Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

25 June 2012

The Federal Government Extortion of Businesses

I have often written that when government takes on the powers of illegitimate government, it becomes a threat to businesses and other special interests operating in the private sector.  Business is especially vulnerable, because that is where the money is and many people have a bias against commercial interests.  Government politicians have a hankering for their money and want to pretend to be protecting the People from some powerful threat to them.  So, politicians shake down companies by threatening them with harmful legislation and simply by using their access to and influence over the press to give businesses a bad name.

Companies, like it or not, are forced to become lobbyists.  Once they get into that, they are generally tempted, as are other special interest groups such as labor unions, public employees, trial lawyers, accountants, environmentalists, and religious groups, to take over the controls of government.  This is fairly easy to do since the government has by then become far too complex for most of the People to understand and control.  Indeed, some companies and other interest groups see how easy it is to take over the controls of government and leap to those controls without even being extorted.  It can be an easy route to power and influence and to riches.  Control of government can also be used through regulations and licensing requirements to reduce competition.  The great Institute for Justice is renowned for trying to eliminate licensing and similar restrictions that keep people from earning a living.  The Competitive Enterprise Institute tries to reduce the number of regulations designed to reduce competition.

Timothy Carney has a very interesting tale of how Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican Senator, forced Microsoft to get into the lobbying business very much against its will.  It is well worth reading.

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