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The Influence Machine

Author: Alyssa Katz
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 0679645063
Size: 43.86 MB
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An illuminating history and groundbreaking investigation tracing how a single trade organization turned itself into the most dangerous political weapon in America When Americans hear the words “Chamber of Commerce,” many still think of the local business associations that spruce up Main Streets and sponsor Little League teams around the country. But the United States Chamber of Commerce is a different animal altogether. The Chamber was originally founded to give big business a voice during the long—and now almost inconceivable—period in American history that saw the rise of workers’ rights, consumer protections, and environmental awareness as national priorities. But over time, driven by an antigovernment ideology and its desire for financial and political power, the Chamber metastasized into a fighting force designed to protect the worst excesses of American industry. The Chamber, through its veiled corporate sponsors, can take credit for some of the most disturbing trends in American life: the reversal of environmental protections, the destruction of unions and worker protections, the rise of virulent antigovernment ideology, the enlarged role of money in campaigns, and the creation of “astroturf” movements as cover for a corporate agenda. Through its propaganda, lobbying, and campaign cash, the Chamber has created a right-wing monster that even it struggles to control, a conservative movement that is destabilizing American democracy as never before. The Influence Machine tells this history as a series of gripping narratives that take us into the backrooms of Washington, where the battles over how our country is run and regulated are fought, and then out into the world, where we see how the Chamber’s campaigns play out in real lives. In the end, Alyssa Katz reveals the hidden weaknesses of this seeming juggernaut and shows how its antidemocratic agenda can be reversed. Praise for The Influence Machine “Important and probing . . . a valuable and a sobering contribution to the study of power in American society . . . Katz has assembled a work of synthesis and insight. . . . The chamber has, she argues, effectively countered the influence of labor unions and contributed to the widening economic divide in American society. Those points are made forcefully and backed up impressively.”—Los Angeles Times “An urgent look at the ‘political assault weapon’ that is transforming the country . . . [Katz] does invaluable work in tracing how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been a relentless engine for pressing a ‘business of enterprise unfettered by government.’ . . . An eye-opening, maddening read.”—Kirkus Reviews “With clarity and verve, but without polemic, investigative journalist Katz describes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s evolution into a many-armed behemoth. . . . [She] illustrates with several examples of how the organization has managed to influence courts, strong-arm Congress, cripple federal agencies, and sway the public with ‘voter education’ ads—and, more recently, it has exported cutthroat American business practices abroad.”—Publishers Weekly From the Hardcover edition.

Voice Of Business

Author: Richard Lesher
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253027233
Size: 58.61 MB
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From small-town life to the world stage, Richard Lesher’s inspiring tale is one of dogged determination. The son of an alcoholic and violent father in Depression-era Pennsylvania, Lesher worked his way through school, eventually overseeing NASA’s vital technological transfer program during the race to the moon. His greatest achievement, however, was serving as president of the US Chamber of Commerce from the Ford through the Clinton administrations. Working closely with the presidents—especially Reagan—he modernized the Chamber over 22 years and dramatically expanded its national and international outreach. Believing strongly in the power of the free enterprise system, Lesher became a key voice and agent of economic change in former communist countries in the 1990s. Respected and admired by presidents, officials, and world leaders on both the left and right, Lesher has lived a hopeful and uniquely American story, a remarkable testament to personal perseverance and the ever-present opportunities in a free society.

The Business Of America Is Lobbying

Author: Lee Drutman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190215534
Size: 22.15 MB
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Corporate lobbyists are everywhere in Washington. Of the 100 organizations that spend the most on lobbying, 95 represent business. The largest companies now have upwards of 100 lobbyists representing them. How did American businesses become so invested in politics? And what does all their money buy? Drawing on extensive data and original interviews with corporate lobbyists, The Business of America is Lobbying provides a fascinating and detailed picture of what corporations do in Washington, why they do it, and why it matters. Prior to the 1970s, very few corporations had Washington offices. But a wave of new government regulations and declining economic conditions mobilized business leaders. Companies developed new political capacities, and managers soon began to see public policy as an opportunity, not just a threat. Ever since, corporate lobbying has become increasingly more pervasive, more proactive, and more particularistic. Lee Drutman argues that lobbyists drove this development, helping managers to see why politics mattered, and how proactive and aggressive engagement could help companies' bottom lines. All this lobbying doesn't guarantee influence. Politics is a messy and unpredictable bazaar, and it is more competitive than ever. But the growth of lobbying has driven several important changes that make business more powerful. The status quo is harder to dislodge; policy is more complex; and, as Congress increasingly becomes a farm league for K Street, more and more of Washington's policy expertise now resides in the private sector. These and other changes increasingly raise the costs of effective lobbying to a level only businesses can typically afford. Lively and engaging, rigorous and nuanced, The Business of America is Lobbying will change how we think about lobbying-and how we might reform it.

American Amnesia

Author: Jacob S. Hacker
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451667833
Size: 42.57 MB
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"A spirited examination of why what's good for American business elites and what's good for Americans have become misaligned"--Front jacket flap.

The Sage Encyclopedia Of Business Ethics And Society

Author: Robert W. Kolb
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 1483381544
Size: 46.88 MB
Format: PDF
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Thoroughly revised, updated, and expanded, The SAGE Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society, Second Edition explores current topics, such as mass social media, cookies, and cyber-attacks, as well as traditional issues including accounting, discrimination, environmental concerns, and management. The new edition also includes an in-depth examination of current and recent ethical affairs, such as the dangerous work environments of off-shore factories for Western retailers, the negligence resulting in the 2010 BP oil spill, the gender wage gap, the minimum wage debate and increasing income disparity and the unparalleled level of debt in the U.S. and other countries with the challenges it presents to many societies and the considerable impact on the ethics of intergenerational wealth transfers. Key Features Include: Seven volumes, available in both electronic and print formats, contain more than 1,200 signed entries by significant figures in the field Cross-references and suggestions for further readings to guide students to in-depth resources Thematic Reader's Guide groups related entries by general topics Index allows for thorough browse-and-search capabilities in the electronic edition

Lobbying America

Author: Benjamin C. Waterhouse
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400848172
Size: 30.68 MB
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Lobbying America tells the story of the political mobilization of American business in the 1970s and 1980s. Benjamin Waterhouse traces the rise and ultimate fragmentation of a broad-based effort to unify the business community and promote a fiscally conservative, antiregulatory, and market-oriented policy agenda to Congress and the country at large. Arguing that business's political involvement was historically distinctive during this period, Waterhouse illustrates the changing power and goals of America's top corporate leaders. Examining the rise of the Business Roundtable and the revitalization of older business associations such as the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Waterhouse takes readers inside the mind-set of the powerful CEOs who responded to the crises of inflation, recession, and declining industrial productivity by organizing an effective and disciplined lobbying force. By the mid-1970s, that coalition transformed the economic power of the capitalist class into a broad-reaching political movement with real policy consequences. Ironically, the cohesion that characterized organized business failed to survive the ascent of conservative politics during the 1980s, and many of the coalition's top goals on regulatory and fiscal policies remained unfulfilled. The industrial CEOs who fancied themselves the "voice of business" found themselves one voice among many vying for influence in an increasingly turbulent and unsettled economic landscape. Complicating assumptions that wealthy business leaders naturally get their way in Washington, Lobbying America shows how economic and political powers interact in the American democratic system.

Our Lot

Author: Alyssa Katz
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781608191406
Size: 73.71 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Our Lot tells how an entire nation got swept up in real estate mania, and it casts the business story--the collapse of the subprime empire and the global impact it had on the economy--as part of a project of social engineering beginning in the 1930s by the U.S. government to make homeownership available to those who had never been able to attain it before. Based on original reporting, Our Lot does not dwell on the foibles of executives. It looks at the boom as experienced by ordinary Americans, and examines how our own economic anxieties and realities helped fuel the real estate bubble. Conveyed in accessible language and through narrative reporting, the book looks to help homeowners and would-be homeowners understand what really happened, how it has affected our homes and communities, and how we can move on into a future we'll want to live in.

Captured

Author: Sheldon Whitehouse
Publisher: New Press, The
ISBN: 1620972085
Size: 27.13 MB
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In Captured, U.S. Senator and former federal prosecutor Sheldon Whitehouse offers an eye-opening take on what corporate influence looks like today from the Senate Floor, adding a first-hand perspective to Jane Mayer’s Dark Money. Americans know something is wrong in their government. Senator Whitehouse combines history, legal scholarship, and personal experiences to provide the first hands-on, comprehensive explanation of what's gone wrong, exposing multiple avenues through which our government has been infiltrated and disabled by corporate powers. Captured reveals an original oversight by the Founders, and shows how and why corporate power has exploited that vulnerability: to strike fear in elected representatives who don’t “get right” by threatening million-dollar "dark money" election attacks (a threat more effective and less expensive than the actual attack); to stack the judiciary—even the Supreme Court—in "business-friendly" ways; to "capture” the administrative agencies meant to regulate corporate behavior; to undermine the civil jury, the Constitution's last bastion for ordinary citizens; and to create a corporate "alternate reality" on public health and safety issues like climate change. Captured shows that in this centuries-long struggle between corporate power and individual liberty, we can and must take our American government back into our own hands.

Corporations Are Not People

Author: Jeffrey D. Clements
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
ISBN: 1609941071
Size: 48.15 MB
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The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision marked a culminating victory for the bizarre doctrine that corporations are people with free speech and other rights. Now, Americans cannot stop corporations from spending billions of dollars to dominate elections and keep our elected representatives on a tight leash. Jeffrey Clements reveals the far-reaching effects of this strange and destructive idea, which flies in the face of not only all common sense but most of American legal history as well. Most importantly, he offers solutions—including a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United—and tools to help readers join a grassroots drive to implement them. Ending corporate control of our Constitution and government is not about a triumph of one political ideology over another—it’s about restoring the republican principles of American democracy.

Who Thought This Was A Good Idea

Author: Alyssa Mastromonaco
Publisher: Twelve
ISBN: 1455588210
Size: 38.69 MB
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New York Times bestseller! If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would look something like this... Alyssa Mastromonaco worked for Barack Obama for almost a decade, and long before his run for president. From the then-senator's early days in Congress to his years in the Oval Office, she made Hope and Change happen through blood, sweat, tears, and lots of briefing binders. But for every historic occasion-meeting the queen at Buckingham Palace, bursting in on secret climate talks, or nailing a campaign speech in a hailstorm-there were dozens of less-than-perfect moments when it was up to Alyssa to save the day. Like the time she learned the hard way that there aren't nearly enough bathrooms at the Vatican. Full of hilarious, never-before-told stories, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is an intimate portrait of a president, a book about how to get stuff done, and the story of how one woman challenged, again and again, what a "White House official" is supposed to look like. Here Alyssa shares the strategies that made her successful in politics and beyond, including the importance of confidence, the value of not being a jerk, and why ultimately everything comes down to hard work (and always carrying a spare tampon). Told in a smart, original voice and topped off with a couple of really good cat stories, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is a promising debut from a savvy political star.