Read Matt Stollerís piece at Naked Capitalism if youíre still puzzling over why brutal economic inequity and untouchable Wall Street crooks seem to be baked into the American cake. Hereís the nut graf:
The dirty secret of American politics is that, for most politicians, getting elected is just not that important. What matters is post-election employment. Itís all about staying in the elite political class, which means being respected in a dense network of corporate-funded think tanks, high-powered law firms, banks, defense contractors, prestigious universities, and corporations. If you run a campaign based on populist themes, thatís a threat to your post-election employment prospects. This is why rising Democratic star and Newark Mayor Corey Booker reacted so strongly against criticism of private equity Ė heís looking out for a potential client after his political career is over, or perhaps, during interludes between offices. Running as a vague populist is manageable, as long as youíre lying to voters. If you actually go after powerful interests while in office, then you better win, because if you donít, youíll have basically nowhere to go. And if you lose, but you were a team player, then youíll have plenty of money and opportunity. The most lucrative scenario is to win and be a team player, which is what Bill and Hillary Clinton did. The Clintonís are the best at the political game Ė itís not a coincidence that deregulation accelerated in the late 1990s, as Clinton and his whole team began thinking about their post-Presidential prospects.
(For new evidence backing Stollerís argument, go here.)