The Business of America is Lobbying: How Corporations Became Politicized and Politics Became More Corporate (Studies in Postwar American Political Development) (1st Edition)
Corporate lobbyists are everywhere in Washington. Of the 100organizations that spend the most on lobbying, 95 representbusiness. The largest companies now have upwards of 100 lobbyistsrepresenting them. How did American businesses become so investedin politics? And what does all their money buy?Drawing on extensive data and original interviews with corporatelobbyists, The Business of America is Lobbying provides afascinating and detailed picture of what corporations do inWashington, why they do it, and why it matters. Prior to the 1970s,very few corporations had Washington offices. But a wave of newgovernment regulations and declining economic conditions mobilizedbusiness leaders. Companies developed new political capacities, andmanagers soon began to see public policy as an opportunity, notjust a threat. Ever since, corporate lobbying has becomeincreasingly more pervasive, more proactive, and moreparticularistic. Lee Drutman argues that lobbyists drove thisdevelopment, helping managers to see why politics mattered, and howproactive and aggressive engagement could help companies' bottomlines.All this lobbying doesn't guarantee influence. Politics is amessy and unpredictable bazaar, and it is more competitive thanever. But the growth of lobbying has driven several importantchanges that make business more powerful. The status quo is harderto dislodge; policy is more complex; and, as Congress increasinglybecomes a farm league for K Street, more and more of Washington'spolicy expertise now resides in the private sector. These and otherchanges increasingly raise the costs of effective lobbying to alevel only businesses can typically afford.Lively and engaging, rigorous and nuanced, The Business ofAmerica is Lobbying will change how we think about lobbying-and howwe might reform it.