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In theory, which group would be better at reducing the power of lobbying: Tea Party or Progressives?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by ChievousFTFace, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. bongman

    bongman Member

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    VOTE !!!

    That is our only weapon and we don't use it as we should.
     
  2. ChievousFTFace

    ChievousFTFace Contributing Member

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    It's not your only weapon. There's also that thing called your wallet. See which corporations that are getting what they want through lobbying and boycott/avoid them.

    Is voting really a weapon when both sides receive so much funding from billionaires promoting self interests?

    This husband and wife gave $74.3M in 2014 to democrats alone: Tom Seyer & Kat Taylor

    Where did they make their money? Hedge funds, banking and coal.

    This is more money than the top 10 Republican donating billionaires combined!!!
    http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/blue-billionaires-on-top-114151.html

    Of course this does not include the undisclosed funding that goes on, but you can see that both sides need the money to be compete with each other in primaries and also win the general elections.

    This link paints a much better picture for the type of spending each sector is doing on donations/lobbying: http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/

    You can click each individual sector to see who donated/spent where including which party benefited the most.

    In 2014:
    1. Banking/Insurance: 507M
    2. Ideology/Single-Issue: 352M
    3. Other (mainly universities): 269M
    4. Misc Business (Houston Texans #4!): 228M
    5. Lawyers & Lobbyists (lobbying for lobbyists!) 151M
    6. Health: 141M
    7. Labor: 140M
    8. Communications: 116M
    9. Energy/Nat Resources: 114M
    10. Agribusiness: 77M
    11. Construction: 67M
    12. Transportation: 61M
    13. Defense: 25M
     
  3. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    Can you please cite examples of big companies with powerful lobbies using their lobbying power to increase regulation?

    Your answer doesn't seem to make sense. For instance if the regulation was a safety matter, it wouldn't be as expensive for a mom and pop bakery to install one smoke alarm or whatever safety measure was required, where as a large company might have to install hundreds of thousands of them.

    It would differ for different regulations of course, but I would be interested to see large companies using powerful lobbyists to push for additional regulation.
     
  4. ChievousFTFace

    ChievousFTFace Contributing Member

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    http://www.vox.com/2015/6/5/8733601/big-oil-carbon-price

    Increased regulation on carbon benefits the oil giants because it crushes coal and smaller/medium competition that can't handle the built in tax on already small oil price margins.
     
  5. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    First off your video isn't a historic piece about the history of crony capitalism. I hardly consider John Stossel a reputable source but taking your video on substance that doesn't address things like Standard Oil, JP Morgan or the other robber barons of the Gilded Age that built monopolies in the 19th C at a time of very very little regulation. Neither does it address the issue that larger corporations when not properly checked through regulation can and have used the monopolistic practices to control the market and shut out smaller competitors. In just recent history if it hadn't been for regulation we might be having this discussion using Microsoft Internet Explorer and doing our searches on Bing instead of the variety of Chrome, Firefox or other browsers
     
  6. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    We need to consider that lobbying is a necessary part of the representative democracy. If I write a letter to my US Rep. about improving the conditions of freeway I take to work that is lobbying. Also consider if I'm very concerned about gun rights I'm probably not going to be want to limit the NRA's ability to lobby on gun rights or if I'm interested in protecting rain forest I probably want the Sierra Club to lobby on that issue.

    The concern that you are expressing seems to be more about the money that is spent on lobbying. I agree it is concerning where it does seem like lobbyists are filling up politicians coffers to influence votes. With that issue I'm not really sure there is a good solution to that. Liberals have generally favored putting in limits on they amount, type and timing of donations to political campaigns. None of those hare really seemed to stem the tide of lobbyist money and if anything the complexity of the laws have created such money machines as Super PAC's. Conservatives have generally said that money = free speech and that there should be less restrictions on money in campaigns.

    I think both positions are problematic but I will be honest I don't see any good solutions that address the problem.
     
  7. tallanvor

    tallanvor Contributing Member

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    The video is not my response to your comment. My response to your comment is before that.

    Regulation didn't prevent this.
     
  8. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    Opinions are by definition, statements of bias. The only statements that appear unbiased result from the scientific method and even those has a human-centric frame of reference.

    But I don't see any genuineness in the Tea Party. A lot of it is a cover for bigotry, self-interest and ignorance. I see it mostly as dupes of the Koch brothers that pay for it, exploiting hot button social issues (usually denying others their freedom) to build a voting bloc to extend gridlock. It's nostalgia for a created mythology, that neither ever existed or would be workable in reality.

    The facts are human beings organize into units of law. As populations expand and diversify the complexity of laws expands and diversifies. Reversing the trend would be like reversing Entropy ... futile.

    And morality is not totally subjective. It's measureable in terms of producing a better quality of life for more people. I mentioned Jesus because the general tenets of his philosophy: selflessness, service, tolerance, humility, limited materialism etc. are accepted as moral just for that reason. However many people use his 'religion' to claim moral superiority, especially denying the call for deep social commitment, are engaged in stupefying hypocrisy and duplicity.

    Back to the subject: money buys influence to write laws that make money till eventually the people's interests are lost to the interests of money. The Tea Party doesn't really seem to be interested in that cycle where Progressives are entirely focused on promoting the best interests of the most people.... no contest.
     
    #48 Dubious, Jun 5, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
  9. geeimsobored

    geeimsobored Contributing Member

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    I think the closest example of government in the US without corporate lobbying was the brief period in the 1900s when Progressive socialist governments were running states in the Midwest.

    A lot of the socialist governments campaigned explicitly in opposition to the strong corporate influence of local banks, railroads, grain mills, etc.. The result was a 20 year period in the Midwest where local corporate interests were almost entirely shut out of state government.

    Those years were an interesting period. Those governments weren't very adept at managing day to day affairs but they created a series of reforms that to this day carry great significance.

    In North Dakota, a socialist government banned corporate farms (in effect to this day), created a state run reserve bank independent of the federal reserve (which now gives North dakotans access to an alternate source of capital for infrastructure and other things like student loans), a state railroad, a state grain elevator (which still exists), a ban on parking meters, the repeal of voter registration (still in effect), etc..

    You see similar stuff in Minnesota and Wisconsin as well although North Dakota is probably the best example. I think people who lived during that period will argue that there was a genuine uncertainty around government policy because it was entirely unpredictable since there was no real lobbying but looking back there should be a genuine appreciation of some of the results of that period.

    In Canada, the same socialist movement hit their plains provinces as well. The precursor to Canada's New Democratic Party was the Socialist CCF that was founded in Saskatchewan. In Saskatchewan they passed universal health insurance (which became the basis for Canada's single payer system), state run auto insurance, state run phone system as well as similar agriculture reforms to those that happened in the US.

    All of this happened at the early part of the 1900s (the CCF in Sasketchewan happened later in the 40s) but the effect was the same. It remains the closest thing to true populist lobbyless government. And in spite of the chaos it created, a lot of really great things happened during that period. And all of those governments were progressive and socialist rather than the resembled the right wing/libertarian/tea party type politics.
     
  10. cml750

    cml750 Contributing Member

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    I think the OP has a very good point. The less power the federal government has the less power lobbyist have. Lobbying is not a Dem or Rep problem but an American problem. It sways too many decision from both sides of the aisle. Some equate the Tea Party with Republicans but truth be told the Republicans can't stand the Tea Party because the Tea Party wants to strip power from them as well as the Democrats. The Republicans have become Democrat lites.
     
  11. Remii

    Remii Member

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    Sounds good. Just not sure some of these states with some of these people should have that power....

    I agree with what you said about term limitations. I think that's a big part of the problem but if you bring up term limitations they will bring up the constitution... Which leads me to there's too many d@mn lawyers in politics. Many are too easy to corrupt.
     
  12. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    Lobbying isn't any less intrinsic to the electoral or governing processes in a capitalist, representative, populous democracy than journalism or professional polling. All are corruptible and can create administrative inefficiencies when their influence is incorrectly drawn upon by lazy, disengaged officials with narrow, singular agendas. Libertarianism and progressivism, however, are separately wrong on most and collectively wrong on all policy matters to the point that removing corrupt lobbyists would be a trivial exercise.
     
  13. txppratt

    txppratt Contributing Member

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    the answer is neither.

    because our politics have simply become trading favours - which IS lobbying.

    it's time for the clandestine empire to be overthrown.
     
  14. Remii

    Remii Member

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    Maybe that's because there is no consequences for the crimes they commit. We live in a country where athletes are held to a higher standard than politicians and a bunch of people with hardly any capital know everything about capitalism.
     
  15. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    And the less they need to achieve the same results, brilliant!

    No regulation of toxic waste? just put'em anywhere.
    No regulation of loan language? charge anything
    no regulation of prescription drugs, just sell anything, side effects be be damned
    No regulation of banks? just crash the economy whenever the ponzi scheme goes bad
     
  16. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    That's a fair example, but it doesn't really support the original idea, because it says in that article that one of the reasons they are doing it is because climate policy is moving ahead no matter what. So this is their reaction to that.

    In other words if their original intent of lobbying would have worked and stopped the tax, then they wouldn't have gone with this plan 'b'.
     
  17. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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  18. ChievousFTFace

    ChievousFTFace Contributing Member

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    Missed this excellent post. I'm going to take a break from the D&D for at least a fews days after this because it's just a giant ball of negativity.

    Representative democracy is a great thing. It allows us to shift policy based on the will of the people. If these changes pass the checks and balances of our government, then we are truly represented.

    I guess the problem isn't pure "lobbying" since that can be done by any individual on any scale. The problem would be our system of professional politicians and professional lobbyists. The pro lobbyists assist the pro politician at staying in power in exchange for overriding the voices of everybody else. This is not an easy task for the politicians because they have to make it seem like they are following the voices of their constituents. The pro lobbyists have to find a way to market their views to the public and this takes more money and time.

    The problem I see with the over-expansion of federal government power over state rights is that individual voices are muted even further. We will use a national highway system for example. If we delegate all the power to design this system to the federal government, the state just becomes a branch of the government. The people at local levels will have no way to stop or have influence over where the highway goes and how it effects them locally.

    The problem with the liberal argument is that they have done the same thing with regards to spending crazy amounts of money to get elected. There was a long time where the conservatives were just better at raising funds and campaigning, but that is no longer the case. Furthermore, liberal viewpoints tend to be less business friendly, so they will naturally have less corporate allies for funding. They want to change the game because they have less money.

    The problem with the conservative argument is that money doesn't equate to free speech. People with little or no money have issues and a right to voice their problems. Silly example but if 95% of the population likes chocolate cookies and 5% likes vanilla cookies and a pro lobbyist group comes along and spends 80% of the lobbying money to elect candidates that will vote for vanilla cookies... we aren't doing a good job at representing our population. They want to keep the game the same because they have historically been better at it.

    I do believe that the majority of the population is centrist and that the answer is somewhere in the middle. We have to make sure that the federal government doesn't over expand in order to protect the strength of the voice of the people to represent what is going on their household and every day lives. We also have to give some weight to corporations because they do represent a voice in the economy and are the main source of jobs and private investment for individuals. The balance is figuring out the proper delegations of powers and the proper strength of corporations.

    Unfortunately we have no centrist voice anymore other than our votes and the natural protections of checks & balances. The age of journalism has ended and we have entered the age of editorialism. The country has always been polarized with the extremes being the loudest, so all of this is nothing new.
     
    #58 ChievousFTFace, Jun 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
  19. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    Your friend nailed it.
     
  20. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    There would be no need for corporate lobbying in a libertarian paradise. Why bother lobbying the overbearing power if you are that same power?
     

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