Business Politics

Influence: Politicians or Businessman?

The business and political circles have always been composed of individuals who are deeply influential. Politicians are deemed to be powerful figures as they run the Federal, State, and local governments; they make and pass laws that affect people’s lives. Several politicians are even consulted upon by most companies, where they sit on corporate boards, as their insights and ideas are recognized to positively impact their businesses. However, judging by current scenarios, businessmen, particularly the large ones, seem to be more powerful because they have the money to manipulate things.

Businesses are recognized as to have placed America to where it is now in the economic tier, creating extraordinary wealth. These businessmen are absolutely powerful and highly influential — to the point that they sway certain politicians. Their influence is usually attributed to three individual sources, namely: a structurally-privileged status in capitalist democracies, informational privileges, and the company’s organizational strength. These profit-oriented businessmen utilize feasible strategies to increase their revenues in various spectrums including strengthening their management structure and carrying out sourcing decisions. Their strategies would also include developing legal tactics, lobbying, testimony, and other ways to persuade policy makers at all government levels.

Several situations can prove that businessmen have the clout to sway affairs into directions that they deem to be beneficial to their companies; at times when certain policies may possibly impede their core business, they more often than not use their money to manipulate policy makers. For example, in 2007, the Senate passed an amendment that stops consumers from purchasing prescription drugs from abroad. Prior such amendment, pharmaceutical industries have donated around $70,181 for the campaign of each Senator who selected to block the imports. It was reported that such cash out was two and a half times more than what they have averagely given to each Senator who voted to permit the imports.

Another example involves Fabian Nuñez, Speaker of California: a large portion of the donation given to him was from gambling businessmen. As a result, Nuñez voted in favor of the industry on 42 of 44 bills. Another situation was in 2006, when Thelma Drake, a member of Congress from Virginia, was given $8,400 coming from the oil & gas industry. The day after, she voted to permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The North American Trade Agreement is another proof that businessmen have the ultimate power.
In addition, the energy industry gave the lion’s share of their donations to George W. Bush and the Republicans during the Presidential election. In effect, the Bush administration introduced the National Energy Policy that stressed the increased production of the energy industry, less regulation, and the promotion of oil exploration in Alaska and slackening off environmental regulations that hamper the building of new power plants and pipelines.

Even if politicians have the power to create and pass policies to regulate businesses, the businessmen themselves, having the power of money, are able to ‘buy’ these politicians’ votes. Alternatively, there remain public figures who aren’t swayed by the allure of donated wealth or campaign money.