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American Congressmen and women regularly trade on the stock market during their terms in office. This is despite the fact they may have crucial information about corporations and companies which affects their stock price. The American political set up is a bad joke in terms of any separation between civics and commerciality. The committees that these members of Congress sit upon directly impact upon the fortunes of American companies. The fact that members of Congress or their families can happily trade on the stock market during their terms of office is outrageous. No wonder they have to carry them out in wooden coffins and they hardly ever leave office until they reach the ripe old age of Methuselah. Talk about being on a good wicket.

a laptop computer sitting on top of a desk
Corruption in US politics!

American Congressional Corruption

You have to ask yourself why is the American political system such a corrupt s*** show? Is it because for much of its life it has been ignored by much of the population. Without compulsory voting the nation and states have often barely attracted much more than half of the voting age public’s vote. They say sunlight is the best disinfectant. A disinterested citizenry has allowed individuals like Donald Trump to cheat and lie his way through decades of public life. Many people know that Congress has been bought by big business through campaign donations. This is one of the reasons why gun laws remain lax despite a majority of Americans wanting them to be tightened.

Bad actors in Congress prevent things being done that might harm the profitability of the businesses that their political donors represent.

time lapse photography of several burning US dollar banknotes

US Political Built-In Bias

The electoral college system is another structural reason why a minority of voters can continue to drive the American bus in directions unwanted by the majority. So called ‘red states’ muster more pull than their population size should entitle them to. In America, a concerted core of GOP aligned money and political actors have muscled in to control state legislatures across great swathes of the USA. The indifference and ignorance of the population supports them in this. The anti-Trump movement has changed the electoral settings somewhat, more recently.

Therefore, these GOP politicians are attempting to make voting harder for African Americans and poorer working people, more generally, in their states. They are now involved in renewed activities to discourage the Democrat vote against them.

Donald Trump beside man in black suit

Commerciality vs Civic Duty

Corruption crosses both lines in the political divide. This view of a civic life luxuriously comforted by a lifetime of financial rewards is present in the aspirations of both blue and red politicians. The laxness in regard to monitoring the financial behaviours of Congress, Senators, and SCOTUS is astonishing. America is a bad joke in this regard. Congress is a honey pot for unscrupulous politicians. The whole system requires an overhaul. You cannot be a credible civic leader and feather your own nest at the same time.

Apparently, American congress men and women have been doing exactly this for a long time. No wonder nobody wants to leave office. Biden in his 80s. Trump not far behind. Too many old snouts in troughs for such a long and lucratively rewarding time.

“Members of Congress can trade individual stocks, and they often do. However, there are limitations. In 2012, former President Barack Obama signed into law the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act. The STOCK Act prohibits using material non-public information for private profit (this is commonly known as insider trading). It also requires congresspeople to report trades within a certain time frame. Even with the STOCK Act in place, an insider trading case against a congressperson would be difficult to prove in court. Most issues around the STOCK Act have to do with failure to report trades.”

Robert Sudha Hamilton is the author of Money Matters: Navigating Credit, Debt, and Financial Freedom. 

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Money Matters: Navigating Credit, Debt & Financial Freedom

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