James, just four short annotations to your well written, sophisticated piece:
The USA are NOT nor have ever been a “Democracy”. It’s a Federate Republic, even Leonard Cohen knew it though he desperately hoped “Democracy is coming to the USA”,
There are NO two political parties in America, they are only two different branches of ONE and the same “feather”, Mastered and Directed by the $$-Oligarchs ! Perhaps you know it, in the first 50 years after signing The Constitution there was just ONE political group in America, ironically called “Democratic Republicans” (sic!)
You write: “… just as accountants are paid to help companies move their profits into tax-free havens….”, in my country, Austria, accountants have to take an oath to respect The Law, their job is tax minimization, not tax evasion nor tax avoidance ! If you disrespect these rules you will be banned from your profession very quickly …..
You know that Robert Musil, a co-citizen of mine (Carinthia, Austria) never finished his “Man Without Qualities” ….. I’ll give you a word from another famous Carinthian writer, Ingeborg Bachmann, who stated so wisely: “Truth is reasonable for mankind” !