Episode 90: On Corruption In America with Sarah Chayes

In this episode of Across The Margin : The Podcast, host Michael Shields interviews prize-winning journalist and internationally recognized expert on corruption in government networks throughout the world, Sarah Chayes. Chayes has served as special assistant on corruption to Mike Mullen, former chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as having advised David McKiernan and Stanley McChrystal (commanders of the International Security Assistance Force). She has been a reporter for National Public Radio from Paris, covering Europe and the Balkans. Chayes is the author of The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban and Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, winner of the 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She recently penned a book that illustrates the daunting fact that the United States is showing signs similar to some of the most corrupt countries in the world. That book, On Corruption in America: And What Is At Stake, is the focus of this episode, and is one of the most eye-opening and critical books that you will encounter. From the titans of America’s Gilded Age (Carnegie, Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan, et al.) to the collapse of the stock market in 1929, the Great Depression and FDR’s New Deal; from Joe Kennedy’s years of banking, bootlegging, machine politics, and pursuit of infinite wealth, as well as the Kennedy presidency, to the deregulation of the Reagan Revolution, undermining the middle class and the unions; from the Clinton policies of political favors and personal enrichment to Trump’s hydra-headed network of corruption, systematically undoing the Constitution and our laws, in On Corruption in America, Chayes shows how corrupt systems are organized, how they enforce the rules so their crimes are covered legally, how they are overlooked and downplayed by the richer and better educated, and how they become an overt principle determining the shape of our government, affecting all levels of society. On Corruption in America, and this episode, dramatically highlights what we are all up against. 


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