Those people who own the gold run the world.
This age-old adage certainly applies to Congress.
If you doubt this statement, read Elizabeth Warren’s latest book, “This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class,” 337 pages, Henry Holt and Company, 2017.
She documents the need to “drain the swamp” in a way never envisioned by Donald Trump so that members of a once-prosperous middle class have an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Warren grew up as a member of a hardscrabble family, attended college on a scholarship and “a dime,” reared a family, became a law professor, helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and since 2012 has represented citizens of Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate.
You probably won’t read this book if you are a Koch brother, a banker, a big business executive, a lobbyist, a Chamber of Commerce member or a Trump follower. I doubt, too, that you will set your bias aside long enough to read this book if you believe that a progressive like Warren is too liberal to speak on behalf of the middle-class.
Of course, as Warren documents, most of us know that the middle-class no longer carries much clout in the world of governance. The reason? It’s called money.
You need lots of the stuff to run for Congress. Guess where you get it: Deep Pockets.
What do Deep Pockets expect in return? Favorable legislation, limited oversight and accountability, tax breaks.
And as Warren documents, Deep Pockets also influence decisions by members of the U.S. Supreme Court. (pp. 202-206)
I set aside this book several times because it appears that the wealthy wield too much power in Congress to “drain the swamp” and to provide equal opportunity for interests of the middle class to be represented.
I found hope, however, when Warren reminded me that we all have a stake in governance.
She suggests our first fight “is to battle bigotry” in all of its forms.
Next, she says we should “say loud and clear that we will make the economy work for everyone—not just for the top 10 percent, but for everyone.”
The most difficult task, of course, will be draining the swamp of gold.