Corporate Political Influence: The Power of Money in Politics
In 2022, corporate federal lobbying spending reached $4.1 billion, the highest since 2010, with $1 billion spent in the third quarter alone.
Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon alone spent $59 million in 2022, up from $55 million in 2021 and $44 million in 2020. At the time, tech giants faced the prospects of bipartisan legislation, including anti-trust proposals that would have clipped their powers, passing in Congress.
Interestingly, the bill never saw the light of day, and the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, blamed “incredible onslaught of money.”
This excessive lobbying spending demonstrated the lengths corporations are willing to go to gain political influence, also known as Corporatocracy. The influence is aimed at pushing their interests, usually at the expense of global consumers and the U.S. people.
According to Stanford University’s researcher Stephen R. Barley, the process slowly replaces representative democracy with a “corporate society,” with corporations influencing policy to their advantage without any regard for the citizens.
Organizations aim to achieve Corporatocracy by gaining complete control of our political and civil institutions by puppetizing bureaucrats and elected politicians.
Corporate political power and influence are usually part of the broader globalization agenda perpetuated by corrupt executives and politicians.
Since the Gilded Age, corporations have done their best to corrupt governments and ensure that politicians do their bidding, exclude citizens from decision-making, and eliminate citizens’ interest in government policies.
Additionally, corporations protect their interests by shaping the public debate, usually steering it from public interest issues that could hurt their bottom line. Some corporations, such as social media companies, directly control public debate and can shape it as they wish.
During the last few years, Americans have witnessed these companies attempting to influence the outcome of our political processes through censorship and biased algorithm.
While Conservatives support corporations’ right to participate in the political process, they abhor corruption and lack of transparency. They believe that corporate political influence should be legally acquired and subject to audit and scrutiny.
They believe that political influence gained through corruption could undermine our democracy. Unsurprisingly, they have called for the regulation of big tech companies, which yield immense political power without any legal obligations.
Nevertheless, taming corporate interference in our politics has proven to be a challenge after the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling.
The ruling allowed corporations to spend dark money on politicians without any disclosure obligations. Subsequently, the burden is on the voters to reject politicians funded by dark corporate money.
This strategy has consistently failed in the past elections, putting corporate stooges in charge of our government. This makes passing any useful legislation in Congress hard, if not impossible. As Corporations have the right to participate in the democratic process and protect their interest through lobbying.
However, the process becomes a platform for corporations to buy politicians, amassing immense political power capable of undermining public interest and subverting the will of the people.
As a result, citizens should fight for relevant laws to promote transparency and accountability and ensure that elected officials represent their constituents instead of becoming corporate stooges.
Sorry, there were no replies found.
Log in to reply.