The intertwining of money in politics is a critical step to making some transformative steps in how we organize ourselves on this planet.
Insider trading in federal government is one of the biggest known secrets out there. Seriously, there’s multiple trackers a google search away that will show you. It’s resulted in some of the people we designate as leaders once again casting doubt on if they deserve to hold the title (which, if you’re familiar with some of my past thoughts on leaders and have followed me so far, you know is kind of a big deal to me).
However, the point of this discussion is to establish why a certain group should be considered an integral aspect of the operations of government, at least in the U.S. This group has a hand in bringing legislature into effect as much as the other branches. It’s corporate lobbyists.
If we’re going to act as if corporations are people, we have to consider that they have their own goals as any person would, right? The problem with this is that the only goal of corporations is to grow, existing outside of the concerns of the people that comprise them, other than the upper leadership. They approach legislation and issues purely through the lens of whether it helps or threatens this one goal. Regardless if whether you agree that corporate lobbyism is a problem, we have a group of these “people” with massive influence in government to the point it establishes them as a group whose intentions and actions produce tangible results. Call it a shadow Congress, a sub-branch of government, or another term. For me, when I hear news about how Congress is voting on an issue, I wonder how the lobbying branch has voted.
I do think corporate lobbying is a problem by the way. A quick glace at the history of labor laws in the U.S. confirms that corporations would likely pay you nothing to work you to death if they could. Sure, we make “more” now, but given the real value of labor and the effects of inflation, we’re not making what we should. The interests and well-being of the nation should not be considered with the interests of corporations. It undermines democracy and erodes the confidence of the people in government (and there’s plenty of mistrust towards government as it is, most of it absolutely warranted).
If we have a group of people who’s interests have to be immediately considered when legislation is introduced, it stands to reason that this group is directly tied to the future of law in this country. In fact, former members of Congress often start to work towards the interests of corporations once they retire. If this group is so intimately involved in the future creation of the rules of society, how can they not be considered part of government?
Unfortunately, corporate lobbying is completely legal. It’s protected under the first amendment. It costs a lot of money to get a seat in Congress. You can’t give an official money directly (bribe), but you can certainly fundraise for them and deliver a check. It’s a simple difference, but it’s how millions of dollars wind up in the hands of Congress. It’s a complicated issue with no definite answer (like pretty much all issues nowadays). However, there’s been some strides. Ultimately, like most issues, it’s up to the followers to ensure the ones in charge deserve the title and to not become disillusioned, distracted, apathetic, or self-centered to the point where they feel no change can happen. Corporations will gladly try to stop that progress by putting products between you and that goal. They’re already in government, get them out of your head.
Until next time,