Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Roots of Lobbying

This is an interesting column on lobbying. Though it doesn't stress (or even mention) the contrast between democracy and individual rights, it points out some very salient facts. E.g.:
As of June, 2009, there were 12,553 registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C, which means: for every federal Senator or Representative, there are 23.47 people standing close by who have, as their sole activity, the job of bribing, manipulating, cajoling, convincing, begging, browbeating, pushing, seducing, scheming, deceiving, deluding or hoodwinking our 535 members of Congress into enacting legislation geared towards their ends instead of what’s in the interests of all American citizens — and all of it perfectly legal, perfectly acceptable and considered to be the normal mode of operations.

And that’s just the “direct” lobbyists, folks, those who must register due to Congressional contact; that figure doesn’t tally the “indirect” lobbyists who spend their time leveraging the executive branch’s bureaucratic decrees.

According to experts, the number of lobbyists not covered by the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 is probably six to seven times that high, placing the total number of D.C. lobbyists at about 100,000 — not counting support staff. Not counting lobbyists targeting state legislators.

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