In this era of globalization, corporations with an unlimited access to wealth have managed to gain political power and therefore, can change laws to benefit them. Corporations can influence government through campaign funding, lobbying, and regulatory agencies.
Big corporations donate money for political campaigns. First such contribution was made in 1896 for William McKinley. And with the Supreme Court’s United Citizens ruling (2010), corporations can now spend unlimited money for political campaigns. Politicians accept campaign funds in return for policy favors. Many government agencies seek help by setting up advisory committees to provide information which will help them to execute public policies. If the information is obtained from industry people, it will be in favor of the corporation and not the public. Many corporations set up Political Action Committee where they donate money to be used for campaigns. Since many corporations own media or have a large sum of money at disposable, they opt for issue ads which support issues of the candidate. Corporate giants have easy access to politicians than the public which means their case will be heard often. Corporations give money to those individuals who are part of a certain committee or subcommittee that makes decisions affecting their industry.
Corporations hire lobbyists to influence the decision of the government policies. By direct lobbying, the representatives of a company meet senators or staff members to inform about the cause of their industry and convince officials to make decisions in favor of the company. An added advantage for corporations is that they can call their lobbying activity as business, on the other hand public interest group has to mention about their lobbying activities.
The politicians, corporations and agencies make decisions about a particular subject. Regulatory agencies have always been the target of corporations because they set regulations for those companies with government contracts which can be lucrative for a company, politicians and agencies, but not the public. For instance, General Electric dumped huge amounts of carcinogenic PCBs into the Hudson River which killed the fishes. This was a huge drawback for the local business community. Due to regulated decision in favor of large corporation, the public and small business people were hurt.
Corporations can influence general public through advertisement and by controlling mainstream media too. They can also influence international organizations, economic and political agreements. With an unlimited access to money, corporations can easily influence the government in their favor.