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 …