"A fool and his money are soon parted."
I have an unlocked smart phone. One time cost: $300. I also have no-contract service plan with 300 minutes, unlimited SMS and unlimited data. Monthly cost: $35, total cost per year: $420.
the democratic process has been effectively poisoned by monied interests
There are certainly many forces of corruption at work upon our democracies, yet in the present day we appear to have the most democratic - and least violent - of any previous civilization.
In the past three years in California I have voted in popular referenda which have created an open primary election system, allowed a committee of citizens to redraw gerrymandered legislative districts (this survived three elections), placed fixed term limits on legislators and eliminated "three strikes" sentencing requirements for non-violent crimes.
The real solution lies in crystal-clear software
I sort of gave my version of that in a comment below.
I think majority rule with checks and balances is the only alternative to tyranny. Essentially moral decisions (including economic ones; recall that the classical economists called themselves moral philosophers) must be biased.
Humanistic morality implies a bias. (as a humanist, I am biased towards this bias).