I almost don’t want to write it, but if one is OK with crony capitalism, essentially stealing from the American citizenry via any number of official means, investing a few bucks in cronies gives amazing returns.
I am always astounded by the favors (almost always legal favors) politicians give out for relatively paltry sums. Sure Mr X goes to work for Y company after working at Z agency and Y company just happens to get a contract. But that contract(s) might be worth billions. The newly hired ex-bureaucrat costs maybe a few hundred thousand dollars per year. Chump change.
A solid return on investment. And with campaign contributions to congresspeople the ROI is often even better.
According to the foundation’s analysis, between 2007 and 2012, 200 of America’s most politically active corporations spent a combined $5.8 billion (with a B) on federal lobbying and campaign contributions. What they gave pales compared to what those same corporations got: $4.4 trillion (with a T) in federal business and support.
For the record I don’t have a big problem with Citizens United. Corporations are collections of people and if they want to support politicians it is quite literally the right of each of those individuals to do it collectively if they so choose.
However, that does not mean that the citizenry has to like it when a company throws around its money. The voters can ultimately punish a politician. Unfortunately that rarely happens.
If we want to reduce the ROI on lobbying and other types of influence peddling it is up to the citizenry to reduce it. We have the tools. The question is whether people will really hold their “leaders” accountable or not. To date it’s mostly been not.
Companies, unions, wealthy individuals, etc. can only buy politicians if we let them.