May 14, 2022 • 43M


How the private sector has crowded out the public good

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People are ready to go deeper, be more truthful, and face challenges that confront us in more meaningful ways. We need to talk about causes and not just symptoms, face some inconvenient truths, and have more than prepackaged conversations among us. One question weaves through The Marianne Williamson Podcast - how did we get to where we are, and how can we change things now?
Episode details

Should government be run like a business? No, says Donald Cohen, the founder and executive director of In The Public Interest and author of the book The Privatization of Everything: How the Plunder of Public Goods Transformed America and How We Can Fight Back. And I agree with him.

Should the private sector be a major player in guiding our economy and society? Of course it should. But should the money it can spend on lobbyists, corporate donations, tax schemes and dark money crowd out the public sector and grab all resources for itself? Absolutely not!

What should be America’s bottom line? Short term stockholder profit maximization, or “government of the people, by the people and for the people?” The former has become the guiding principle of our society in direct contradiction to the latter.

A founding principle of the United States is that the government should balance individual liberty (including economic liberty) with concern for the common good. When those who represent private economic interests wield such inordinate power, the common good is both squandered and sacrificed. The reckless Supreme Court decision Citizens United - giving corporations and wealthy individuals power to exert control over our elections through unlimited expenditures - has aided the transformation of our government into a system of legalized bribery. That is what we must change.

In this episode, Cohen and I discuss the insidious ways private industry exerts undue influence on our government. These interests “strip public goods of their power to lift people up, creating instead a tool to diminish democracy, further inequality, and separate us from each other.”

Listen to our conversation to learn more about the exact nature of the problem so you too can be part of the solution. None of this will change until we change it, and every bit of information we gather empowers us to succeed.

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This episode is also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.