American Business and Political Power: Public Opinion, by Mark A. Smith

By Mark A. Smith

Most humans think that enormous organisations wield huge, immense political energy after they foyer for rules as a cohesive bloc. With this arguable ebook, Mark A. Smith units traditional knowledge on its head. In a scientific research of postwar lawmaking, Smith unearths that enterprise loses in legislative battles until it has public backing. This striking end holds as the different types of matters that lead companies to band together—such as tax premiums, pollution, and product liability—also obtain the main media cognizance. the consequent debates provide electorate the data they should carry their representatives in charge and make elections a decision among contrasting coverage programs.

Rather than succumbing to company the United States, Smith argues, representatives mockingly develop into extra aware of their components whilst dealing with a united company entrance. agencies achieve the main effect over laws after they paintings with corporations similar to imagine tanks to form americans' ideals approximately what executive should still and shouldn't do.

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If opinion throughout the country shifts in a certain ideological direction, then most likely opinion is moving in the same direction within individual districts and states. Through a variety of sources, including dialogue with their colleagues and staff, reports in the news media, and a perusal ofpolling data, elected officials can determine whether the country's "mood" is becoming more liberal or conservative (Stimson, Erikson, and MacKuen 1995). In the late 1970s, officeholders hardly needed to look beyond the successful ballot initiative to roll back property taxes in California to grasp the conservative changes among the electorate.

Reflecting the evolution ofpolitical ideology within business, issues affecting the federal government's authority across a range of industries attract a high degree of unity. When the size and scope of government is at stake, business frequently unifies. 20 C HAP T E R TWO WHY POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY IS HARMONIOUS WITH BUSINESS UNITY The typology ofparticularistic, conflictual, and unifying issues provides a rneans of classifying all policy debates attracting attention from one or more segments of business.

When it comes to specific provisions, especially technical ones, the interests ofvarious companies and industries often diverge. This makes the corresponding debates over those provisions particularistic or conflictual. While business as a whole may support a bill requiring regulatory agencies to conduct cost-benefit analyses, for example, different companies and industries will likely advance competing perspectives on provisions specifying the ways costs and benefits will be measured. These details, inserted or deleted with little public knowledge or interest, are where policymakers enjoy the greatest discretion and where business influence should be most apparent.

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