By Eric London at Information Clearing House, 8/27/12
…The web site OpenSecrets.org reports that land speculation is the industry in which members of Congress make the most money. Financial speculation, securities and investments, oil and gas production, and commercial banking are also featured in the top 10 profitable industries for members of Congress.
The report from The Hill underlines what was already clear about American politics: the vast majority of Americans are given no representation in government. Their “elected” representatives are chosen from the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.
The lives of these members of Congress compare starkly with the realities that their constituents face on a day-to-day basis. In the years following the financial crisis, the average American family has lost 40 percent of its net worth. Half of America lives either under the poverty line or one paycheck away from it. In some states, a quarter of the population struggles to afford food. Meanwhile, Congress cuts unemployment benefits, funding for health care, education, and housing. Both parties have agreed that slashing pensions and food stamps are next on the agenda.
For the richest members of Congress, these cuts will result, as they evidently have already, in an increase in net worth. For their working class constituents, the cuts pose a more urgent threat: hunger, disease, poverty, and a loss of life.
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