Cause and Effect --

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Leftists, Libertarians and MOST Conservatives agree.. There is an increasing amount of corporate/govt collusion. And the one demand that we're hearing from the OWS "officials" is to get the corporate money out of Washington..

But there's are 2 sides to the collusion. There's the increasing ability and propensity for Washington to meddle in market details. And the power to pick winners and stomp on losers. Then there is the money that comes from corporate interests to fund or reward politicians to bend influence their way. But which is the CAUSE -- and which is the EFFECT?

That -- we can't agree on. Seems obvious that even if all corporate cash were banished tomorrow that any number of proxy methods could be used to obtain GOVT power and influence. As in the Solyndra case, the influence came from individuals and investors -- not the corporation. And it's clear to me in that case that the POWER and abuse of position in GOVT was the CAUSE of that collusion..

There isn't even much PROOF that corporate cash has the influence that our leftist buds believe that it does.


Does Corporate Money Lead to Political Corruption? - NYTimes.com

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy noted in his opinion that no evidence was marshaled in 100,000 pages of legal briefs to show that unrestricted campaign money ever bought a lawmaker’s vote. And even after Congress further tightened the rules with the landmark McCain-Feingold law in 2002, banning hundreds of millions of dollars in unlimited contributions to the political parties, public trust in government fell to new lows, according to polls.

And what about the corporations that contributed so much of that money? A review of the biggest corporate donors found that their stock prices were unaffected after they stopped giving to the parties. The results suggest that those companies did not lose their influence and may have been giving “because they were shaken down by politicians,” said Nathaniel Persily, a professor at Columbia Law School who has studied the law’s impact.

But some politicians say reformers like Mr. Wertheimer are unrealistic about how money and politicians mix. They cite an old political maxim, attributed in a more vulgar form to the onetime California kingpin Jesse Unruh: If you can’t take their money and vote against them, you don’t belong in politics.
It's ENTIRELY possible that politicians ARE the ones doing the shakedown -- isn't it? Looking for opportunities to stir the pot with their long powerful reach and troll for campaign bucks. Not CLEAR that the envelope with the money in it shows up first..

Campaign finance: Corporate money and elections | The Economist

This brings us back to the question my colleague raised last week of how much campaign spending by private parties influences political outcomes. My colleague cites a 2002 paper by three MIT political scientists that finds that campaign contributions have little influence on candidates' political actions, which are overwhelmingly determined by party and by the convictions of voters in their districts. (They restate a provocative 1972 question by political scientist Gordon Tullock: "Why is there so little money in political campaigns?"...given that an investment of a few million dollars could, one imagines, affect billions of dollars in government spending.) They argue that political giving is not a form of vote-buying, but a form of political participation.

Still, the question remains: what are the mechanisms through which rich people's political opinions influence politicians' policy decisions? It's not a simple matter of BP giving boatloads of campaign cash to politicians who then vote for more offshore drilling, or creating ads themselves that say "Vote for Candidate X"! Or not usually, anyway. With members of congress constantly complaining that they spend at least half of their time flying home to fundraise, I find it hard to believe that campaign contributions aren't a big part of the story. Every political science paper I read on the subject says "more research is needed". But the thing is, one thing Citizens United seems to have done, so far, is eliminate much of the data we would need to do that research. Massive anonymous campaign spending makes it impossible for neutral researchers to figure out who's spending the money that influences campaigns. We don't know how money affects our electoral system, and, unless Congress passes some new electoral-transparency laws that this Supreme Court can uphold, we probably never will.
Like I said it's not really CLEAR that the campaign cash is the CAUSE of the GOVT/CORP collusion.

Lots of other arguments why I STRONGLY feel this way. One is that if the govt is gonna insist on writing DETAILED energy policy or DETAILED healthcare policy -- that is a CLEAR indication of cause and effect. The GOVT assumes the power and influence to meddle and then cannot accomplish their policy goal without fornicating with industry to learn how it works, what it's plans are, and get the research and data required to write even a reasonable approximation of energy or health policy. It is GOVT initiation of collusion.

There's another fact that backs up the theory..

Does Corporate Money Taint Opera (and Other Arts)? - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine

It seems the guerrilla arts activists haven't thought that far. But there is at least an underlying presumption in these campaigns that corporate money is tainted, impure and hides a sinister agenda, while public funding is benign and harmless. Recent history tells us otherwise.

During the New Labour years, state funding for the arts in Britain was relatively plentiful, but so were the conditions tacked on to it. This legacy lives on, as arts practitioners and institutions seeking state funding are still compelled to prove that they can meet a range of targets that have nothing to do with creating and presenting high-quality art and everything to do with fulfilling various political agendas. The price of state funding is all too often turning art into an instrument for tackling everything from racism and bullying to obesity and crime.

Rothschild of course notes that by supporting opera, museums, and so forth, companies like BP are trying to buy good PR. However, corporations rarely try to dictate the "message" of the arts they support. Their hope is that the better and more popular the art, the better the PR they garner. In contrast, it is rare that government-supported art goes untainted by politics, e.g., National Endowment for the Arts support for "Appalachian Voices" performances against strip mining or New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani Sen. Jesse Helm's attempt to censor "Piss Christ."

Corporate support arts message: Please buy our products. Government support arts message: Do this or don't do that.
Corporate money sponsoring public organizations and events IS ALWAY suspect of influence. Rather than simple brand recognition and public outreach. But when GOVT places it's massive cash into the public sphere -- folks always tend to give their "speech money" a pass. Even when there are obnoxious messages attached to the Govt money.

Keep GOVT within the bounds of TRADITIONAL regulation, limit it's power to meddle in picking winners/losers, seek out and PUNISH the politicians who shakedown corporations for money --- and I believe you'd see HUGE decreases in GOVT/CORP collusion..
 
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I know --- TMI in the OP..

Let's do the Cliff Note version so that the leftys all wound up in OWS can understand it.

The one OFFICIAL demand from this group is to remove the Corporate Cash influence from Washington politics. Turns out -- there is little academic evidence that Corporate cash exactly is the CAUSE of undue influence on politicians. In fact, in the absence of corporate cash -- they would STILL be looking to sell their power and influence to either achieve partisian political goals or reward folks (individuals) of their choosing.

So the CAUSE of govt/corp collusion is not the campaign cash, but the INCREASING power and influence and propensity to micro meddle in the market. That's the rationalization towards SMALLER govt that concentrates on BASIC public needs like defense, fair elections, immigration control, education, ect. rather than these phoney crony capitalism gimmicks like Green jobs and stimulus which rewards stalwart partisian support groups favorable to the current admin.

Got it? We agree on the PROBLEM. Your solution is whack and ass backwards..
 

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What a great thread. There's lots of interesting stuff here (except opera, not my thing). I have a few thoughts of my own.

-- We have to be careful about what we mean by corruption. What some people consider entirely proper others consider corrupt. You and I both agree that a money for votes scheme is corrupt. I have a different scenario that I consider corrupt that you might not.

-- I don't believe that the problem with corporate-government interactions is solely from one side or the other. The relationship is very multifaceted, and both sides are full of corruptible human beings.

-- It certainly doesn't follow from the fact that elected officials rely on donations to hold their seats that those donations influence their votes. It certainly suggests it, but it doesn't prove it.

-- The influence of corporations doesn't end with legislators. There are plenty of unelected public workers in regulation, enforcement, procurement, etc. who may become corrupted.

-- I think it is pretty normal for candidates to do something of a "shakedown". Some of them, such as Blagojevich, are quite blatant about it. Others are more subtle.

Here's my main complaint with the definition of corruption considered in the NYT article: it ignores a mechanism by which a corporation can buy a vote without corrupting a legislator. I would say this is a corruption of the process though not of a legislator:

Consider candidates A and B, vying for a Congressional seat. A corporation wants a "yes" vote on some bill that will help the corporation. If the corporation donated to candidate A in exchange for a promise of a yes vote, then that would certainly be corruption, of the type the NYT was considering.

Consider, however, this scenario. Candidate A is already on record pledging to vote yes, based on her sincerely held personal beliefs. Candidate B is likewise on record pledging to vote no. If the corporation donates to Candidate A, and she is able to win an election she would otherwise have lost because of this, then the corporation has exactly what it wanted. Candidate A has held on to her principles, but the public policy effect is exactly as if she had been corrupted. This type of corruption seems to be quite common on both sides of the aisle (though more common, in my opinion, on the right, since they tend to favor pro-corporate policies).
 
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What a great thread. There's lots of interesting stuff here (except opera, not my thing). I have a few thoughts of my own.

-- We have to be careful about what we mean by corruption. What some people consider entirely proper others consider corrupt. You and I both agree that a money for votes scheme is corrupt. I have a different scenario that I consider corrupt that you might not.

-- I don't believe that the problem with corporate-government interactions is solely from one side or the other. The relationship is very multifaceted, and both sides are full of corruptible human beings.

-- It certainly doesn't follow from the fact that elected officials rely on donations to hold their seats that those donations influence their votes. It certainly suggests it, but it doesn't prove it.

-- The influence of corporations doesn't end with legislators. There are plenty of unelected public workers in regulation, enforcement, procurement, etc. who may become corrupted.

-- I think it is pretty normal for candidates to do something of a "shakedown". Some of them, such as Blagojevich, are quite blatant about it. Others are more subtle.

Here's my main complaint with the definition of corruption considered in the NYT article: it ignores a mechanism by which a corporation can buy a vote without corrupting a legislator. I would say this is a corruption of the process though not of a legislator:

Consider candidates A and B, vying for a Congressional seat. A corporation wants a "yes" vote on some bill that will help the corporation. If the corporation donated to candidate A in exchange for a promise of a yes vote, then that would certainly be corruption, of the type the NYT was considering.

Consider, however, this scenario. Candidate A is already on record pledging to vote yes, based on her sincerely held personal beliefs. Candidate B is likewise on record pledging to vote no. If the corporation donates to Candidate A, and she is able to win an election she would otherwise have lost because of this, then the corporation has exactly what it wanted. Candidate A has held on to her principles, but the public policy effect is exactly as if she had been corrupted. This type of corruption seems to be quite common on both sides of the aisle (though more common, in my opinion, on the right, since they tend to favor pro-corporate policies).
I knew I could count on a "fellow liberal" to ponder the real source of collusion.. As long as by Liberal -- you are using the same definition as I am.. :lol:

You bring up some of the same observations I held in reserve when doing the OP. Especially the one about the persistence of the unelected bureaucrats who actually craft and manipulate the power and influence. Often they serve to "take the bullet" once the scheme is busted, but largely they are the ones in intimate contact with corporations as regulations are pondered and written. Especially when it comes to say enforcement and site inspections -- this is a much larger problem actually than the Clowns in Congress.

((Like the mental midgets who closed that Massey coal mine 14 TIMES before allowing it to finally kill a dozen workers))

Your 2 candidate scenario is a likely confirmation of the fact that the MONEY isn't the causal problem. It's the ability of the legislator ONCE ELECTED to deliver the goods. One merely has to find a candidate with a sympatico position. The fact that legislators for instance now believe they have the expertise to meddle in everything from sanitation to nuclear fission. AND -- they have the ability to intervene in any market they choose.

It also goes to the fact that most legislators are NOT QUALIFIED to be making decisions on all those various technical aspects of our society. Oh they PRETEND they do -- but they need to rely ON INDUSTRY for the script of the policy that they are writing or they need to get conjugal with corporations to see what's being developed in the labs. The COLLUSION becomes a NECCESSARY part of the job description..

I think the OWS demand to remove the money is pretty simplistic and short-sighted. That the reality is -- we need to have MORE HUMBLE legislators who DON'T pretend to be experts on everything they have the power to mold into their own image....

That would be the Liberal "basic cynicism" of government -- wouldn't it.. :tongue:
 
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the influence came from individuals and investors -- not the corporation

What's the difference? Investors and corporate individuals are the corporation.
 

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Leftists, Libertarians and MOST Conservatives agree.. There is an increasing amount of corporate/govt collusion. And the one demand that we're hearing from the OWS "officials" is to get the corporate money out of Washington..

But there's are 2 sides to the collusion. There's the increasing ability and propensity for Washington to meddle in market details. And the power to pick winners and stomp on losers. Then there is the money that comes from corporate interests to fund or reward politicians to bend influence their way. But which is the CAUSE -- and which is the EFFECT?

That -- we can't agree on. Seems obvious that even if all corporate cash were banished tomorrow that any number of proxy methods could be used to obtain GOVT power and influence. As in the Solyndra case, the influence came from individuals and investors -- not the corporation. And it's clear to me in that case that the POWER and abuse of position in GOVT was the CAUSE of that collusion..

There isn't even much PROOF that corporate cash has the influence that our leftist buds believe that it does.


Does Corporate Money Lead to Political Corruption? - NYTimes.com

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy noted in his opinion that no evidence was marshaled in 100,000 pages of legal briefs to show that unrestricted campaign money ever bought a lawmaker’s vote. And even after Congress further tightened the rules with the landmark McCain-Feingold law in 2002, banning hundreds of millions of dollars in unlimited contributions to the political parties, public trust in government fell to new lows, according to polls.

And what about the corporations that contributed so much of that money? A review of the biggest corporate donors found that their stock prices were unaffected after they stopped giving to the parties. The results suggest that those companies did not lose their influence and may have been giving “because they were shaken down by politicians,” said Nathaniel Persily, a professor at Columbia Law School who has studied the law’s impact.

But some politicians say reformers like Mr. Wertheimer are unrealistic about how money and politicians mix. They cite an old political maxim, attributed in a more vulgar form to the onetime California kingpin Jesse Unruh: If you can’t take their money and vote against them, you don’t belong in politics.
It's ENTIRELY possible that politicians ARE the ones doing the shakedown -- isn't it? Looking for opportunities to stir the pot with their long powerful reach and troll for campaign bucks. Not CLEAR that the envelope with the money in it shows up first..

Campaign finance: Corporate money and elections | The Economist

This brings us back to the question my colleague raised last week of how much campaign spending by private parties influences political outcomes. My colleague cites a 2002 paper by three MIT political scientists that finds that campaign contributions have little influence on candidates' political actions, which are overwhelmingly determined by party and by the convictions of voters in their districts. (They restate a provocative 1972 question by political scientist Gordon Tullock: "Why is there so little money in political campaigns?"...given that an investment of a few million dollars could, one imagines, affect billions of dollars in government spending.) They argue that political giving is not a form of vote-buying, but a form of political participation.

Still, the question remains: what are the mechanisms through which rich people's political opinions influence politicians' policy decisions? It's not a simple matter of BP giving boatloads of campaign cash to politicians who then vote for more offshore drilling, or creating ads themselves that say "Vote for Candidate X"! Or not usually, anyway. With members of congress constantly complaining that they spend at least half of their time flying home to fundraise, I find it hard to believe that campaign contributions aren't a big part of the story. Every political science paper I read on the subject says "more research is needed". But the thing is, one thing Citizens United seems to have done, so far, is eliminate much of the data we would need to do that research. Massive anonymous campaign spending makes it impossible for neutral researchers to figure out who's spending the money that influences campaigns. We don't know how money affects our electoral system, and, unless Congress passes some new electoral-transparency laws that this Supreme Court can uphold, we probably never will.
Like I said it's not really CLEAR that the campaign cash is the CAUSE of the GOVT/CORP collusion.

Lots of other arguments why I STRONGLY feel this way. One is that if the govt is gonna insist on writing DETAILED energy policy or DETAILED healthcare policy -- that is a CLEAR indication of cause and effect. The GOVT assumes the power and influence to meddle and then cannot accomplish their policy goal without fornicating with industry to learn how it works, what it's plans are, and get the research and data required to write even a reasonable approximation of energy or health policy. It is GOVT initiation of collusion.

There's another fact that backs up the theory..

Does Corporate Money Taint Opera (and Other Arts)? - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine

It seems the guerrilla arts activists haven't thought that far. But there is at least an underlying presumption in these campaigns that corporate money is tainted, impure and hides a sinister agenda, while public funding is benign and harmless. Recent history tells us otherwise.

During the New Labour years, state funding for the arts in Britain was relatively plentiful, but so were the conditions tacked on to it. This legacy lives on, as arts practitioners and institutions seeking state funding are still compelled to prove that they can meet a range of targets that have nothing to do with creating and presenting high-quality art and everything to do with fulfilling various political agendas. The price of state funding is all too often turning art into an instrument for tackling everything from racism and bullying to obesity and crime.

Rothschild of course notes that by supporting opera, museums, and so forth, companies like BP are trying to buy good PR. However, corporations rarely try to dictate the "message" of the arts they support. Their hope is that the better and more popular the art, the better the PR they garner. In contrast, it is rare that government-supported art goes untainted by politics, e.g., National Endowment for the Arts support for "Appalachian Voices" performances against strip mining or New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani Sen. Jesse Helm's attempt to censor "Piss Christ."

Corporate support arts message: Please buy our products. Government support arts message: Do this or don't do that.
Corporate money sponsoring public organizations and events IS ALWAY suspect of influence. Rather than simple brand recognition and public outreach. But when GOVT places it's massive cash into the public sphere -- folks always tend to give their "speech money" a pass. Even when there are obnoxious messages attached to the Govt money.

Keep GOVT within the bounds of TRADITIONAL regulation, limit it's power to meddle in picking winners/losers, seek out and PUNISH the politicians who shakedown corporations for money --- and I believe you'd see HUGE decreases in GOVT/CORP collusion..
google tom delay, bob ney, abramoff , and K Street, then the medicare pill bill....go to c-span's archive 4 it if you have time......................

it goes both ways, but congressmen, very well could be or have been, the initiators....
 
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the influence came from individuals and investors -- not the corporation

What's the difference? Investors and corporate individuals are the corporation.
When you writing SPECIFIC laws to try to control corporate influence by means of cash -- it makes all the diff in the world. To do an adequate job -- you WOULD have to consider that even if CORPORATIONS were banned from making contributions, the same collusion/corruption process would occur from confabs of individuals and investors. Just being a "bundler" nowadays is more powerful than a corporate lobbyist..
 
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Leftists, Libertarians and MOST Conservatives agree.. There is an increasing amount of corporate/govt collusion. And the one demand that we're hearing from the OWS "officials" is to get the corporate money out of Washington..

But there's are 2 sides to the collusion. There's the increasing ability and propensity for Washington to meddle in market details. And the power to pick winners and stomp on losers. Then there is the money that comes from corporate interests to fund or reward politicians to bend influence their way. But which is the CAUSE -- and which is the EFFECT?

That -- we can't agree on. Seems obvious that even if all corporate cash were banished tomorrow that any number of proxy methods could be used to obtain GOVT power and influence. As in the Solyndra case, the influence came from individuals and investors -- not the corporation. And it's clear to me in that case that the POWER and abuse of position in GOVT was the CAUSE of that collusion..

There isn't even much PROOF that corporate cash has the influence that our leftist buds believe that it does.


Does Corporate Money Lead to Political Corruption? - NYTimes.com

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy noted in his opinion that no evidence was marshaled in 100,000 pages of legal briefs to show that unrestricted campaign money ever bought a lawmaker’s vote. And even after Congress further tightened the rules with the landmark McCain-Feingold law in 2002, banning hundreds of millions of dollars in unlimited contributions to the political parties, public trust in government fell to new lows, according to polls.

And what about the corporations that contributed so much of that money? A review of the biggest corporate donors found that their stock prices were unaffected after they stopped giving to the parties. The results suggest that those companies did not lose their influence and may have been giving “because they were shaken down by politicians,” said Nathaniel Persily, a professor at Columbia Law School who has studied the law’s impact.

But some politicians say reformers like Mr. Wertheimer are unrealistic about how money and politicians mix. They cite an old political maxim, attributed in a more vulgar form to the onetime California kingpin Jesse Unruh: If you can’t take their money and vote against them, you don’t belong in politics.
It's ENTIRELY possible that politicians ARE the ones doing the shakedown -- isn't it? Looking for opportunities to stir the pot with their long powerful reach and troll for campaign bucks. Not CLEAR that the envelope with the money in it shows up first..

Campaign finance: Corporate money and elections | The Economist

Like I said it's not really CLEAR that the campaign cash is the CAUSE of the GOVT/CORP collusion.

Lots of other arguments why I STRONGLY feel this way. One is that if the govt is gonna insist on writing DETAILED energy policy or DETAILED healthcare policy -- that is a CLEAR indication of cause and effect. The GOVT assumes the power and influence to meddle and then cannot accomplish their policy goal without fornicating with industry to learn how it works, what it's plans are, and get the research and data required to write even a reasonable approximation of energy or health policy. It is GOVT initiation of collusion.

There's another fact that backs up the theory..

Does Corporate Money Taint Opera (and Other Arts)? - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine

It seems the guerrilla arts activists haven't thought that far. But there is at least an underlying presumption in these campaigns that corporate money is tainted, impure and hides a sinister agenda, while public funding is benign and harmless. Recent history tells us otherwise.

During the New Labour years, state funding for the arts in Britain was relatively plentiful, but so were the conditions tacked on to it. This legacy lives on, as arts practitioners and institutions seeking state funding are still compelled to prove that they can meet a range of targets that have nothing to do with creating and presenting high-quality art and everything to do with fulfilling various political agendas. The price of state funding is all too often turning art into an instrument for tackling everything from racism and bullying to obesity and crime.

Rothschild of course notes that by supporting opera, museums, and so forth, companies like BP are trying to buy good PR. However, corporations rarely try to dictate the "message" of the arts they support. Their hope is that the better and more popular the art, the better the PR they garner. In contrast, it is rare that government-supported art goes untainted by politics, e.g., National Endowment for the Arts support for "Appalachian Voices" performances against strip mining or New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani Sen. Jesse Helm's attempt to censor "Piss Christ."

Corporate support arts message: Please buy our products. Government support arts message: Do this or don't do that.
Corporate money sponsoring public organizations and events IS ALWAY suspect of influence. Rather than simple brand recognition and public outreach. But when GOVT places it's massive cash into the public sphere -- folks always tend to give their "speech money" a pass. Even when there are obnoxious messages attached to the Govt money.

Keep GOVT within the bounds of TRADITIONAL regulation, limit it's power to meddle in picking winners/losers, seek out and PUNISH the politicians who shakedown corporations for money --- and I believe you'd see HUGE decreases in GOVT/CORP collusion..
google tom delay, bob ney, abramoff , and K Street, then the medicare pill bill....go to c-span's archive 4 it if you have time......................

it goes both ways, but congressmen, very well could be or have been, the initiators....
Lots of paths for the collusion. But K Street would be filled with cupcake shops if Congress wasn't handing out goodies and over-reaching in it's power to micro-manage the market.

Everyone that is threatened by the tremendous power that Congress wields and should have representation to defend themselves. Even corporations. Especially when no-nothing clowns are deciding on the fate of nuclear power for instance. There is not a "people's" position for that issue. It's based on science, engineering, risk analysis, and comparisons to alternatives. ALL sides have valid reasons to beg the Clown College for an ear. Not the corporations' fault that the Clowns might favor an audience that can help them get re-elected.
 

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Leftists, Libertarians and MOST Conservatives agree.. There is an increasing amount of corporate/govt collusion. And the one demand that we're hearing from the OWS "officials" is to get the corporate money out of Washington..

But there's are 2 sides to the collusion. There's the increasing ability and propensity for Washington to meddle in market details. And the power to pick winners and stomp on losers. Then there is the money that comes from corporate interests to fund or reward politicians to bend influence their way. But which is the CAUSE -- and which is the EFFECT?

That -- we can't agree on. Seems obvious that even if all corporate cash were banished tomorrow that any number of proxy methods could be used to obtain GOVT power and influence. As in the Solyndra case, the influence came from individuals and investors -- not the corporation. And it's clear to me in that case that the POWER and abuse of position in GOVT was the CAUSE of that collusion..

There isn't even much PROOF that corporate cash has the influence that our leftist buds believe that it does.


Does Corporate Money Lead to Political Corruption? - NYTimes.com

It's ENTIRELY possible that politicians ARE the ones doing the shakedown -- isn't it? Looking for opportunities to stir the pot with their long powerful reach and troll for campaign bucks. Not CLEAR that the envelope with the money in it shows up first..

Campaign finance: Corporate money and elections | The Economist

Like I said it's not really CLEAR that the campaign cash is the CAUSE of the GOVT/CORP collusion.

Lots of other arguments why I STRONGLY feel this way. One is that if the govt is gonna insist on writing DETAILED energy policy or DETAILED healthcare policy -- that is a CLEAR indication of cause and effect. The GOVT assumes the power and influence to meddle and then cannot accomplish their policy goal without fornicating with industry to learn how it works, what it's plans are, and get the research and data required to write even a reasonable approximation of energy or health policy. It is GOVT initiation of collusion.

There's another fact that backs up the theory..

Does Corporate Money Taint Opera (and Other Arts)? - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine

Corporate money sponsoring public organizations and events IS ALWAY suspect of influence. Rather than simple brand recognition and public outreach. But when GOVT places it's massive cash into the public sphere -- folks always tend to give their "speech money" a pass. Even when there are obnoxious messages attached to the Govt money.

Keep GOVT within the bounds of TRADITIONAL regulation, limit it's power to meddle in picking winners/losers, seek out and PUNISH the politicians who shakedown corporations for money --- and I believe you'd see HUGE decreases in GOVT/CORP collusion..
google tom delay, bob ney, abramoff , and K Street, then the medicare pill bill....go to c-span's archive 4 it if you have time......................

it goes both ways, but congressmen, very well could be or have been, the initiators....
Lots of paths for the collusion. But K Street would be filled with cupcake shops if Congress wasn't handing out goodies and over-reaching in it's power to micro-manage the market.

Everyone that is threatened by the tremendous power that Congress wields and should have representation to defend themselves. Even corporations. Especially when no-nothing clowns are deciding on the fate of nuclear power for instance. There is not a "people's" position for that issue. It's based on science, engineering, risk analysis, and comparisons to alternatives. ALL sides have valid reasons to beg the Clown College for an ear. Not the corporations' fault that the Clowns might favor an audience that can help them get re-elected.
Isn't that exactly what the market paid them to do?
 
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FactFinder::
Isn't that exactly what the market paid them to do?
Don't know exactly what you mean by that. They work for their constituents. Constituents include folks whose jobs or investments depend on the markets that Congress shouldn't be gaming. For instance, there is NO good reason why Congress should be in the biz of picking winners in the solar panel biz. At this point -- that's a MATURE technology. If anything -- they should stick to funding RESEARCH, not picking stocks. They've USURPED authority to hand out those favors and seek quid pro quos when they SHOULD be counting the wars that we are engaging in..
 

FactFinder

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FactFinder::
Isn't that exactly what the market paid them to do?
Don't know exactly what you mean by that. They work for their constituents. Constituents include folks whose jobs or investments depend on the markets that Congress shouldn't be gaming. For instance, there is NO good reason why Congress should be in the biz of picking winners in the solar panel biz. At this point -- that's a MATURE technology. If anything -- they should stick to funding RESEARCH, not picking stocks. They've USURPED authority to hand out those favors and seek quid pro quos when they SHOULD be counting the wars that we are engaging in..
This one is kind of old but you appear to be capable of Google:

Presented by the Federal Election Commission



Individual Contributions Arranged By Type, Giver, Then Recipient

Non-Federal Receipts "Exempt From Limits"

GOLDMAN SACHS NEW YORK P A C,
NEW YORK, NY 10004

RNC REPUBLICAN NATIONAL STATE ELECTIONS COMMITTEE
03/11/1998 15000.00 98033024214
04/30/1998 25000.00 98033113182

GOLDMAN SACHS NEW YORK PAC,
NEW YORK, NY

RNC-REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE
10/21/1997 2500.00 97032511268

GOLDMAN SACHS NEW YORK PAC,
NEW YORK, NY 10004

RNC-REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE
04/29/1999 40000.00 99034492659

GOLDMAN SACHS NEW YORK PAC,
WASHINGTON, DC 20004

http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/qind/

Do some of your own queries.
 
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flacaltenn

flacaltenn

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Goldman Sachs: Summary | OpenSecrets

The firm tends to give most of its money to Democrats. A number of high-ranking government officials in recent years have spent part of their careers at Goldman Sachs.
Check out the graph for "Party Split".. In fact the GS PAC was the single largest contributor to Obama.

Does that mean they got bailed out because of the contribution? Or was it because Obama hired Goldman Sachs guys as his econ team? Or was it because "failure to bailout these firms would have meant a certain depression" ? -- As the admin claims. The question is REALLY -- what were they doing picking and choosing who got bailed out in the 1st place? If it WASN'T because of threat of imminent collapse -- then it never should have happened -- RIGHT?

I don't care WHICH party the money goes to. I care WHY the Congress thinks they have authority to grant special deals in the 1st place..
 
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FactFinder

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Goldman Sachs: Summary | OpenSecrets

The firm tends to give most of its money to Democrats. A number of high-ranking government officials in recent years have spent part of their careers at Goldman Sachs.
Check out the graph for "Party Split".. In fact the GS PAC was the single largest contributor to Obama.

Does that mean they got bailed out because of the contribution? Or was it because Obama hired Goldman Sachs guys as his econ team? Or was it because "failure to bailout these firms would have meant a certain depression" ? -- As the admin claims. The question is REALLY -- what were they doing picking and choosing who got bailed out in the 1st place? If it WASN'T because of threat of imminent collapse -- then it never should have happened -- RIGHT?
Well then you just answered the question. Both sides are bought up by financial interests. Maybe you have found a slight ray of understanding of what the "Occupy" whatever crowd is talking about.
 
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flacaltenn

flacaltenn

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Goldman Sachs: Summary | OpenSecrets

The firm tends to give most of its money to Democrats. A number of high-ranking government officials in recent years have spent part of their careers at Goldman Sachs.
Check out the graph for "Party Split".. In fact the GS PAC was the single largest contributor to Obama.

Does that mean they got bailed out because of the contribution? Or was it because Obama hired Goldman Sachs guys as his econ team? Or was it because "failure to bailout these firms would have meant a certain depression" ? -- As the admin claims. The question is REALLY -- what were they doing picking and choosing who got bailed out in the 1st place? If it WASN'T because of threat of imminent collapse -- then it never should have happened -- RIGHT?
Well then you just answered the question. Both sides are bought up by financial interests. Maybe you have found a slight ray of understanding of what the "Occupy" whatever crowd is talking about.
Not so fast chief.. I don't believe the campaign contributions are the problem. I believe the problem is the ABILITY of Congress to grant the favors and to wield the power in the 1st place is the problem. It's not John -- Prostitute.. It's more like Apple -- Teacher.. One of them holds all the cards. You wore me out. I need some Colbert time..
 

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