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Old 30th January 2020, 11:02 AM   #41
SuburbanTurkey
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Obviously cash lobbying works because these big businesses are willing to spend the money to do it. These businesses aren't charities, they give money because they expect it to be in their financial interest to do so.

Lobbying with campaign contributions is legalized bribery.
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Old 30th January 2020, 12:28 PM   #42
Delphic Oracle
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
There are a couple of ways of mitigating the effect, but only partially.



One is to have strict spending limits and government funding of electioneering. That way there's no way for lobbyists to fund campaigns directly or indirectly.



Another is to be rigorous about keeping and publishing a catalogue of members' interests so that jollies to fancy resorts are known about, and publicised.



Of course the government sometimes polls stakeholders for opinions rather than being subjected to lobbying but that is an expensive process that may not be scalable.
Lobbying is tracked and regulated.

Campaign finance is tracked and regulated.

Financial disclosures are required of all elected (and many appointed) positions.

All of it is published and made freely available to the public.

"The government" is not the problem with lobbying. Voters not arming themselves with easily available information or recognizing the significance and then voting accordingly is a problem.

We have all the oversight needed to address the problem. We (collectively) lack the will to enforce it.

Last edited by Delphic Oracle; 30th January 2020 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 30th January 2020, 12:30 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by sir drinks-a-lot View Post
It seems it also partially stems from the amount of legislative power that has been bestowed upon the government (see Bastiat).

The less power the government has, the less there is to be gained by lobbying.
Sure. However you can't remove that power lest said companies just start abusing their customers, people in general, the environment, etc. There's a sweet spot, probably, but it's mobile and hard to find, never mind maintain.
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Old 30th January 2020, 12:31 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Never mind, ignore this post. I came to my senses.
Is that a recurrent problem?

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Old 30th January 2020, 12:42 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Is that a recurrent problem?


Good god no, I normally fail entirely to come to my senses. This is a momentous day!
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Old 30th January 2020, 12:47 PM   #46
theprestige
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
There are a couple of ways of mitigating the effect, but only partially.

One is to have strict spending limits and government funding of electioneering. That way there's no way for lobbyists to fund campaigns directly or indirectly.

Another is to be rigorous about keeping and publishing a catalogue of members' interests so that jollies to fancy resorts are known about, and publicised.

Of course the government sometimes polls stakeholders for opinions rather than being subjected to lobbying but that is an expensive process that may not be scalable.
I think you're conflating three different kinds of expenditures.

The first is political speech. I think this is probably the most important kind of speech to protect, under the right to free speech. I think individuals and groups should be allowed to engage in as much political speech as they want to and can afford.

The second is campaign contributions. These are heavily regulated, and capped. On balance, I think this is probably the right solution.

The third is hiring professionals to advocate for your interests, with your representatives - lobbying as such. I think this should also be unrestricted, just like political speech.

---

I'm also not sure how you'd solve the "outsourcing" problem. Even if you staffed an agency of law-drafting civil servants, you'd still have to make it illegal for private citizens to send draft legislation to lawmakers. And you'd still have to make it illegal for lawmakers to receive or consider draft legislation not produced by this agency.

I guess you'd also have to make it illegal for legislators to sit down with lobbyists to go over the agency's draft and give the lobbyist a chance to say "this doesn't address the valid concerns of our industry at all, let me pencil in these changes and you can send it back for rewrite."

Is that the kind of thing you have in mind?
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