Business Lobby

How Much Influence does the Business Lobby Have?

Interests groups are both admired and feared. On the one hand, groups have a legitimate right

to express their views on public policy issues. But at the same time, groups can wield too much power.

If a group gets its way at an unreasonable cost to the rest of society, the public interest is harmed. There

is no doubt that the special interest in some cases wrongly prevails over the general interest. Many

observers agree that groups have achieved to much influence over public policy. Many believe that the

business lobby has too much influence over Washington. I do not agree with the above statement, yes

the business lobby does have influence over Washington, but not too much influence. Its influence is

justified by its influence to the nation’s economy.

Frenchman Alexis de Toqueville wrote in the 1830’s that the “principle of association” was no

more evident than in America. “The country’s tradition of free association has always made it easy for

Americans to join together for political purposes, and their diverse interests have given them reason to

seek influence through specialized groups.”

No interests are more fully or effectively organized than those that have economic activity as

their primary purpose. One of their advantages is that Washington lobbyists who represent economic

groups outnumber those of all other groups by more that two to one. Economic groups include

corporations, labor unions, farm groups, and professional association. They exist primarily for economic

purposes: to make profits, provide jobs, improve pay, or protect an occupation. The large number of

economic groups is due to their access to financial resources. Economic groups can obtain money and

expertise from their economic activity to have a headquarters, an expert staff, and communication


Economic groups do have …

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