Is it all because of the lobbyists?

In the second half of the twentieth century, the world of lobbyists seems to have accelerated. Lobbyists are protectionists. They protect an industry just like union bosses protect their workers.

Car unions pushed the cost of labor higher than the product they were making. Education unions and lobbyists have put such financial costs on the working system that the majority of capital doesn’t go where it should which is to educate the kids. Health care lobbyists have done the same thing.

I was looking at a budget the other week and I asked why, why, why on so many line items and got rid of them or at least reduced them to something that made sense. You can’t do that if you are the patient, the student or the vehicle. You live with the system and it is only getting worse. (this link is a worthy read)

There is pressure coming from outside such as charter schools, automation in car factories and better software systems inside hospitals. I went for an annual appointment the other day and was pleasantly surprised and thrilled at the same time to see the checking in system was seamless and I never had to interact and wait for someone. I took a peek right and noticed the entire accounting group gone and now an expansion of the waiting area.

Things have to change. Unfortunately, this is just job elimination which was bound to happen through technology but the lobbyists’ situation has got to change. It is just putting cash into a few pockets, draining the system and frustrating the end-user which is all of us.

Comments (Archived):

  1. LE

    You have to add to this another item. ‘Lawyers’. Lawyers want regulation because having more regulation (on any size business) gives them more things they can bill clients for to help them with the finer points of what they need to do or to get them out of trouble when they are targeted. This is a burden on business of all sizes. I am not talking even about personal injury law. Or patent trolls. Or even the new thing (which you probably know about) whereby websites are targeted for not being handicap accessible by opportunistic lawyers. No I am just talking about the general notion of lawyers doing a great deal to help pass and make complex laws where they are then needed to help companies (once again of all sizes) deal with those laws.

    1. Gotham Gal


      1. LE

        Take a look at the three images I have attached.Image 1 – A tenant this morning saying that a health insurer needs to know certain info (before paying her or sending her referalls). I LOVE HAVING TO SPEND MY TIME DEALING WITH THIS!!!Image 2 – A homeless person who was camped out at the colocation place (24th and Locust Philly – nice area) that totally surprised me when I went to find the key lock box that was supposed to be by that door. I thought ‘hmm why are those books there?’. Someone had dropped off a mattress (see bottom right of picture). (Unrelated but since you made that other post). Then they looked up and I jumped back.Image 3 – My attorney (in DC) trying to pickup some business (I had asked him last year about this issue). https://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.c

    2. PhilipSugar

      Completely right. The only thing I would add…….look at the educational background of politicians and lobbyists. I too deal with them all day What stuns me the most is how few STEM degrees there are even as undergrad. You can get a law degree with a Bachelors in Engineering I know because I paid one of my employees to get one. He was so rare that he had so many offers when he graduated that he picked one instead of staying. He hated working at a firm so much he now works at SAP. (and to answer proactively, I was happy he took another job, we had discussed before he started he is still one of my closest friends) I’ll include business degrees as well. Then take a look at how few have run businesses.

  2. jason wright

    The swamp?

  3. awaldstein

    Yup,it’s a real mess driven by big dollars.Just struggling to envision a non partisan pipeline of information to Congressional Aids who collect info and craft legislation–on alternative energy to crypto to wellness–that doesn’t fit within the category of lobbying.My imagination is failing me.

  4. lauraglu

    Unions also help ensure safe working conditions and a living wage. I am not sure the upside of lobbyists.

  5. JLM

    .Congress makes our laws. These laws and the making of these laws is influenced by lobbyists working on behalf of their clients. It is very difficult for a single lobbyist to actually deliver legislation.The lobbyist clients want to create new laws to expand markets, maintain existing laws to entrench their advantages.Unions are political funding sources with all of them funding Dem candidates. The unions have lost all connection with the rank and file membership. Unions are entrenched in American industry because of collective bargaining agreements with employers.The unions are so entrenched that unions like SEIU or AFSCME are negotiating on behalf of all workers even those who are not members of the union.But, the power of the unions comes from their political muscle both in GOTV and funding. The unions have their own internal and external lobbyists.The Trump admin has eliminated more than 200 regulations since they entered office. Last year — after they got the hang of the process — they will have eliminated 8 old laws for every new law. Their original target was 2:1. This an area in which the impact on the economy has not been measured, but it is huge.I point this out — deregulation — because it is a different process as it deals primarily with rules rather than laws. It is still very powerful.The biggest influence on the legislative and regulatory environment is fundraising.Lobbyists who are industry specific (e.g. oil & gas, steel, cars) both impact the creation or elimination of specific laws, but also bundle huge amounts of funds to support incumbents. Lobbyists do not raise funds for challengers. Industry individuals may contribute to a challenger, but the industry never, ever supports anybody other than an incumbent.There may be inherent conflicts — the SEIU wants something different than the real estate (hotels) owners. The steel industry wants something different than the ASW. The car companies want something different than the UAW.Both sides are fighting against each other and thus the lobbyists are getting paid on both sides of almost every question.If one wants to diminish the power of lobbyists, fundraisers, money, unions, and other nefarious persons then we need:1. Campaign fundraising reform;2. Term limits — to break the power of the incumbents.3. Deregulation4. Strengthen revolving door policies so former legislators cannot lobbyTo give you an idea of how pervasive the issue of term limits truly is, the longest serving US Rep was John Dingell who served for 59 years. The 50th longest serving Rep served 40 years while the 100th longest serving Rep served 36 years.Amongst current serving Senators the years are not as long, but they are way too long: Leahy (D) 44 years, Grassley (R) 38 years, McConnell (R) 34 years, Shelby (R) 32 years, Feinstein (D) 27 years, Murray (D) 26 years.Entrenched politicians leave no room for new ideas and result in an ossified funding mechanism where the power of incumbency is enormous.The power of incumbency and the power of money will never allow this system, the rotten system to change.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. jason wright

      They should all need to not only be re elected, but also reselected. The aristocracy of your democracy.

      1. JLM

        .Even incumbents go through a faux primary. Every time.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. jason wright

          Faux. You said it.

        2. jason wright

          The Atlantic, December, page 62.

  6. PhilipSugar

    I could not agree more. It is pervasive. Look at how many administrators there are for doers in government, schools, and medicine. Ask any doctor or teacher. I’ll give an example from last week: I was doing some work at a school the other day and the guidance counselor wanted to talk. Her secretary sought me out to discuss entrepreneurism.Ok, the guidance counselor has her own secretary??? Are you kidding me??? Don’t even get me going on whether I think there should be a guidance counselor, I’ll be non-PC and say I rank them way lower than the P/E teacher. Maybe I have a small sample set, but I think they might be one of the greatest killers of women going into STEM there are, near as I can tell they just care about serving the colleges that come to visit them (and give them some killer summer benefits) Look into how that crap works. I have. I mean maybe my daughter wants to get me riled, but some of the stuff the guidance counselor says???? At least the P/E teacher while he might be a lunkhead discusses how there are different body types, different ways people can be fit, and he is a good coach. Two of his volleyball team got into the Naval Academy and a third got a “scholarship” to Penn (financial aid)When I worked at Mitsubishi Corporation right out of school. They bought Aristech Chemical. I was the point person for the lobbyist. Gold and Liebengood (I now see they merged:… I met Howard Baker. Why the hell does a early 20 year old have that access??? I’ll tell you why: Monthly retainer.

    1. LE

      We are in what is considered a ‘good’ school district and I am always amazed at how mediocre they are. One example is when I went to a meeting to complain about something that was impacting our building (parking lot usage). School district lawyer ran the meeting and 5 ‘white men’ sat around the table looking about as tired as 50 to 60 year old white men could possibly look. They all said nothing. Zero. The attorney said everything. Was very clear he was grand standing as well. The white men looked as if they walked off the set of some 1950’s tv show you know the look (gray, tired etc.). Joanne would have loved it. I mean the mothers even think the Principal is a total idiot in every way. I would say he was there but nobody had any names. They are all phoning it in. Tired boring etc.Last night my step daughter was working on a marketing assignment by an older woman teacher who was described as being a good teacher (not even one of the bad ones in this ‘good’ school district). So she had some slides on her ipad with some marketing mumbo jumble. And guess what? I spend full time thinking about marketing and making money and read every day and it’s literally a hobby for me (you could vouch for this with some of the things I have sent you). And I couldn’t not even understand what they were supposed to be learning or the reason why. Just stuff to memorize that is of ZERO practical use. So how is some 15 year old supposed to get excited about learning?Reminds me a bit of my first programming course at Wharton APL. God it was all wrong in every way. As boring as ‘fuck’ and nothing that got you engaged.

  7. pointsnfigures

    This is a huge reason I am a big fan of small government. The less government, less government sponsored programs, the less government is the arbiter and solution provider, the less power lobbyists have. Screw em. (and that goes for lobbyists for both parties). I also detest that a career politician will leave office and slip into a cushy lobbying job earning millions-or someone from their sphere like a wife, family member, or acquaintance can earn millions lobbying while they are in office. Ought to be a massive 50% or more tax on gross receipts for someone like that.