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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:48 AM
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More corporate lobbying is bad business (Roe | Financial Times)
By Mark Roe
Published: January 25 2010 13:46 | Last updated: January 25 2010 13:46

... the potential corporate, business and economic consequences of the decision, assuming it stands, are profound. Conservative and business media have thus far favoured the decision as helpful to business; but it is not at all clear that it is favourable to the economy. It is likely to hurt the dynamism of the American economy, perhaps severely.

The Courts decision will strengthen the hand of incumbent interests over unorganised emerging interests. That is not good. Incumbent business interests often see upstarts as competing unfairly, as needing to be regulated, and as deserving of being suppressed. Incumbent businesses like politicians to squelch new entrants. With their chequebooks now opened up, they will support politicians who seek to regulate and suppress upstarts ...

The campaign finance decision will encourage pernicious corporatist tendencies. Consider the most recent example of these tendencies: unions and incumbent corporate interests in the motor industry managed to get about $80bn in subsidies last year. Even without the ruling in favour of direct campaigning, the steel industry has often been able to suppress international competition. If incumbent industries corporate and union leaders see a common cause in Washington, we should expect them to use the campaign process further to increase their friends in Congress. There was always a public-oriented rationale the economy needs this or that industry but now there will be more muscle behind the campaign ...

The ruling will also strengthen further the hands of managers and directors inside large American companies. They, after all, are the ones who decide whether to contribute to political campaigns, not shareholders ...
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