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

By Mark A. Smith

ISBN-10: 0226764621

ISBN-13: 9780226764627

ISBN-10: 0226764648

ISBN-13: 9780226764641

Most humans think that giant companies wield huge, immense political energy once they foyer for guidelines as a cohesive bloc. With this debatable ebook, Mark A. Smith units traditional knowledge on its head. In a scientific research of postwar lawmaking, Smith finds that company loses in legislative battles except it has public backing. This spectacular end holds as the varieties of concerns that lead companies to band together—such as tax premiums, pollution, and product liability—also obtain the main media realization. the consequent debates supply voters the data they should carry their representatives in charge and make elections a decision among contrasting coverage programs.

Rather than succumbing to company the US, Smith argues, representatives ironically turn into extra conscious of their materials while dealing with a united company entrance. organizations achieve the main impact over laws after they paintings with enterprises comparable to imagine tanks to form american citizens' ideals approximately what executive should still and shouldn't do.

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Additional info for American Business and Political Power: Public Opinion, Elections, and Democracy

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Policies cannot be enacted without spelling out some details, but without a framework of principles those details will not blend together in any systematic way. Both principles and details merit scrutiny by social scientists. The next chapter will argue in greater depth that when business unifies, agreement centers on the principles and general outlines of legislative proposals. Different segments of business may prefer the same overall approach to problems even as they disagree on how to implement the particulars.

The problem with using these groups as indicators of business unity, though, is that their membership rolls are comprised of individuals; companies themselves do not join. Because there is no large-scale base ofcompanies who pay dues, corporations cannot easily "vote with their feet" if the organizations do not follow their wishes. Indeed, neither mission statements nor the constraints of satisfying a membership dictate that these groups rest their actions upon an assessment of what a cross-section of companies prefer.

Each company can express indifference, support, or opposition to a bill's passage. If a sizable majority of firms maintains a collective position either for or against passage, then the issue is an instance of business unity. What empirical procedure could be used to categorize policy questions as predominantly particularistic, conflictual, or unifying? One might begin by imagining the information that could resolve the matter decisively. Assume that for each bill introduced, the alliances and divisions within business are known apriori.

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


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