I was going to call this post "We used to have a government." We used to have regulation of drug-pushing companies and regulation of the sort of commercials they could proffer on TV. We used to have strictures against cigarette companies paying for cancer studies. (See today's NYTimes): http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/26/health/research/26lung.html?hp).
We used to inspect bridges so they don't collapse. We used to monitor cranes so they don't fall on people. We used to have a progressive tax system to help those less fortunate. We used to have a public education system. That's all gone.
But I am wrong. We do still have a government. I call it a give-ernment. It gives tax breaks to the mega-rich (not $500K advertising rich.) It gives bail-outs to Bear Stearns billionaires. It gives hundreds of billions to war contractors. It gives telcos the right to monitor your phone records. It gives the courts the right to suspend the principle--habeas corpus--on which our "freedom" was founded. It gives and gives and gives.