Maybe Business Doesn't Spend on Campaigns for the Same Reason Opponents of Prohibition Don't

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Wednesday, 04 September 2013 05:09

Eduardo Porter's column notes evidence that individual donors are becoming increasingly important to political campaigns while business donors appear to be less important. The column interprets this to imply a lessening of their political influence, especially over the Republican Party.

There is an alternative explanation. After-tax corporate profits are at their highest level in the post-war period. This suggests that business has collectively been enormously successful in pushing its agenda. In this context, businesses may see little reason to spend vast sums on elections just as opponents of prohibition have not spent much money pushing their cause since the end of prohibition 80 years ago.

Candidates who pose major challenges to important business interests are rarely able to even contest a senate seat. The likelihood that they would be able to control a house of Congress or the presidency in the foreseeable future is near zero.