Rowdy House is a collection of nonpartisan, anonymous contributors who donate their words, music and video to elevate national awareness about government waste, corruption and over regulation.
Government waste, corruption and over regulation – why is this important?
Rowdy House helps us expose, understand and deter government waste, corruption and over regulation. Predictably, government waste and excessive regulation often develops from government administrators catering to special interest groups for financial gain. This is corruption,dishonest exploitation of power or position for personal gain. Over time, the accumulative effect can be devastating to a country’s economy. In countries where government corruption exists unchecked without exposure and deterrence, the economies suffer and living conditions decline. Dictators and leaders of totalitarian regimes, along with their supporting associates, do very well as long as they remain in control. Their subjugated populations do not. Households are often left with absolute minimum resources for sustenance. Their societies often barely carry their own weight into the future, and family incomes are just enough to rise above international definitions of poverty. Growth and productivity stagnates.
What leads an industrialized country into decline?
And, just how long should a nation remain a “developing country”? Analysts know that whenever the educational level is raised, the level of development is raised. Evidently the smarter people are, the less likely they will tolerate corrupt governance. But sometimes it takes decades to depose a well funded regime or political party. And often the people’s revolutionary of the day metastasizes into a tyrant.
For example, Forbes magazine separates rulers and dictators from their annual rankings of the “Worlds Billionaires” to distinguish earned entrepreneurial wealth from wealth derived from positions of power. However, these powerful political leaders are often some of the richest men in the world with plush palatial residences, global real estate holdings, corporate investments, bank accounts in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Jersey and Liechtenstein, secret trusts, shell companies and front men. Sometimes these government controllers have international notoriety for the usual excesses indulged by tyrants. Conversely, in our contemporary democratic societies, political leaders are more sophisticated, covert and often their real financial motivations are untraceable.
Typically they behave like they are above the law and they walk around as free men today. Some become delusional, demented, are deposed and instead of fleeing for their life, they are killed. Such was the case of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who reportedly had siphoned more than $200 billion in bank accounts and investments around the world before he was killed. That figure is probably exaggerated because it would make him the richest man world. In any case, he lived like a king until he was rejected by his people.
The list of enormously wealthy politicians and rulers is extensive: Mobutu Sese Seko, the former president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sani Abacha, Nigeria’s former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida Nigeria’s former military president, Kenya’s former president Daniel Arap Moi, Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak, Equatorial Guinea’s President, Teodorin Obiang, and the list goes around the world. Even the political tyrants of poverty stricken countries shockingly become billionaires, even multi billionaires. Run by family members and loyal political cronies, countries with totalitarian rule become less like nations and more like wildly lucrative mafia styled family businesses. In addition, they have enough financial resources to influence elected leaders of other countries. Meanwhile the nation’s children are taught that their leaders are national heroes. Their cities are decorated with their self-worshipping bronze effigies. And the population develops habits of willful ignorance.
In more democratic nations, there are two basic forms of extracting money from the population. The most obvious form is direct taxation in the form of federal, state and local taxes. And the less obvious form is found in the increased cost of consumer goods and services which results from government regulations that were created to benefit special interest industries. Most people understand that excessive government regulation will result in the need for larger government and consequently increase taxes. Although endlessly escalating taxes and expanding government is a serious issue, that is really the smaller problem. The bigger problem is the increase in the cost to satisfy our basic needs. This is what keeps a population at minimum sustenance levels, lowers living standards and consumes any potential for real disposable income.
In the long term, persistent government waste, corruption and over regulation erodes a nation’s economic viability, squanders resources, and often results in rising debt.
How do governments protect their interests over the rights of populations?
One of the problems is that too often governments, like many other large institutions, protect themselves over the rights of the individual or the population they serve. Americans have seen many examples of this in a variety of organizations; the Catholic Church, both political parties, the Veterans Administration, the IRS, the public school system, the NFL, etc. Institutions like these try to blackout unfavorable media exposure or control the media narrative and when they cannot, they must actually modify their behavior to avoid the negative financial consequences of adverse public opinion.
Adverse public opinion is one of the consequences that can be a deterrent to corrupt institutional behavior and cover-up. And the media is a strong driver of public opinion. It operates just like opinion polls which are often performed to shape public opinion more than to verify it.
This is one way it works. In order to hold on to their political office, politicians are driven financially by special interest groups. The special interests are often corporate organizations which use media to advertise their products. Media outlets are not charitable organizations. Their advertising revenue is ultimately more important than their ratings. So the media editors often sanitize the news to protect their favorite politicians and impose narratives that their advertisers support and they impose media blackouts on information which conflicts with their favored narrative. The viewing public (you) accept the media narrative and buy their sponsors products. When the viewing public “buys in” this helps enable the continued cycle of behavior.
Actual investigative journalism is very difficult and not nearly as profitable as catering to sponsors and political regimes because it potentially upsets corporate leaders who buy advertising and the political bureaucracies which regulate the media organizations. And sadly, information uncovered by investigative journalism can fall outside of the predisposed media narrative and overwhelm the capacity of a careless population who wants to be comfortably entertained, not informed. A phrase coined in the 1700’s by Thomas Gray has become the political insider’s favorite proverb, “Ignorance is bliss.”
It is essentially the same problem in every country around the world. Some are worse than others. In the United States, the entire national debt is arguably only an accumulation of the cost of decades of waste, corruption and overregulation. Every year, hundreds of billions of dollars of government waste is identified by different organizations and little is done to stop it. And the media substantially ignores it. If the issue is even discussed, it is dropped with the next news cycle. Politicians are not held accountable because the public is not aware and the particulars are not held in the public consciousness.
What difference does this make to me?
If the instances of government waste, corruption and overregulation were actually highlighted and consistently addressed, the basic needs of every American could be more easily met. Food, shelter, energy, education, transportation, communication, and health care are all made unnecessarily costly because of government waste, corruption and overregulation. Americans are financially dying the “death of a thousand slashes” in the cost paid for every basic necessity of their lives because their politicians continue to play the same political party games, distract us from the real issues, and blame someone else. It is inconvenient to correct past abuses of senior multi term politicians and the effort doesn’t cater to special interest groups who will pay for it. Costly, outdated regulations, government waste and corruption will continue to slowly bleed the wallets of millions of Americans. It should be stopped and it can be stopped. We can do better. We want to be part of the solution.
Who lobbies for the American people?
No one – the American people need their own lobbyist. Creating awareness is a big start, and therefore part of the solution. If media continuously discussed these issues in more detail it would be more of a deterrent. As an example, we never hear about the politicians who voted for government funding of ridiculous programs like studies involving shrimp on treadmills, drinking habits of Chinese prostitutes, behavior of quails on cocaine, measuring genitalia of male ducks, etc. Or more importantly, which politician wrote the bill that included the absurd expenditures? Whose “pork” was it? Who benefited financially? There’s no accountability, because the media doesn’t report it. The investigative reporting on these things should be easy, but it stops short. In any legitimate business, these guys would be identified and fired. Real, effective, accountability makes organizations function correctly. The system of accountability is lacking and needs to be built.
This is what Rowdy House is working on, increasing awareness and creating accountability. We are trying to bring the concept to the forefront of the public consciousness, and that helps. But it requires real continued media attention, enduring effort, and considerable funding. The songs do help keep the ideas going over time. We can add more. And by being played, they help raise public awareness. The more people actively reject the status quo corrupt governance, the closer we come to eliminating its drain on our collective economy.
It’s a big deal…it needs to be done. So help us help your collective financial freedom. Help us increase awareness and create accountability by buying and playing our songs.