Corporations, industries, labor unions, organizations spend billions of dollars every year in order to reach decision-makers and influence their thought process. Here are a few ways in which corporate money can change politics.
- Corporations contributing towards political campaigns can corrode democracy, especially when big companies use their money to influence elected politicians for their own interest. Politicians accept campaign funds in return for policy favors. Businesses such as oil, power, telecommunication, etc. can have a great influence and policies can be passed in their favor. Many advisory committees are also set up for government agencies to provide information which will help them execute public policies. If the information is obtained from industry people, it will be in favor of the corporation and not the public.
- Regulatory agencies have always been the target of corporations as they set regulations for companies with government contracts. For instance, Federal Communications Commission makes decisions for industries like telephone companies, cable companies, etc. But if this regulatory commission is under corporations control, they will adopt regulations to help big business and will be a downfall for the public and small businesses.
- There is a natural risk of corruption. Corporations opt for tax-deductible donations by being part of non-profit organizations and thus, enjoy more rights as a sponsor.
- Media houses are generally owned by corporations and they can use the power against politicians and public. This means they enjoy greater power than a voter. Since corporations have a lot of money for legal work than the government, they can delay a decision too. For instance, there is a TV ad put up by a corporation which Federal Trade Commission believes is misleading the public. The corporation gets a temporary injunction against the ruling while the ad is still being aired. The corporate lawyers will delay the procedure and once the hearing comes up, say after a year, lawyers will withdraw their objection. This does not mean the corporation has lost the case, instead it has won by delaying things.
- Each business house believes in competition and the government will react to the lobbying and contribution from business houses by passing anti-competitive legislation like tariffs or regulations, which help some firms over others. If a particular company gets more business, there will be an alteration in the economy.
Money drowns out the voices of people. It is because of their unlimited funding, corporations have better access to officials than the public which means they have a good chance of their case being heard.