The Political & Economic Toxic Cloud
America is Heading in the Wrong Direction. Every major public opinion poll conducted over the past several years indicates a significant majority of Americans believe the United States is heading in the wrong direction economically and politically. They are right, but many Americans don’t know exactly who to blame, what is causing the problems, or what to do about it. Confusion pervades the American electorate because the “Reality Distortion Machine” (described in entertaining detail in my book) blurs the vision and awareness of everybody within its reach. Only unmolested, primary-source data and a nonpartisan analytical framework can liberate Americans from the Reality Distortion Machine and empower them to see the true reality of the American political system.
The American Dream is Dying. What do you think is wrong with the United States today? Are you satisfied with the federal government? As an American citizen, do you feel powerful right now? Based on many major public opinion polls and personal conversations with Americans across the socioeconomic and ideological spectra, it’s clear that the sentiment of most Americans today can be summarized as follows: Democracy and Capitalism in America are broken. Ordinary Americans are being squeezed out of the American Dream. American citizens feel powerless to do anything about it.
Government Will Never Fix the Problem. Over 80% of Americans polled believe most members of Congress act primarily in their own interest and in the interest of wealthy private groups who finance their political election campaigns. Of course, we all know this is true anecdotally, but several recent research studies have also proven this empirically.1 This means we cannot logically expect enough members of Congress to ever voluntarily curtail their own power or implement meaningful, sustainable reforms to fix America’s deepest economic and political problems. This becomes painfully obvious after we realize that the problems exist primarily because politicians have many incentives to perpetuate the problems. As a result, the U.S. Government is guaranteed to clumsily lurch from one economic and political crisis to the next crisis, to the next crisis . . . but the actual root cause of all the crises will never be resolved by the government.
Deviated Purpose Leads to Distorted Incentives and Deviant Behavior. We often hear politicians perpetually claiming to be working on “bipartisan solutions,” but in reality, they don’t have the ability or the incentive to fix the problems at all (even if they wanted to). The U.S. political system has mutated and deviated far from the original purpose that the U.S. Founding Fathers had in mind. Additionally, career-minded politicians—with the complicity of various special interest groups—have spawned a toxic, ultra-partisan political culture within the federal government that is teeming with distorted incentives and conflicts of interest. This combination of deviated purpose and deviant behavior inevitably leads to the kind of short-sighted decision making and bad policies that have continuously eroded the quality of life for the vast majority of Americans for the past 15 to 20 years.
Special Interest Corruption. The issue of special interest corruption in politics is much deeper than many people imagine. Some of the most intelligent people are initially skeptical . . . until they learn how the game really works. Most people have no idea how the “regulatory protection racket” works (described in my books) or how the symbiotic relationship between federal politicians and special interest groups touches every community in America. And many people are shocked by the level of sophisticated manipulation that occurs behind the scenes of the political process.
Most Politicians Don’t Really Know How to Fix the Problem. Today, toxic incentive structures govern the behavior of virtually all politicians in the federal government. This inevitably results in toxic behavior that has propagated into a toxic political culture, which has become so distorted and so deeply embedded within their daily lives that many politicians no longer know precisely what is causing the problems. In many cases, they can’t even see the problems. And even when they can see them, politicians in the federal government today are powerless to stop the political Frankenstein they have created. All of this means the American people cannot logically expect any politician to ever effectively or sustainably fix any significant economic or political problem as long as they are operating within the toxic, dysfunctional political system that exists in the United States today.
The Toxic Cloud. The first half of one of my books is devoted entirely to describing a swirling, interconnected cloud of political and economic dysfunction, which I collectively call the “Toxic Cloud.” The Toxic Cloud is the toxic byproduct of a toxic political system and a toxic political culture in the federal government, which poisons and corrupts Democracy and Capitalism in countless ways. There are many corrosive elements swirling within the Toxic Cloud, which have spawned, and will continue to spawn, virtually every imaginable kind of pain and suffering that exists in American society, including:
systemic financial crises; generational poverty; devastation of the middle class; stagnant incomes; a jungle of distorted and unevenly enforced regulations; a byzantine tax code; permanent structural unemployment; obliteration of human capital; political gridlock in Washington; insolvent public pension programs; perpetual budget deficits; skyrocketing private and public debt; wealth-destroying monetary policy; broken healthcare system; broken educational system; sprawling surveillance state; suffocating bank compliance apparatus; interventionist foreign policy; unjustified military conflicts; environmental catastrophes; job-killing bureaucracies; waste, fraud and abuse in the form of corporate welfare and cronyism-induced bank bailouts; among millions of other toxic byproducts of the toxic political system, as it exists today.
Don’t Be Distracted By Symptoms. Many people are distracted by an endless stream of political and economic problems swirling within the Toxic Cloud, but these are all merely symptoms of a single problem, which can be traced to a single source. My books reveal the source of the Toxic Cloud along with a solution that can give the American people effective nonpartisan tools, knowledge, and resources to eliminate the Toxic Cloud and restore trust in American Democracy, which would automatically restore trust in American Capitalism.
1. I’ll update this article with the specific Gallop polling data and the most recent research studies on this topic when I have some more time. In the meantime, if you want to learn more, a lot of this research data has already been compiled in the book Winner-Take-All Politics by Paul Pierson and Jacob Hacker. And much of the dysfunctional aspects of the federal government have been skillfully articulated in Jay Sekulow’s book, Undemocratic: How Unelected, Unaccountable Bureaucrats Are Stealing Your Liberty and Freedom.
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