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Money, money, money and the system: Lawrence Lessig

Posted on the May 28th, 2010

Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig gave a talk last week at the Yahoo! campus (“Innovation Corruption” May 20, 2010). He spoke about how corruption in government and business are blocking innovation in the U.S.

In case you think this has always been the case and isn’t getting much worse, Lessig explains how this isn’t so. The details he provides are more than a little disheartening to hear. But…

His plea to the audience was to not be passive – that the public is very much a part of the problem when clearly there are patterns but no one does anything about it. As a major player in the Internet world, he’d like to see Yahoo! pushing for competition in the IP world. As far as the government is concerned, Lessig would like to see a return to citizen-funded elections – a concept born during Teddy Roosevelt’s term in office. Such a system would eliminate money from the economy of influence – the underlying cause of corruption and ultimate roadblock to innovation.

If you really want to understand precisely how the system goes so incredibly awry, you will learn here.

And if you agree with Lessig, you can go to his website, ChangeCongress.org, and sign up to participate in helping him bring our political leaders back to serving the common good. Lessig’s organization is non-partisan — its sole bias is for the good of “we the people.”  I think Lessig has a great idea here.

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