THBT: Corporate lobbying (using money) ought to be illegal
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Corporation definition: A corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners. Under the law, corporations possess many of the same rights and responsibilities as individuals. They can enter contracts, loan and borrow money, sue and be sued, hire employees, own assets, and pay taxes.
Lobbying definition: Lobbying The process of influencing public and government policy at all levels: federal, state, and local. Lobbying involves the advocacy of an interest that is affected, actually or potentially, by the decisions of government leaders. Individuals and interest groups alike can lobby governments, and governments can even lobby each other.
Pro: Corporate Lobbying using money or offering positions of power to politicians ought to be illegal
Con: Corporate lobbying using money and offering positions of power ought to stay legal
the right of petition has expanded. It is no longer confined to demands for “a redress of grievances,” in any accurate meaning of these words, but comprehends demands for an exercise by the government of its powers in furtherance of the interest and prosperity of the petitioners and of their views on politically contentious matters. The right extends to the "approach of citizens or groups of them to administrative agencies (which are both creatures of the legislature, and arms of the executive) and to courts, the third branch of Government. Certainly the right to petition extends to all departments of the Government. The right of access to the courts is indeed but one aspect of the right of petition."
- The government officials cannot get elected without the financial support of the financial elite (lobbyists).
- The financial elite make the government officials dependent on their funding.
- The government officials then prioritize lobbyists more than they do their own constituents.
- The constituents then have minimal to no representation in either their government or their institutions.
"A lot of folks see the amounts of money that are being spent and the special interests that dominate and the lobbyists that always have access, and they say to themselves, maybe I don’t count."
- Evidently, the right to petition has become far too broad and has opened the government up to corruption so bad, it could arguably not even be considered a full representative democracy anymore but a soft plutocracy.
- It has been shown time and time again financial lobbying has lead to what could essentially be a form of coercion on politicians to take certain courses of action.
- Evidently this then massively sways the amount of people who can partake in this form of petitioning. Leading to politicians to lie to the general public promising reforms and standards to be met which in the end do not get met through them lying to simply get elected while pocketing the money, stocks and positions they will attain once they retire from all funded by their financial lobbyist overlords.
- Lobbying: influencing or attempting to influence legislative action or nonaction through oral or written communication or an attempt to obtain the goodwill of a member or employee of the Legislature.
- Pro argues that lobbying ought to be illegal, but using money to do so ought to be illegal. It seems unclear as to why all financial lobbying should unquestionably be illegal, but no other lobbying should. This seems arbitrary. This contention can be summarized by the question: "What is true of cooperate lobbying, that if true of x political or social practice, would justify banning x political or social practice?"
- Pro affirms that lobbying ought to be legal, just not financial lobbying, for instance, but it seems as if pro would have to commit to banning any form of campaign donation by the same token. If giving money to politicians should be illegal in one case, under pro's logic, it seems that there is no logical difference between the implications of this reduction. In this case, no candidate would be able to raise a campaign but those previously wealthy, something that would have arguably worse implications for our Democracy.
- It seems as if pro would have to ban some non-financial forms of lobbying as well. Company endorsements for example can be just as impactful as financial contributions. And if this is the case, all the entailments of financial lobbying would also apply to non-financial lobbying. The implications of this not only place pro's argument to suspect but place pro's views under the threat of logical contradiction.
- Pro would also have to ban news agencies, and platforms spend millions, even billions in cases, on reporting, and conveying their ideological perspectives, thus influencing many people. These are wealthy institutions that influence political positions, yet pro does not call them inherently evil. In fact, all of pro's questionable arguments can also be applied to news outlets. The news to quote pro could "influence participation and thus obscure risks, impair judgment, or encourage misrepresentation," yet he does not seek to ban media outlets.
- I hold no objection to the regulation of financial lobbying, I object to its banning given that there is no logical difference between this, and other forms of lobbying that pro already claimed should be legal, in many cases.
- Financial lobbying is functionally beneficial to representation on aggregate. Cooperate or not, "lobbyists represent the interests of citizens who do not have the opportunity or access to represent them personally to the government." Labor Unions, for instance, use financial lobbying for the representation of millions of workers. Financial lobbying is contributing money to support the interests of many. While this can be restricted, it should not be banned.
- Lobbying allows candidates to acquire funding for their campaigns. Logically as showcased above, this can extend to basic donations: there is nothing that would separate different people from granting money to candidates to represent their interests - a ban on financial lobbying must entail a ban on all donations. My counter-plan is to place restrictions on the amount of money granted, which contributes to both imperatives.
- Pro asserts that lobbying is a "necessary evil. "This is asserted, not argued for, amounting to an argument by assertion fallacy: it cannot be accepted. While I can agree lobbying is necessary, the burden falls on pro to demonstrate soundly, that it is evil.
- Pro does not show any evidence that cooperates lobbying "promotes politicians to lie more often," or to "constantly contradict themselves both in front of the press and within their policy decisions." Cherry-picking a single instance of Barrack Obama does not evidence this.
- Pro argues that the right to petition one's government has expanded - and that this is bad (presumably). "The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution constituted the largest expansion of civil rights in the history of the United States for example, yet it does not follow that we should ban all civil rights. The expansion of a right is not inherently wrong or problematic.
- Pro makes his argument from a study that, as Ehyeh says, "correlates increases in lobbying with decreases in real taxes paid for the corporation." This is a just correlational fallacy, correlation does not imply causation. This entire study is very flawed. It has a sample size of only 8 companies and only shows that 7 had reduced tax rates, and it is based upon an observation that can easily be explained by a significantly lower cooperate tax rate in 2010, than in 2007. Pro's study does not even control for changes in tax rates. The study even admits that it analyzes what these companies' taxes would have been if their "2007 tax rates were applied to their 2010 income," as if tax rates don't change. This methodology is incoherent.
- Proof by assertion should not be regarded as pertinent to this debate. Pro does not seem to cite the current laws in reference, and pro does not make a case that shows any of the implications of them and their ethical relevance other than in limited cases. For instance, the amount of lobbyists is irrelevant to our debate, because as pro stated, lobbying should remain legal, just not financial lobbying, and pro has not even shown the proportion of lobbyers that actually expend money.
...lobbying influences legislative outcomes...
- This is true, but many things influence legislative outcomes. Including any form of lobbying, yet, pro has stated that lobbying should be legal, which implies the conjunction of premises "lobbying should and should not be legal."
- Overall, none of pro's arguments show why cooperate lobbying should be banned. That is to say, they are mostly flawed analyses, and/or assumptions that lobbying is wrong. Pro's arguments also apply to actions pro states should remain legal, and this would introduce logical contradiction into the affirmative case.