Lobbyists vs Big Business & Corporations
Today’s modern society is riveting as well as exciting. Every day is a new adventure for most entrepreneurs and business leaders. But what if, instead of the adventure you’re looking for, turns out to be the nightmare you’ve always feared? What if the one thing you desired ultimately turned out to be the one thing you despise? Recently it has come to the surface that big business and corporations seem to always have their hands in the cookie jar in everyday life. Most notably with the recent elections and designations of new political figures. How is this possible and why has this just now become a larger issue? Over the past few decades, corporations have grown larger and more powerful than what we have noticed from the previous era such as the 1960’s and 1970’s. Back forty to fifty years ago, corporations did not have the will power nor the ability to fight back against what they felt were laws and regulations designed by congress to prevent them from prospering. With new labor laws as well as consumer and environmental regulations being imposed, they (corporations) felt attacked and abandoned and felt as if there was nothing they could do to prevent congress and politics from interfering with their operations. But as the years went by, more and more opportunities to change these interferences became more prevalent and lobbyists started to flourish and become a complete job on its own.
Lobbyists are individuals who represent or identify themselves as activists whose sole purpose is to persuade members of the government to enact legislation that would benefit their group, or in this case, their corporation. These individuals can be anyone from a union representative to someone who works alongside a political figure. Going back to the 1970’s, lobbyists began to engage politics and started to play the games in Washington to protect and ensue their ultimate goals. Early on, lobbyists were able to become a part of a community and persuaded others that the government sanctions and regulations being instilled would ruin the American economy and destroy businesses across the country. Fast forward a few years and you’ll notice that corporate managers became more involved in politics and started to realize that they can utilize their lobbying to not only assist in the political game, but ultimately provide for their own individual organization. Take, for example, a new law that will provide full health benefits for all full-time employees at the cost of the corporation. For the employees, this is one incredible law and all who agree with it will stand up and fight to defend this law and ensure it pushes through. However, the monetary losses that will soon ensue is an immediate threat to said corporation and now the lobbyists are out in full force persuading law makers and congress to eliminate this law due to a possible economic downfall of the business.
Unfortunately, said lobbyists are supplied financially from the corporation they are trying to protect and, more times than not, will always come out on top with information, statistics, and everything they can provide to eliminate this law. Congress is now baffled and the law either becomes eliminated or gets placed on standstill. Lobbyists and big corporations have won another case, looking out for themselves and not the lower level employees. There are many examples that can be provided, but just flipping the television on in modern times will show that big corporations are alive and well and will do whatever they can at any cost to its employees or anyone who stands in their way. This imposes the whole entire way we as a country are supposed to decide on what’s right and wrong and what’s good and bad. It eliminates democracy. All too often are decisions made behind closed doors and out of public views. Lobbying and corporations are shady and often, are only out for themselves, not the welfare of the American people.
How does our current political situation influence the possibility of future business leaders? Currently our president was, and continues to be, a conservative businessman. We are informed that he and the republican party want to ensure and better the economy and solve the current problems in the country and will continue to look out for the middle-class workers and their families. But how can they be trusted when all too often decisions are made last minute or on a whim that no one, besides congress or the supreme court, knew about? Currently most political figures in office and powerful seats are conservatives. This can be a debate, however that is not the issue. The current issue is the fact that, although we are told that there will be tax cuts or regulations and laws to assist citizens, its hard to fully believe words when actions speak differently.
With the most recent supreme court ruling in 2012, corporations and labor unions can spend as much money as they want to push for their political figure or fight against those who they seem as a threat. This is an issue because, as stated earlier, businesses and corporations have their hand in the cookie jar regarding their own personal wants and needs. Lobbyists use their abilities to target their opponents and use words, examples, and previous mishaps to bring disgrace and unprofessionalism to the name of said opponent while on the other hand, they utilize exceptional and glorified reasonings on why the figure they desire is fit for the political position. To eliminate the ultimate fact that corporations and businesses run the politics in this country, which defeats the purpose of democracy, we need to take a step back and figure out how we can prevent this from happening. All too often people think that we are where we are and that nothing will change because of how long this has been going on. But this, at one time, was an issue that was a small spark and currently has spread into a giant wildfire fueling the everyday functions of our country.
In 1907, congress banned corporations from providing funding to federal campaigns in what was called the Tillman Act. Again in 1947, congress tried to extend the ban to labor unions in what was called the Taft-Hartley Act. However, these laws at the time were vague and were fought against stating that it was imposing on the ability of speech for the corporations. The first step is identifying the ultimate problem and having congress, and/or the supreme court realize that we as an American people can no longer be pawns in their games. No longer should we be left in the dark on decisions and regulations that pop up overnight. The next step is to identify those who are more persuaded by lobbyists and eliminate their roles as political figures or impose sanctions on them. As future business leaders, we should be able to identify and understand the concept of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) which, studies show, will increase profit without eliminating the middle man or the lower level employees. Its important to understand that not all corporations or business are involved in the lobbying practice and are not heavily involved in political games. However, currently, it’s hard to find those that aren’t.
In conclusion, our current situation has identified the reality that democracy is dead regarding politics and that big business and corporations are those that ultimately decide the fate of most regulations and sanctions. There are solutions that can be identified to eliminate this problem, and the first step is the realization of our current political party and its affiliates. Utilizing the supreme court and congress is the first step, and although the term lobbyists is thrown around negatively on most occasions, there are positive lobbyists who oppose said negativity and want to persuade the government and its people of the reality of the possible implications and repercussions they may cause if they give in to big business.
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