The Influence of Corporations on Government
May 1, 2017
Traditionally, it was the role of the government to manage and regulate corporations as well as protect their rights just like any other citizen with no preference. However, due to globalization and the inability of the government to drive action, this role has changed over time. The society has more expectations on the corporations than in the government.
In fact, in case of disasters it is not uncommon for the large corporations to respond faster than the government agencies. Corporations are also involved in eradication of poverty and diseases, education reforms and provision of essential needs such as clean water. With this increased appeal to the public and other tactics, corporations have held governments world over hostage. Most of the economic and political decisions arrived at by governments are usually indirectly made by the corporations.
These corporations have vast wealth and control large resources. This is the secret weapon they use to acquire political say and influence legislation to favor them. The most popular ways they use to achieve that is through campaign funding and lobbying. They generously donate money for political campaigns in return for political favors once the supported party or individual gets into office. Some of these corporations also own the media and hence issue advertisements supporting the candidate’s policies to gain wide public appeal. Once in office and committees to help in the execution of the government policies are being set up, representatives of these companies are made members and hence influence decisions made to their favor. Due to the strong financial muscle, the corporations can also give money to members of the committees to influence their decisions.
Statistics show that most large corporations have more than a hundred lobbyists each and spend a whole $2.6 billion every year on lobbying . These lobbyists meet government officials, make known to them the economic benefits of their industry to the society and then convince the government to make decisions that favor them such as changing laws, preventing passing of bills and lowering of taxes. It often works. This has created a great force that has completely changed the government -business relationship. The government no longer plays oversight roles but has become a partner. By silencing opposition and making the people believe in the economic benefits hence obscuring the possible harmful effects of the industry through the media and web, lobbyists have taken over the government. And silently behind closed doors they control most decisions affecting the society.
We are left to ask the question, has the government become too influenced by corporations? Well, with the increased political funding and lobbying, the governments have been reduced to institutions that are unable to tackle large scale issues and value lobbying more than innovation. This has led to development of corporatocracy. This is a system where corporations control economic and political systems. The elite few at the helm of these corporations make the policies affecting the economics and politics of a country. This can easily explain the reason for the huge pays given to CEOs, the increasing bank bailouts as well as over exploitation of natural resources and the people.