Transparency Isn’t What It Used to Be

Since the age of the Robber Barons in the late 19th century, Americans have worried about how politicians operate behind citizens’ backs. The cartoon below illustrates suspicions that the wealthy secretly controlled the government, and reformers thought that exposing such machinations would stop them. As soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis wrote in 1913 , “sunlight is the best of disinfectants.”

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