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Is there any benefit to corporate lobbying?

darkkermit
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3/20/2013 11:21:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Obviously there are benefits to corporate lobbying, since the corporations benefit from it. But are there net-benefits overall to society? Originally, I used to believe that there are. Corporations do play a vital role in providing goods and services to the economy, as well as jobs and the benefit of corporations ultimately benefit us, society.

However, the goal of lobbying isn't to benefit society, but for corporations to increase their own profit. The best way for corporations to increase their own profits is to create barriers to entry and give themselves oligopoly and/or monopoly power. The restriction of competition is obviously bad.

I don't want the discussion to devolve onto how much influence corporations have on government.

So what are your thoughts. Is there any net-benefit that corporate lobbying can have on society?
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malcolmxy
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3/20/2013 11:45:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Know why they're called "Lobbyists"?

They used to have to wait out in the lobby of Congress until they were needed for some sort of expert testimony, if they were ever needed.

The original purpose of lobbyists was massively beneficial to society. Then, the inmates started running the asylum and we've got what we've got now.
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darkkermit
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3/20/2013 11:57:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 11:45:13 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
Know why they're called "Lobbyists"?

They used to have to wait out in the lobby of Congress until they were needed for some sort of expert testimony, if they were ever needed.

The original purpose of lobbyists was massively beneficial to society. Then, the inmates started running the asylum and we've got what we've got now.

I realize that expert testimony is necessary.

But for example, let's say a legislation would increase costs for a certain good or service. At first glance, it might seem that a corporate lobbyist would oppose the law. And since high costs are bad for consumers as well, what's good for the corporation is good for society as well. However, the corporation(s) might want the cost of production to rise, because then it would create barriers to entry and increase their profits. Therefore, the interest are not aligned, and the corporation(s) have an incentive to promote this legislation which would harm consumers.

It would be a much greater benefit if an expert was an economist or some independent agency that does not have as much of an incentive to lie.
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RoyLatham
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3/20/2013 12:01:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Corporate lobbies are not near the top of the list of the most influential lobbies in Washington. The most influential are the AARP (old people), the America Israeli lobby, big labor, the National Rifle Association, and an organization of small businesses. What all lobbiests do is to present their side of issues that impact legislation. The question the OP really asks is whether free speech is beneficial to society as a whole, or whether free speech just benefits the people speaking.

Lawmakers rarely know much about individual issues. They cannot figure out on their own what a new law will actually do to society. Lobbiests make the case for what they think the impact will be. That includes proposing new laws that they claim will have a beneficial effect on their part of society. The benefit is that we get better legislation if lawmakers have more information than if they have less.

This leads to the problem of a skilled lobbiest being able to hoodwink a legislator into not supporting something that really should not be supported. The remedy of cutting off information makes the problem worse. I think a better cure is to get the government out of the business of trying to improve society by regulating every detail of how it operates. This year, so far, government has issued 6000 new regulations. If government did not have so much power, they could focus on the fewer this that really need attention and not be so subject to being misled.
1Percenter
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3/20/2013 12:14:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Everyone has the right to petition government. But with all the new regulations that roy mentioned, I bet a majority of corporations spend money lobbying to make a case for protection or exemption from their policies, not to choke out competitors. Take the response to the Obamacare anti-conscience mandate for example.
darkkermit
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3/20/2013 12:25:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 12:14:08 PM, 1Percenter wrote:
Everyone has the right to petition government. But with all the new regulations that roy mentioned, I bet a majority of corporations spend money lobbying to make a case for protection or exemption from their policies, not to choke out competitors. Take the response to the Obamacare anti-conscience mandate for example.

Probably, although the end result is that are choking out competitors through giving themselves exemption from policy.
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darkkermit
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3/20/2013 12:27:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 12:01:24 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
Corporate lobbies are not near the top of the list of the most influential lobbies in Washington. The most influential are the AARP (old people), the America Israeli lobby, big labor, the National Rifle Association, and an organization of small businesses. What all lobbiests do is to present their side of issues that impact legislation. The question the OP really asks is whether free speech is beneficial to society as a whole, or whether free speech just benefits the people speaking.

Lawmakers rarely know much about individual issues. They cannot figure out on their own what a new law will actually do to society. Lobbiests make the case for what they think the impact will be. That includes proposing new laws that they claim will have a beneficial effect on their part of society. The benefit is that we get better legislation if lawmakers have more information than if they have less.

This leads to the problem of a skilled lobbiest being able to hoodwink a legislator into not supporting something that really should not be supported. The remedy of cutting off information makes the problem worse. I think a better cure is to get the government out of the business of trying to improve society by regulating every detail of how it operates. This year, so far, government has issued 6000 new regulations. If government did not have so much power, they could focus on the fewer this that really need attention and not be so subject to being misled.

Anti-semite :p

Note: I'm only kidding. Please don't report me. I'm making fun of the idea that people that think the Isreal lobbyist has great influence are considered anti-semite, not that you are.
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1Percenter
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3/20/2013 12:29:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 12:25:12 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 3/20/2013 12:14:08 PM, 1Percenter wrote:
Everyone has the right to petition government. But with all the new regulations that roy mentioned, I bet a majority of corporations spend money lobbying to make a case for protection or exemption from their policies, not to choke out competitors. Take the response to the Obamacare anti-conscience mandate for example.

Probably, although the end result is that are choking out competitors through giving themselves exemption from policy.
Hence, the case for limited government.
RoyLatham
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3/20/2013 12:37:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 12:25:12 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Probably, although the end result is that are choking out competitors through giving themselves exemption from policy.

Most of the exemptions to the Obamacare mandates have gone to labor unions. Authoritarian rule involves making everything illegal, then exempting friends of the regime.
Khaos_Mage
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3/20/2013 2:12:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 11:21:52 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Obviously there are benefits to corporate lobbying, since the corporations benefit from it. But are there net-benefits overall to society? Originally, I used to believe that there are. Corporations do play a vital role in providing goods and services to the economy, as well as jobs and the benefit of corporations ultimately benefit us, society.

However, the goal of lobbying isn't to benefit society, but for corporations to increase their own profit. The best way for corporations to increase their own profits is to create barriers to entry and give themselves oligopoly and/or monopoly power. The restriction of competition is obviously bad.

I don't want the discussion to devolve onto how much influence corporations have on government.

So what are your thoughts. Is there any net-benefit that corporate lobbying can have on society?

I think there is a net benefit, although I do not enjoy the exceptions entities receive. What's good for the goose is good for the gander and all that. Plus, the law should be applied equally, so doesn't an exception count as a bill or attainder?

Here's why there is a net benefit.
Pros:
Corporate viability is good for employees, as about 60-70% of employees work for corporations. Conversely, about 7/9 of businesses have no employees at all.

Most people depend on corporations for retirement. Whether indirectly through stock prices throught IRAs and 401ks, or directly through company pensions.

Lobbies ought to know what is good and bad policy. For example, politicians may want to pass a law in response to an event (e.g. Sarbanes-Oxley) that would add costs and do little if anything to address the problem.

Corporations that lobby are large, where they can absorb (or pass on) regulation costs, while small businesses are less able to. So, if regulations are needed, say Obamacare or OSHA or food safety, it is more likely that a larger business can absorb the cost.

Cons:
Lobbyists exploit the last point to the point that they want regulations to increase market share. For example, H&R Block pressed for continuing education regulations. While this may benefit the consumer, it hurts businesses like mine that are now required to e-file and take classes every year, a cost of $500/year, which is the cost of 10 returns for me. So, I have to raise prices, which makes my home-based operation less appealing (why go to some dude's house when I can go to an office for the same price), and makes H&R Block's prices more competitive, although there is no additional cost to them, as this is what they have done all along while their main competitiors are believed to not.

Good policy may be defeated at the hands of lobbyists. For example, minimum wage, EPA stuff, or union jazz. (Keep in mind "good" is subjective)

Profits often don't materialize to improvement for workers, so it benefits the wealthy mostly, then those with retirements. More profits do not neccesarily mean better pay, better benefits, or even more jobs.

Overall, I still think it is a net benefit. Especially considering there are lobbies that are not corporate that are counter to corporate interests (Greenpeace, Occupy), and corporations ought to be able to defend themselves against them.
My work here is, finally, done.
Khaos_Mage
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3/20/2013 2:20:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Also, I get sick of people blaming lobbyists; I blame politicians.

The politician is the one who votes, and they are to use their judgement. If they are bribed/bought by gifts/treatment, they shouldn't be in power. After all, isn't that why we call our politicians, to voice a concern and threaten them by not voting next time? Is there really a difference between bribing them with our vote vs. dinner and a hooker?

If they are convinced due to arguments, that is perfectly fine, and the proper course of action. Isn't this what we do when we call to voice our opinion and try to convince them they wrong, or to assure them they are doing the right thing?

Besides, it seems that lobbyists target their own like-minded people. Do pro-life groups go after Dems? Does the NEA (education), SEIU, advocates for the poor often smooze Republicans?
My work here is, finally, done.
suttichart.denpruektham
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3/20/2013 2:42:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I used to do a construction business and in this industry we have this system called queuing profit, which is very similar to the issue you bought here. Basically what I (and man other) do in this industry is to looking for job for contractor which would do the actual construction. I would have talk to people in authority, large construction corporation or whosoever that need their project done then passed it to some of the contractor I know. They would cut about 5-10 percent of project value to me as y share of profit, the job will probably be passed down in this manner to smaller and smaller contractors who would eventually do the actual job. This sometime make construction project costed mush more than it actually should to final customer when the work is done (because of me and many of my peer along the line who :P).

Whether it is harmful to economy over all? I would be very doubtful, while in principle it did raise the price of the product to ridiculous level, people such as myself have our own function to facilitate the progress of the project, such as ensure the quality of contractor brought in to the project, we dealing with the issue such as worker wages and work guarantee. Without our early payment most of the small contractors will never have chance of getting in to project at all (especially when your customer make payment every 6 months).

Also it is not like we are not part of economy, lobbyist or broker (me) also have our own office, we hired people and create job just like what the corporate has done. If you believe corporate profit is justifiable, so are we.
1Percenter
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3/20/2013 4:15:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So, if lobbying isn't as big of a deal that it is made to be, did Gingrich deserve all the criticisms he received for his lobbyist-related activities?
malcolmxy
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3/20/2013 5:20:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 12:01:24 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
Corporate lobbies are not near the top of the list of the most influential lobbies in Washington. The most influential are the AARP (old people), the America Israeli lobby, big labor, the National Rifle Association, and an organization of small businesses. What all lobbiests do is to present their side of issues that impact legislation. The question the OP really asks is whether free speech is beneficial to society as a whole, or whether free speech just benefits the people speaking.

[More complete bullsh!t, etc, etc, etc]

Look up the FACTS. The largest lobbyist is The Better Business Bureau. They outspend all other lobbyists combined.

And the national BBB ain't like the chic at the local Chamber of Commerce with the slightly shorter than appropriate skirt and 3 boob jobs.

Look 'em up sometime.
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wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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3/20/2013 6:23:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 11:21:52 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Obviously there are benefits to corporate lobbying, since the corporations benefit from it. But are there net-benefits overall to society? Originally, I used to believe that there are. Corporations do play a vital role in providing goods and services to the economy, as well as jobs and the benefit of corporations ultimately benefit us, society.

However, the goal of lobbying isn't to benefit society, but for corporations to increase their own profit. The best way for corporations to increase their own profits is to create barriers to entry and give themselves oligopoly and/or monopoly power. The restriction of competition is obviously bad.

I don't want the discussion to devolve onto how much influence corporations have on government.

So what are your thoughts. Is there any net-benefit that corporate lobbying can have on society?

Your initial comment seems to highlight a paradox. I think it's important to keep in mind that all corporations have one purpose: PROFIT. All of those goods and services you list are secondary, a far secondary, to this primary goal. If a corporation could make money without providing those services, they won't provide those services.

Corporations are the pinnacle of private good. To the extent that you believe in free enterprise will be the extent that you believe that what is good for corporations is good for society.

We all know that private good =/= public good. So, the question then becomes is sacrificing public good for the sake of private good in the interests of society?

I say no. However, my issue with corporations and government has less to do with lobbying than with super-PACs. As private entities, corporations should have as much say as NGOs in advocating policy. However, when corporations (or anyone else for that matter) actually wholesale try to buy elections, then I have a problem with that.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Khaos_Mage
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3/20/2013 6:53:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 6:23:24 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I say no. However, my issue with corporations and government has less to do with lobbying than with super-PACs. As private entities, corporations should have as much say as NGOs in advocating policy. However, when corporations (or anyone else for that matter) actually wholesale try to buy elections, then I have a problem with that.

As I understand it, Super-PACs are not buying elections; they can only donate directly to a campaign as much as other person/entity. However, working independant of any campaign, they may spend unlimited amounts on issues they see as relevant. For example, an education Super-PAC may make numerous commercials demonizing private schools. To my understanding, they are not allowed to say the Mr. X is in the right on this issue. I think they may be allowed to say Mr. Y is on the wrong side.

If anything, they are buying an issue. The only reason it would buy an election is if people vote based on one issue, which is a fault of the American people. Also, if I am right above, the two-party system is flawed in the sense that an ad against Mr. Y is a de facto ad for Mr. X, but again, this is an issue of the people's voting habits.

I am for Super-PACs; however, more oversight is probably needed.
My work here is, finally, done.
wrichcirw
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3/20/2013 7:08:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 6:53:12 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 3/20/2013 6:23:24 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I say no. However, my issue with corporations and government has less to do with lobbying than with super-PACs. As private entities, corporations should have as much say as NGOs in advocating policy. However, when corporations (or anyone else for that matter) actually wholesale try to buy elections, then I have a problem with that.

As I understand it, Super-PACs are not buying elections; they can only donate directly to a campaign as much as other person/entity. However, working independant of any campaign, they may spend unlimited amounts on issues they see as relevant. For example, an education Super-PAC may make numerous commercials demonizing private schools. To my understanding, they are not allowed to say the Mr. X is in the right on this issue. I think they may be allowed to say Mr. Y is on the wrong side.

If anything, they are buying an issue. The only reason it would buy an election is if people vote based on one issue, which is a fault of the American people. Also, if I am right above, the two-party system is flawed in the sense that an ad against Mr. Y is a de facto ad for Mr. X, but again, this is an issue of the people's voting habits.

I am for Super-PACs; however, more oversight is probably needed.

I believe you may be mistaken about your understanding.

A January 2010 Supreme Court decision (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) permits corporations and unions to make political expenditures from their treasuries directly and through other organizations, as long as the spending -- often in the form of TV ads -- is done independently of any candidate.
http://www.opensecrets.org...

Technically known as independent expenditure-only committees, Super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates. Super PACs must, however, report their donors to the Federal Election Commission on a monthly or quarterly basis -- the Super PAC's choice -- as a traditional PAC would. Unlike traditional PACs, Super PACs are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates.
http://www.opensecrets.org...

Essentially, super-PACs can spend for any purpose related to a campaign with no limit, as long as they don't attach their names to any candidate.

IMHO this is an egregious affront to a democracy. I'm guessing this was how McCain's campaign finance legislation evolved.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Khaos_Mage
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3/20/2013 8:58:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 7:08:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/20/2013 6:53:12 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 3/20/2013 6:23:24 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I say no. However, my issue with corporations and government has less to do with lobbying than with super-PACs. As private entities, corporations should have as much say as NGOs in advocating policy. However, when corporations (or anyone else for that matter) actually wholesale try to buy elections, then I have a problem with that.

As I understand it, Super-PACs are not buying elections; they can only donate directly to a campaign as much as other person/entity. However, working independant of any campaign, they may spend unlimited amounts on issues they see as relevant. For example, an education Super-PAC may make numerous commercials demonizing private schools. To my understanding, they are not allowed to say the Mr. X is in the right on this issue. I think they may be allowed to say Mr. Y is on the wrong side.

If anything, they are buying an issue. The only reason it would buy an election is if people vote based on one issue, which is a fault of the American people. Also, if I am right above, the two-party system is flawed in the sense that an ad against Mr. Y is a de facto ad for Mr. X, but again, this is an issue of the people's voting habits.

I am for Super-PACs; however, more oversight is probably needed.

I believe you may be mistaken about your understanding.

A January 2010 Supreme Court decision (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) permits corporations and unions to make political expenditures from their treasuries directly and through other organizations, as long as the spending -- often in the form of TV ads -- is done independently of any candidate.
http://www.opensecrets.org...

Technically known as independent expenditure-only committees, Super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates. Super PACs must, however, report their donors to the Federal Election Commission on a monthly or quarterly basis -- the Super PAC's choice -- as a traditional PAC would. Unlike traditional PACs, Super PACs are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates.
http://www.opensecrets.org...

Essentially, super-PACs can spend for any purpose related to a campaign with no limit, as long as they don't attach their names to any candidate.

IMHO this is an egregious affront to a democracy. I'm guessing this was how McCain's campaign finance legislation evolved.

I see the difference, thanks. It appears I was describing non-connected PACs, as there are three different types of PACs.

I am still for Super-PACs, though. Think about it. If I was retired, could I not spend all my time handing out flyers (that I bought) and giving speeches in the park? Untold time and money would be spent on whatever it is I was advocating (for or against). So, why shouldn't someone be able to fund my advocism by paying for the flyers I hand out because they believe in my cause? This is the essence of the Super-PAC, just on a larger scale.
My work here is, finally, done.
darkkermit
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3/20/2013 9:12:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 6:23:24 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/20/2013 11:21:52 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Obviously there are benefits to corporate lobbying, since the corporations benefit from it. But are there net-benefits overall to society? Originally, I used to believe that there are. Corporations do play a vital role in providing goods and services to the economy, as well as jobs and the benefit of corporations ultimately benefit us, society.

However, the goal of lobbying isn't to benefit society, but for corporations to increase their own profit. The best way for corporations to increase their own profits is to create barriers to entry and give themselves oligopoly and/or monopoly power. The restriction of competition is obviously bad.

I don't want the discussion to devolve onto how much influence corporations have on government.

So what are your thoughts. Is there any net-benefit that corporate lobbying can have on society?

Your initial comment seems to highlight a paradox. I think it's important to keep in mind that all corporations have one purpose: PROFIT. All of those goods and services you list are secondary, a far secondary, to this primary goal. If a corporation could make money without providing those services, they won't provide those services.

Corporations are the pinnacle of private good. To the extent that you believe in free enterprise will be the extent that you believe that what is good for corporations is good for society.

We all know that private good =/= public good. So, the question then becomes is sacrificing public good for the sake of private good in the interests of society?

I say no. However, my issue with corporations and government has less to do with lobbying than with super-PACs. As private entities, corporations should have as much say as NGOs in advocating policy. However, when corporations (or anyone else for that matter) actually wholesale try to buy elections, then I have a problem with that.

Nothing wrong with profits if the profits are obtained via providing a good or service to society that people want. It's only bad if the profits are obtained via restriction competition.
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TheElderScroll
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3/20/2013 10:50:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 11:21:52 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Obviously there are benefits to corporate lobbying, since the corporations benefit from it. But are there net-benefits overall to society? Originally, I used to believe that there are. Corporations do play a vital role in providing goods and services to the economy, as well as jobs and the benefit of corporations ultimately benefit us, society.

However, the goal of lobbying isn't to benefit society, but for corporations to increase their own profit. The best way for corporations to increase their own profits is to create barriers to entry and give themselves oligopoly and/or monopoly power. The restriction of competition is obviously bad.

I don't want the discussion to devolve onto how much influence corporations have on government.

So what are your thoughts. Is there any net-benefit that corporate lobbying can have on society?

I would say so. An example would be the approval of KeyStone pipeline. Creation of barriers would certainly serve the corporate interests, but it can also bring about repercussion, such as the lawsuits endured by Microsoft back in 1990s. I believe that the corporate lobbying is more about receiving favorable treatment from the administration such as tax break, lower tax or government subsidy.
TheElderScroll
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3/20/2013 10:57:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It would be a much greater benefit if an expert was an economist or some independent agency that does not have as much of an incentive to lie.

Many economists are theorists who are utterly bereft practical knowledge. Congress needs someone who is capable of putting theory into practice.

As for those independent agency, one should note that the independent agency may also possess its own special interest.
TheElderScroll
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3/20/2013 11:05:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 12:01:24 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
This leads to the problem of a skilled lobbiest being able to hoodwink a legislator into not supporting something that really should not be supported. The remedy of cutting off information makes the problem worse. I think a better cure is to get the government out of the business of trying to improve society by regulating every detail of how it operates. This year, so far, government has issued 6000 new regulations. If government did not have so much power, they could focus on the fewer this that really need attention and not be so subject to being misled.

Free market is a great idea and government should be advised to actively pursue it. Yet regulations may also be a part of necessity. Regulations may appear to be burdensome to certain individuals and corporates, but if those 6,000 regulations are necessary for the public benefits (I don't know if they are, but I guess some of them do make the public life better), one should not be angered by the government regulations. However, given the liberal agenda constantly promoted by President Obama, one may doubt if those regulations are truly beneficial...
wrichcirw
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3/20/2013 11:44:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 9:12:15 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 3/20/2013 6:23:24 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/20/2013 11:21:52 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Obviously there are benefits to corporate lobbying, since the corporations benefit from it. But are there net-benefits overall to society? Originally, I used to believe that there are. Corporations do play a vital role in providing goods and services to the economy, as well as jobs and the benefit of corporations ultimately benefit us, society.

However, the goal of lobbying isn't to benefit society, but for corporations to increase their own profit. The best way for corporations to increase their own profits is to create barriers to entry and give themselves oligopoly and/or monopoly power. The restriction of competition is obviously bad.

I don't want the discussion to devolve onto how much influence corporations have on government.

So what are your thoughts. Is there any net-benefit that corporate lobbying can have on society?

Your initial comment seems to highlight a paradox. I think it's important to keep in mind that all corporations have one purpose: PROFIT. All of those goods and services you list are secondary, a far secondary, to this primary goal. If a corporation could make money without providing those services, they won't provide those services.

Corporations are the pinnacle of private good. To the extent that you believe in free enterprise will be the extent that you believe that what is good for corporations is good for society.

We all know that private good =/= public good. So, the question then becomes is sacrificing public good for the sake of private good in the interests of society?

I say no. However, my issue with corporations and government has less to do with lobbying than with super-PACs. As private entities, corporations should have as much say as NGOs in advocating policy. However, when corporations (or anyone else for that matter) actually wholesale try to buy elections, then I have a problem with that.

Nothing wrong with profits if the profits are obtained via providing a good or service to society that people want. It's only bad if the profits are obtained via restriction competition.

Wasn't sure if you were saying that corporations provide a public benefit through these goods and services. My point was that they don't. The goal of a corporation is not to benefit society (a public good), but PROFIT (a private good).
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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3/21/2013 12:22:14 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 8:58:14 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 3/20/2013 7:08:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/20/2013 6:53:12 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 3/20/2013 6:23:24 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I am still for Super-PACs, though. Think about it. If I was retired, could I not spend all my time handing out flyers (that I bought) and giving speeches in the park? Untold time and money would be spent on whatever it is I was advocating (for or against). So, why shouldn't someone be able to fund my advocism by paying for the flyers I hand out because they believe in my cause? This is the essence of the Super-PAC, just on a larger scale.

Your example is compelling on a certain level.

However, what if your sponsor could care less about your cause? What if your sponsor just wanted a politician bought and paid for so that they could control politics in the region/state/country? They wouldn't sponsor you, the hard working grass-roots guy that really believes in what he's doing - they would sponsor a slick crony who looks good on TV and will do whatever the sponsor says...AFTER the election.

That's the risk I see. That's what unlimited money can buy.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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3/21/2013 12:29:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/21/2013 12:22:14 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/20/2013 8:58:14 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 3/20/2013 7:08:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/20/2013 6:53:12 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 3/20/2013 6:23:24 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I am still for Super-PACs, though. Think about it. If I was retired, could I not spend all my time handing out flyers (that I bought) and giving speeches in the park? Untold time and money would be spent on whatever it is I was advocating (for or against). So, why shouldn't someone be able to fund my advocism by paying for the flyers I hand out because they believe in my cause? This is the essence of the Super-PAC, just on a larger scale.

Your example is compelling on a certain level.

However, what if your sponsor could care less about your cause? What if your sponsor just wanted a politician bought and paid for so that they could control politics in the region/state/country? They wouldn't sponsor you, the hard working grass-roots guy that really believes in what he's doing - they would sponsor a slick crony who looks good on TV and will do whatever the sponsor says...AFTER the election.

That's the risk I see. That's what unlimited money can buy.

Sorry, I just read this again and the bolded came off really poorly on my part. I didn't mean to be condescending. Replace "level" with "perspective" - your example is compelling from a certain perspective (that of the honest local favorite that knows the community).

I have a habit of taking devil's advocate stances. :D
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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3/21/2013 12:36:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/21/2013 12:29:08 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/21/2013 12:22:14 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/20/2013 8:58:14 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 3/20/2013 7:08:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/20/2013 6:53:12 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 3/20/2013 6:23:24 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I am still for Super-PACs, though. Think about it. If I was retired, could I not spend all my time handing out flyers (that I bought) and giving speeches in the park? Untold time and money would be spent on whatever it is I was advocating (for or against). So, why shouldn't someone be able to fund my advocism by paying for the flyers I hand out because they believe in my cause? This is the essence of the Super-PAC, just on a larger scale.

Your example is compelling on a certain level.

However, what if your sponsor could care less about your cause? What if your sponsor just wanted a politician bought and paid for so that they could control politics in the region/state/country? They wouldn't sponsor you, the hard working grass-roots guy that really believes in what he's doing - they would sponsor a slick crony who looks good on TV and will do whatever the sponsor says...AFTER the election.

That's the risk I see. That's what unlimited money can buy.

Sorry, I just read this again and the bolded came off really poorly on my part. I didn't mean to be condescending. Replace "level" with "perspective" - your example is compelling from a certain perspective (that of the honest local favorite that knows the community).

I have a habit of taking devil's advocate stances. :D

Man, the more I look at this the worse I feel. I know I can be an arrogant SOB at times, and to just see this makes me feel like sh!t. Still, I hope you can at least see that from the corporate perspective, the corporation may have a wholly different reason for funding your campaign than the charismatic guy handing out flyers putting in 100 hour weeks for a cause he believed in.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
RoyLatham
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3/21/2013 12:48:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2013 11:05:31 PM, TheElderScroll wrote:
Free market is a great idea and government should be advised to actively pursue it. Yet regulations may also be a part of necessity. Regulations may appear to be burdensome to certain individuals and corporates, but if those 6,000 regulations are necessary for the public benefits (I don't know if they are, but I guess some of them do make the public life better), one should not be angered by the government regulations. However, given the liberal agenda constantly promoted by President Obama, one may doubt if those regulations are truly beneficial...

I disagree with the possibility that government is able to determine what is best for the public. Every regulation carries with it the overhead of each person having to be aware of the regulation and of spending the effort to comply. Have you read all of this year's 6000 new regulations to see if you are conforming? I haven't. The burden is such that we couldn't do anything else. Moreover, a regulation that produces a net benefit for the public can be absolutely devastating to individuals who don't fit the pattern envisioned by regulations.

Consider the Americans with Disabilities Act. Everyone wants to help disabled people. I have a friend who wanted to sponsor building a community center for use by charities and public events. Only a professional architect is able to parse the complex requirements under the ADA, adding $50,000 to the cost for starters. The rules are so expensive to implement that it made the total cost intolerable. For example, an elevator had to be added to allow reaching the stage from the audience, even though it could be reached at no added cost from outside the auditorium. Mandated ultrawide staircases made the building too big for the lot. There were dozens of such rules. The project became impossible.

So were disabled people really helped by making the project impossible? No, getting rid of the rules would benefit everyone. Reasonable accommodations for handicapped access would have been included as a matter of course.
RoyLatham
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3/21/2013 12:56:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Every argument against lobbying in this thread is an argument against free speech. If you allow people to advocate whatever they want, there is a possibility that wrong arguments will win. Yup.

Corporations are not independent mythical beasts, they are collectives organized by people for a common purpose. They are agents for the people who own them.
BigRat
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3/21/2013 12:58:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Well, that corporations are even using resources to lobby already reduces efficiency (resources are not allocated by market mechanisms). It is yet another cost of excessive state intervention.

Ignoring that for a second, it really depends on whether they are lobbying for things that benefit society (free trade, low tax rates across the board, less regulation, etc.) or things that are bad for society (protectionism, targeted tax breaks, anti competitive regulations, etc.).

Obamacare was bad for society and had corporations lobbying for and against it. The ones lobbying against it were doing society a favor and vice versa.