Friday, January 22, 2010

Thoughts on Corporate Influence

On Thursday, in response to the US Supreme Court decision on McCain-Feingold, the President said,
With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans. This ruling gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington

There has been a lot of commentary agreeing with the President. But I haven't heard an honest discussion of what I consider to be some fundamental truths in the matter...

These arguments are based on the assumption that the Federal government must continue to grow and exert growing influence over the country, its markets, and its people. Special interests and lobbyists only pay Washington because it gets them something. As the Federal government grows in scope and control over society, so does its ability to determine winners and losers in the marketplace. That's why special interests and lobbyists want a seat at the table - so that the government doesn't decide that they lose.

If the Federal government were smaller... much, much smaller, then power and influence in Washington wouldn't matter so much. People could succeed or fail in the marketplace based on the value of what they had to offer consumers, not "the power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans."


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