'... testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure'
For a long time, I have not just been saying that (in respect of 'MLM business oportunity' fraud) the USA has become a de facto kleptocracy: I have been explaining exactly why this is so, and in great detail. A large part of the explanation has been a chronic US regulatory failure born of ignorance, and/or apathy, and/or corruption. Even well-informed, dedicated and honest government officials at the FTC have (so far) completely failed to take on board the historical significance of the multi-billion dollar racket which now lurks behind hundreds of so-called 'MLM direct sales' companies, and which has deceived, and continues to deceive, tens of millions of ill-informed people around the world. Whilst it remains generally unrecognized, this titanic, criminogenic phenomenon will remain a threat to democracy and the rule of law.
As further proof of this, the following is taken from a recent exchange with a retired US regulator who first started to accept, but who then refused to digest, the ugly truth about so-called 'MLM' (in almost the same breath):
'You are right to say American regulators once sought to close Amway as a ponzi scheme hidden behind products, only failing at the final hurdle because Amway's attorneys promised to self-regulate. You are right to say the 1979 Amway ruling allowing Amway to continue without external regulation, did not make lawful what is unlawful. Therefore, you are wrong to say the 1979 ruling makes my country a kleptocracy or responsible for what happens in other countries, although I agree MLM might have been grounded in America before it took off.... As an American attorney, I am ashamed to admit some colleagues know the truth about MLM, but they are paid to act like they don't.'
So according to this parallel logic, MLM has always been a scam which US government regulators clearly identified, but mysteriously failed to stop in 1979, and which the US government subsequently ignored. However, this shameful situation is not the fault of legally-qualified government regulators (who, for 30 years, have taken their salary cheques knowing the American people to be at risk); nor is it the fault of the legally-qualified apologists of 'MLM' (who, for 30 years, have knowingly been taking their cut of a racket).
If this isn't a description of a de facto kleptocracy, then what the hell is it a description of ? That is, unless, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address has been secretly re-written; for (in respect of 'MLM business opportunity' fraud) what this confused former regulator is actually saying is that, in the USA in 2011, 'government of the people, by the people and for the people,' has effectively 'perished from the Earth.'
Whilst no one was looking, government of billionaire racketeers, by billionaire racketeers for billionaire racketeers, has been quietly established in America.