From the comments

Isn't it only fair that if companies can bribe and threaten politicians
(by contribution to them or their opponents), politicians should be
able to bribe and threaten companies?

The source is here, from comments on the last post.  Arnold Kling comments on related matters.


You might enjoy Has some good info on today's politics with a political philosophy angle

Ah, corporatism.

So basically, the idea is that if people are allowed to choose what political candidates to donate money to, then government officials should be allowed to wield the power of the state to punish their political enemies.

It's stunning and kinda funny that someone could actually believe this.

Unfortunately, the commentator has gotten the cart before the horse. Yes, of course businesses will attempt to use whatever means are available to gain an advantage over their competitor. This includes corrupting legislators. It is OUR JOB to tell the legislators that they don't have our permission to regulate businesses. If we do not allow legislators to regulate businesses, then businesses will find no profit in attempting to gain a political advantage. They will stop corrupting legislators.

We have failed the legislators, have lost our government, and at this point, the only thing that's going to gain us our freedom back is a violent revolution.

We can only pray that the legislators are as scared of that idea as we are, and will give up their power willingly. With the last few decades of voters each trying to live at the expense of everyone else, I doubt that we will have peace.

Comments like this often sounds good on the surface, but companies cannot really bribe or threaten politicians. If they could, that would also be the politicians' fault.

Libertarians didn't ask the government to give special exemption of laws to insurance companies, creating (or not) monopoly market power and preventing free entry of competition. We didn't ask the limited competition to then be manipulated with the carrot now tied to a stick threatened with removal if they don't support further non-libertarian measures. We didn't ask that the American people be extorted with this limited supplier pool for further prevent free entry of competition into the industry. They did all this.

And they refuse to even acknowledge that the end-of-life care subsidized by their already socialized program may be the marginal buyer and may have distorted the insurance and medical industries away from preventive care, making insurance a bad deal for the young, healthy, and rationally uninsured.

yeah, i agree it is their fault. they should ban all 'campaign contributions' from lobbyists or other aggregators and have exclusively low-maximum individual funding w/public matching for those contributions. but the right of corporate entities to 'free speech' bribery is just too important.

i guess i'm blind to the 'first they came for the large corporate entities who only wanted to make their profits while their business model bankrupted many americans and left many others w/o health care' problem.

Just to give some background data from 538 - senators from Baucus's mini-committee got 47.5% of their funding from corporate PACs, which is far far higher than Senate average.

So corporations' power to bribe and threaten politicians just by redirecting campaign contributions to them or their opponents is very real, especially for small state senators. Corporations are definitely not powerless bystander victims persecuted for executing their views as some commenters imagine.

I'm not exactly sure what to make of this. On one hand, there is no way to return to a state where the government doesn't regulate the environment in which business operates, thus there will always be an incentive for business to use it's power to influence the political process. On the other hand, since the tax is being levied on an entire industry, in combination with a law that will force people to keep buying the products of the industry... it seems like this is just an indirect way to tax consumers. I'm not sure why we are talking about the morality of 'punishing' corporations instead of the hypocrisy of this back-door tax increase.


Chris: and the government does a perfect job of protecting us from food-borne illnesses, right? That's why we need more regulation of food producers. That's why we need each and every cow traceable back to the farm it was raised on. Conversely, does any government worker lose their job, do any government investors lose their money, when the government fails to protect us from food-borne illnesses? Of course they don't -- it's not their fault.

Chris, I propose abolishing national defense and law enforcement. I realize that you think I'm batty; I just think you're ignorant. So, then, what do I know that you don't??

zz: yes, let's be realistic. We in fact do NOT expect politicians to obey the Constitution, because we've let them violate it and there have been no consequences.

Brian: in fact there is a way to go back to having businesses regulated by customers rather than politicians! It's called having a revolution. Out with the old and in with the new. It worked for us 240 years ago. Any reason why it wouldn't work now?

congress: lets change the law so this arsonist will stop burning so many things.

arsonist: but that will only increase the rate of my burning.

congress: just give me your matches.

This sounds a lot like corporate extortion. Obviously, GSK’s man in the US never learned how to play nicely in the sandbox and is resorting to the bullying tactics that Big Pharma has done for years. You don’t give me my way and i’m not going to invest in your state anymore. There has to be something illegal about that!

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