Three things came up this week about ugly money. First, in the book The Life Project by Helen Pearson, about the British cohort projects starting in 1946, it became apparent that those absolutely revelatory research projects almost died from lack of interest by the people with money who were funding them. Those studies are like the Harvard Grant Study by George Vaillant, and the ACE study here in America that are my go-to sources for long-term effects of life experiences. I have a post that compares Adverse Childhood Experiences with Positive Childhood Experiences – ACE versus PCE test. Each of those studies, although small in terms of money, were powerful in the information they provided to the public on how to raise children to be happy, productive adults.
A second was a report on the World Health Organization (WHO) in the book Pandemic by Sonia Shah, page 117, describing how they have shifted from being financed by nations, which intentionally don’t have much influence on policy decisions, to now being financed by private corporations that have considerable influence. Consider what would have been reported by WHO if the tobacco industries were in control of the information and decisions they made for world health. Now consider how the big pharmaceutical companies who are currently major donors to WHO, and specifically designate how their money is to be spent, would be financing their own corporate self-interests.
A third way money is corrupting the information that is available is the way American Congressmen are compelled to spend most of their time begging for money over the phone. That is covered in the media, but here on TV, is Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Congressional Fundraising (HBO) where he says, ” … members spend anywhere for 25 percent up to 50 percent … of their time fundraising …” and before elections it’s even more. That drain on their time cuts into their becoming informed on the issues that they are supposedly voting on, and compels them to knuckle under to financial pressures from whomever they are begging for money, and that can be anyone in the world, to vote their way.
If the public can’t be provided with good information they can only make bad decisions.