America’s Democracy of Dollars is about a “legal” problem we have today in America. But it is not a law book written for lawyers. Nor is it a political book, taking sides with either conservatives or pro-gressives. It is a book written for us Americans, to aid us in understanding a problem that affects each of us so each of us can chose to do something about it.
It is also a book about context, not theory. What is the context of our times?
As a society we have morphed from a Democracy of People into a Democracy of Dollars. Two politi-cal institutions of our federal government, the Legislative and the Executive Branches, designed to protect and serve all Americans, have become servants to special interests who, in today’s pricey politics, have bought their way to the head of the line.
But our national government has a co-equal third institution, the Judiciary Branch, the federal judiciary headed by the Supreme Court. The Judiciary Branch is intended by our Constitution’s Framers to be independent and non-political —and, most important, the Judiciary Branch is intended to provide a check and balance on the other two Branches. However, in today’s Democracy of Dollars, that mission has been failing. Our Supreme Court must assume a different role, a role it occupied in the past when times were equally as difficult and uncertain as today’s times.
In this book, we illustrate the Democracy of Dollars plight we face through three examples: First, we focus on the Supreme Court’s deference through judge-made rules to the two political branches of government, particularly the Executive Branch, the effect of which is to deny too many people their Rights.
Then, we focus on the plight of voters whose effectiveness is diluted by partisan gerrymandering. Finally, we focus on the effect of our Legislative Branch’s uncontrolled delegation to the Executive Branch, which has resulted in the unfettered growth of our “Fourth Branch” of government, the administrative state, creating the “Era of Presidential Administration,” driven by lobbies and special interests and not the will of the People. These examples led to the important conclusion: we each must be involved citizens.
About Richard Jacobs
Richard Jacobs graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1954, with a degree in business. He earned Phi Beta Kappa and other honors. After military service and a career in the life insurance business, he graduated from Stetson University College of Law in 1967, Magna Cum Laude, first in his class. He was admitted to practice in June 1967, after achieving the high score on the March 1967 Florida Bar examination. As a practicing lawyer, he attained an Av rating and was included in Best Lawyers in America. He is also a member of Stetson University College of Law’s Hall of Fame. After more than five decades practicing business law, he “mostly retired” in 2013; and, in 2014, wrote Wonderlust, the stories of the lessons learned in his trekking the seven continents.
His civic activities have included his being chairman and trustee of his community hospital and arts center and serving as a trustee of his law school and other educational institutions. Motivated by the lessons learned in his travels, he also devoted his attention to en-vironmental, sea-level rise, and global warming issues, as a writer, speaker, and a lawyer, working particularly close with Our Chil-dren’s Trust and Stetson College of Law. Democracy of Dollars grew out of his experiences in being thwarted in problem-solving environmental issues by government inaction when action is needed.
A lawyer by training, a photographer by passion, he has been fortunate to have trekked and photo’d on the seven continents —and those experiences have shaped his life and understanding the nature of our responsibilities for the care of each other and our earth, the only home we will ever have.