Business interests in politics

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RF_PineMarten
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Lately I've been thinking about how the main parties and the government use "business" to justify policies, and how business interests can influence politics. Of course we should take business into account, but do we listen to it too much?

We sometimes hear (from various people) things like:

We shouldn't have an EU referendum because of uncertainty for businesses
We need environmentally destructive projects like HS2 because business wants it
We need to relax environmental and planning laws because it puts a burden on businesses and prevents "development"
We need TTIP because it's good for business
etc..

Surely we should do what is best for the country as a whole, not always doing what business interests want? Sometimes what is best for big business is harmful in other areas which are just as important as the economy, such as being environmentally destructive or possibly anti-democratic.

Do you think business interests have too much influence on politics? Or is it important that business interests are represented in government?
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by RFowler)
Lately I've been thinking about how the main parties and the government use "business" to justify policies, and how business interests can influence politics. Of course we should take business into account, but do we listen to it too much?

We sometimes hear (from various people) things like:

We shouldn't have an EU referendum because of uncertainty for businesses
We need environmentally destructive projects like HS2 because business wants it
We need to relax environmental and planning laws because it puts a burden on businesses and prevents "development"
We need TTIP because it's good for business
etc..

Surely we should do what is best for the country as a whole, not always doing what business interests want? Sometimes what is best for big business is harmful in other areas which are just as important as the economy, such as being environmentally destructive or possibly anti-democratic.

Do you think business interests have too much influence on politics? Or is it important that business interests are represented in government?
A strong economy is good for the country.

See things like health, defence, welfare etc. It all needs paying for, and ultimately business pays for it through taxes and employement opportunities.
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RF_PineMarten
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
A strong economy is good for the country.

See thee fixation, health, defence, welfare etc. It all needs paying for, and ultimately business pays for it through taxes and employement opportunities.
Hardly anyone would disagree with that, but at what point does it go beyond good for the economy as a whole to being more about self interest?

e.g. Relaxed environmental laws would allow some businesses to make more money, but with stricter laws in place they would still be able to make quite large profits with no problem.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by RFowler)
Hardly anyone would disagree with that, but at what point does it go beyond good for the economy as a whole to being more about self interest?

e.g. Relaxed environmental laws would allow some businesses to make more money, but with stricter laws in place they would still be able to make quite large profits with no problem.
Actually? Empirical evidence shows that environmentally friendly companies are more profitable.

As with everything, it's a balancing act
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gaylubeoil
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(Original post by RFowler)
Hardly anyone would disagree with that, but at what point does it go beyond good for the economy as a whole to being more about self interest?

e.g. Relaxed environmental laws would allow some businesses to make more money, but with stricter laws in place they would still be able to make quite large profits with no problem.
dear rfowler

You make some interesting observations, however the questions you have preseneted are actually rather shallow. The truth of the matter is that there is no yes or no answer, as alluded to by the maturestudent it is a balancing act.

I would like to say that business includes those who work for business, which is a large amount of the Uk workforce, one could also expand that to those who could potentially work in the private sector and those whom beneift from services provided by the private sector. Arguablly we are all business in some shape or form.

regards gaylubeoil
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by RFowler)
Lately I've been thinking about how the main parties and the government use "business" to justify policies, and how business interests can influence politics. Of course we should take business into account, but do we listen to it too much?

We sometimes hear (from various people) things like:

We shouldn't have an EU referendum because of uncertainty for businesses
We need environmentally destructive projects like HS2 because business wants it
We need to relax environmental and planning laws because it puts a burden on businesses and prevents "development"
We need TTIP because it's good for business
etc..

Surely we should do what is best for the country as a whole, not always doing what business interests want? Sometimes what is best for big business is harmful in other areas which are just as important as the economy, such as being environmentally destructive or possibly anti-democratic.

Do you think business interests have too much influence on politics? Or is it important that business interests are represented in government?
The increase in inequality which is a result of big business interests running (in that is what neoliberal economics has created) things can be harmful to the well being of a society as a whole.

http://www.oecd.org/newsroom/inequal...mic-growth.htm
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
A strong economy is good for the country.
Ye, and business interest in politics does not guarantee that.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
Ye, and business interest in politics does not guarantee that.
Well it has so far.
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TheMagicalConch
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
Actually? Empirical evidence shows that environmentally friendly companies are more profitable.

As with everything, it's a balancing act
Am I missing something? That isn't true.

What type of companies are you talking about?
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by TheMagicalConch)
Am I missing something? That isn't true.

What type of companies are you talking about?
Something one of my lecturers discussed on business strategy. I forget the author of the paper, but companies that look out only after shareholders perform worse in general than those who look after stakeholders.

You'll not see many chemical waste companies on the ftse 100.

That's why companies do corporate civic activities. You know, engaging with schools, donating money to chart ties etc.
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TheMagicalConch
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
Something one of my lecturers discussed on business strategy. I forget the author of the paper, but companies that look out only after shareholders perform worse in general than those who look after stakeholders.

You'll not see many chemical waste companies on the ftse 100.

That's why companies do corporate civic activities. You know, engaging with schools, donating money to chart ties etc.
Understood. Thanks for the clarification.

By the way what did you study may I ask?
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saayagain
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
Actually? Empirical evidence shows that environmentally friendly companies are more profitable.

As with everything, it's a balancing act
All you do is give oral to business...

Environmentally friendly companies is a PR stunt to make it seem like people are protecting the environment while buying their products. BULL****

The power hierarchy is currently:

Banks/Financial Institutions
MNCs
Government (extended through the police and military)
People
It should be:


Government (People actually control the government)
Bank/Financial Institutions
MNCs
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by TheMagicalConch)
Understood. Thanks for the clarification.

By the way what did you study may I ask?
MBA.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by saayagain)
All you do is give oral to business...

Environmentally friendly companies is a PR stunt to make it seem like people are protecting the environment while buying their products. BULL****

The power hierarchy is currently:

Banks/Financial Institutions
MNCs
Government (extended through the police and military)
People
It should be:


Government (People actually control the government)
Bank/Financial Institutions
MNCs
Multi national corporations generate very little tax and employ very few people. It's the small and medium and business that are the bread and butter of the economy.

You'll find that people come first as we live in a parliamentary democracy. What you're probably struggling with is that your opinions are at odds with the majority of the populations.

A small minority for example believe that the banks should've been left to fail. The majority of the population understood that if the banks failed then we'd have bigger problems to deal with than a short term loan to some banks.

Banks haven't taken much money from the population. There's just a general realisation that government spend is unsustainable .
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saayagain
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
Multi national corporations generate very little tax and employ very few people. It's the small and medium and business that are the bread and butter of the economy.
MNCs lobby politicians, not SMEs therefore SMEs interests go out of the window. Banks and MNCs control economies, not government.

(Original post by MatureStudent36)
You'll find that people come first as we live in a parliamentary democracy. What you're probably struggling with is that your opinions are at odds with the majority of the populations.
So you think Britain is a democracy? lol...It is just a bit more democratic than China.

|----------------------------------|---------UK-----------China-------|
Democracy---------------------------------------------Dictatorship

(Original post by MatureStudent36)
A small minority for example believe that the banks should've been left to fail. The majority of the population understood that if the banks failed then we'd have bigger problems to deal with than a short term loan to some banks.

Banks haven't taken much money from the population. There's just a general realisation that government spend is unsustainable .
This is how sheltered you are. I think the government should have allowed the insolvent banks to fail and then nationalize banking. If government controls banking it controls the economy. The fact that the government pays interest is beyond a joke. The government should just create money like banks do.

The reason for the deficit is 1) Interest payments which is projected to be just over £52bn 2) Taxes from corporation profits and income received from dividends are subsidized i.e. barely any tax is paid therefore we have to borrow from private banks with interest to make up the gap. These two factors alone account for more than £100bn and would plug the gap...
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Rakas21
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(Original post by RFowler)
Lately I've been thinking about how the main parties and the government use "business" to justify policies, and how business interests can influence politics. Of course we should take business into account, but do we listen to it too much?

We sometimes hear (from various people) things like:

We shouldn't have an EU referendum because of uncertainty for businesses
We need environmentally destructive projects like HS2 because business wants it
We need to relax environmental and planning laws because it puts a burden on businesses and prevents "development"
We need TTIP because it's good for business
etc..

Surely we should do what is best for the country as a whole, not always doing what business interests want? Sometimes what is best for big business is harmful in other areas which are just as important as the economy, such as being environmentally destructive or possibly anti-democratic.

Do you think business interests have too much influence on politics? Or is it important that business interests are represented in government?
The simple answer is yes although i'm not convinced that's always the reason for political idiocy.

If we look at the three biggest factors to me (if a party could crack these then i'd vote for them whether left, right, up or down)..

Corporation Tax - Definitely an issue caused by corporations but one in which the political class is complaint. The corporations here have used global competition against governments and the people knowing that competing nations will never all agree to give up a potential competitive advantage.

Rampant house price growth - This is actually almost solely down to government. Government wants to exploit latent demand without increasing supply and so seeks political gain via inflating the household credit supply. Chasing votes due to the influence of a lobby (taxpayers and homeowners) but not big business.

Low private sector wage growth - An issue caused by corporations (real profits have grown faster than real wages) but one in which again the political class is subservient. You also can't just tell them to raise wages 10% because every business is different.

Historically the unions of course also had too much influence in politics because they acted as an oligopoly in the labour market, fortunately they were broken largely.
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