ABSTRACT

With some exceptions, the country has generally been run by spokesmen for vested interests, from Alexander Hamilton to Richard Olney to Elihu Root to John Foster Dulles to Cyrus Vance to William Casey (all of them prosperous corporation lawyers, as indeed were Presidents Abraham

Lincoln and Rutherford B. Hayes). Whether Democrat or Republican, the business historian Ferdinand Lundberg observed in 1968, administrations during the first two-thirds of the twentieth century were completely under the thumb of Wall Street.4 Today it is corporations that largely fund political campaigns-not many private citizens can afford $2,000-a-plate fund-raisers. In Washington, D.C., spurred on by industry lobbyists, the people’s representatives, whether Democrats or Republicans, champion the big business agenda, especially low corporate taxes and gigantic military budgets. And, upon leaving political office they often retire to high-level corporate positions where they rub elbows with ex-Pentagon senior officials.