The Influence Machine

The Influence Machine

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Capture of American Life

Book - 2015
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The United States now has three political parties, though only two of them are elected.The newest was founded a century ago, but just came to power in the last decade: It's the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the political party of the new American oligarchy. In this groundbreaking investigation of the big business takeover of the American political process, Alyssa Katz draws upon years of research to chronicle the rise to power of the organization and the oversized, combative personalities who lead it. The Chamber -- through its secret corporate sponsors, from Philip Morris to Exxon to Wal-Mart -- can take credit for some of the most disturbing trends in American life: the reversal of environmental protections, the buying of judgeships, the destruction of unions and worker protections, the rise of virulent anti-government ideology, the toxic role of campaign cash, and the creation of "astroturf" groups, culminating in the Tea Party, as cover for advancing a corporate agenda. Through its propaganda, lobbying, and campaign cash, the Chamber has created a right-wing monster that even it struggles to control, a conservative movement that is destabilizing American politics as never before. The Chamber tells this history as a series of gripping narratives that take us into the backrooms of Washington where the battles over how our country is run and regulated are fought, and then out into the real world where we see how the Chamber's campaigns play out in real lives. But in the end, Katz also points to the possibility of reversing the influence of the Chamber and its affiliated groups, and fixing our democracy.
Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780812993288
Characteristics: xvi, 315 pages ; 25 cm


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May 20, 2015

Really an incredible book! EASILY 30 to 40 STARRED Read! Ms. Katz gets it to the max - - explaining how USCoC is working all the angles, from their National Chamber Litigation Center to their Institute for Legal Reform and various other conduits. The author uses those WikiLeaked State Department cables to wonderfully illustrate some important details of that vile outfit, which wants to offshore all American jobs, and any they can't offshore, to make permamently temp jobs! She covers their destuctive, anti-worker behavior in America . . . AND in China! Her front-page hilarious quote by C. Wright Mills most succinctly illustrates that Mills was truly Ayn Randian before Ayn Rand was kewl [just being sarcastic, whacko Rand was never cool!]. Covers a wide array of issues, from Coca Cola - - in China - - laying off their entire workforce, so they could hire them back through Coca Cola's own temp agency, at lower wages and without any job security, benefits, et cetera! [Now that's something you'll never hear from Ira Glass on This American Life!] A must read for any sane American! She even manages to mention Eugene Scalia [Anthony Scalia's son, naturally] and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher! And wouldn't USCoC wish the top law enforcement guy to be a former director at Nat'l Chamber Litigation Center, of course - - James Comey, director of the FBI? [We have been blessed with some truly brilliant books in 2015, Ms. Katz's book, Nicole Aschoff's book, The New Prophets of Capital, and a host of others!]


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