA Today, 302-3
Utah Construction, 342
U-2, 324

Valdes-Villalva, Gueramina, 379--80,
383, 385-86
Valley Interfaith Project, 235
values, political process and, 53-55, 58,
59, 131-32, 155
Verner, Liipfert, 254
Vichery, Ohio, waste disposal at, 137
Vietnam War, 114, 249-50, 261, 363,
Virginia, 279
Vladeck, David, 57, 109, 143, 148-50
Voleker, Paul, 63
Volpe, John, III
voter participation, 21-22, 177, 315
voter propositions, 175-78
Voter Revolt, 175-78
Vulcan Chemicals, 137
Vulcan Materials, 138

Wald, Patricia M., 149-50, 151
Waldman, Michael, 212
Walker, Charls E., 43-44, 86, 88, 89-
90, 91, 96-97, 98, 99, 102, 337
Wall, M. Danny, 71, 73
Wallace, George C., 275
Wall Street, see financial industry
Wall Street Journal, 92, 100, 131, 173,
272, 276, 302, 321, 345
Washington, D.C.:
growing affluence of, 48-49
janitors' strike in, 184-90, 201
Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals,
149, 151
Washington, George, 246
Washington Center for Politics and Journalism,
Washington Post, 93, 115, 144, 170,
188, 190, 259, 263, 271, 276, 302,
304, 321, 342
Bradlee's transformation of, 293-97
post-Watergate retrenchment at,
staff of, 289, 294
think-tank influence on, 300
Washington Public Power Supply Systems
(WPPSS), 353
Washington Star, 298, 317
waste, hazardous, 42-45, 134-40, 142,
147-48, 156, 158, 167-70, 178,
180, 216, 217-18, 334, 351-52, 385
waste, municipal, 164
Waste Management, Inc., 216, 220, 352
Watergate scandal, 90, 296-97, 302
water shortage, 308-9
Waxman, Henry, 125, 144
wealthy, 153, 220, 397, 398
proposed tax hike for, 101-2
Republicans and, 273-74, 277, 279,
tax burden shifted from, 79-104, 274,
280, 342, 398
among tax delinquents, 85-86
Webb, Dave, 119
Weidenbaum, Murray, 48
Weisskopf, Michael, 144
Welch, John F., Jr., 337, 342, 345,
welfare, 153
Wenner, Jann, 318-19
Westinghouse, 350, 379
Weyerhaeuser, 125, 129, 220
Weyrich, Paul, 21, 273, 278, 279, 280,
What Americans Really Think (Sussman),
Whirlpool, 393
White House:
power accumulated by, 142-43, 151152,
360, 366, 367, 368-69, 390391,
regulation thwarted by, 27, 111-12,
141-48, 150, 154, 333
White House Correspondents Association,
Wichita, Kans., 138
Wilbur, Jan, 223
Williams, Clayton, 233
Williams, J. D., 254, 256, 257, 258
Williams, Leila, 189-90, 200
Wilson, John, 120
Wilson, Larry, 164, 165, 166
Wolferen, Karel van, 398
Woodward, Bob, 297, 302
workers, working class, 237
declining wages of, 395-97, 400
Democrats and, 90, 188, 191-92, 194,
253, 256, 267, 274
environmental concerns and, 217-19
job loss in, 22, 344-46, 378, 395
at Mexican factories, 379-87
minimum wage and, 195-98, 223,
382, 403
newspapers speaking for, 288-89,
poverty and, 198-201
proposed tax break for, 98
as removed from political process, 163,
strikes and, 184-90, 201, 256
Workers Against Toxic Chemical Hazards
(WATCH), 121, 122
World Court, 368
World War II, 361, 367, 375, 409
Wright, Jim, 70, 72, 75, 315

Yarborough, Ralph, 87
Yeager, Chuck, 323, 339
Yeutter, Clayton, 389
young people:
activist stars and, 325
TV influence on, 308, 314-20

Zimmerman, Bill, 177-78
Zuckerman, Mortimer, 185, 201
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