So the Supreme Court upholds corporations’ First Amendment right to free speech. They have ruled corporations are free to do what they wish with the corporation’s money, even contribute to political campaigns and candidates.
This has outraged many of our good statist/liberal friends who feel corporations should be restricted in their ability to contribute to the political arena. Now, I don’t like the idea of big corporations pouring money into political campaigns, but the restrictions our statist/liberal friends wish:
1) won’t matter/work
2) doesn’t address (as usual) the root cause of the problem
So what if the high court went against our Constitution and placed restrictions on the corporations? What would that accomplish? First off, there isn’t a rule, condition, or trick invented that a smart man can’t beat. Teams of bright men and women would be put to the task of finding loop-holes. After said loop-holes were found, the restrictions would be modified/added to and the cycle would repeat. Money would flow from one organization to the next, to the next until it reached its final destination.
What’s wrong with making it more direct and visible? Isn’t that best for everybody?
So what is the root cause of all the political contributions? Why would these corporations be so interested in supporting candidates. Well, because we have such a strong and centralized government.
Every corporation/business has a mission statement. They all say different things, but have the same meaning: Maximize Return on Investment (ROI).
Big government picks the winners and losers. Big government gives advantages to those they like, punishes those they don’t. Big government disrupts the natural forces of supply and demand. Big government limits market competition. Business recognize they can achieve a higher ROI donating they can than employing their capital elsewhere.
If Congress stuck the enumerated powers granted to it by the Constitution and the states took care of the rest, there would be less incentive for corporations to contribute/lobby to politicians. Since power would be distributed, a business would have to get a greater number of people on their payroll and thus lower potential ROI for this use of capital. The corporation would probably find it more profitable to spend the money on increased advertising or capital improvements.
If you track the growth of our federal government, you will see the flow of money follows along. It makes sense. These corporations and individuals are looking for any edge and big government can give it to them. As the government ballooned under George Bush and the Republicans’ leadership, federal lobbying dollars ballooned right along with them. The same “ballooning” is still occuring with the Democrats and the current administration. (I haven’t seen a lot of change). I’d be willing to bet the opposite would occur if we actually went the other way for once.
So if you don’t like corporate donations to politicians, don’t try to pass laws and restrict freedom of speech and capital. Limit the size and power of government.