The Chamber of Commerce as a Political Entity

It is not only that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is among the big political players, many local chambers shape local government policies, protecting businesses and commerce from local government measures and, in general, acting as referees in local economic development.  Their programs are focused on business interests and the have shown little interest in  local poverty and social issues, as if these issues were not related to the economic future of the city.

…these contributions…also show how the chamber has increasingly relied on a relatively small collection of big corporate donors to finance much of its legislative and political agenda. The chamber makes no apologies for its policy of not identifying its donors. It has vigorously opposed legislation in Congress that would require groups like it to identify their biggest contributors when they spend money on campaign ads.

via Top Corporations Aid U.S. Chamber of Commerce Campaign – NYTimes.com.

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

2 Responses to The Chamber of Commerce as a Political Entity

  1. Larry says:

    This may be incredibly off topic but I wanted to ask about your stand on alternative energy, if I may. I have read some of your blogs, and the one about AGW went slightly into energy resources. I am doing a paper on alternatives for college and any insight on your stand in the matter would be greatly appreciated. Please and Thank-you!
    On another note, your website is very well put together. I am not one for politics and economy myself, but I could not help but to read your blogs. It is clean and easily understandable. Keep up the good work!

  2. SMcG says:

    Thanks for the note. On the subject of alternative energy, my views are not exceptional nor particularly based on deep study. I note that a lot of alternative development is coming about because of large public subsidies in the US and China. This is not sustainable because of future fiscal adjustments that will be necessary in the US. We need to price carbon more realistically, either by carbon taxes or cap and trade mechanisms, but none of these are very popular. Look at the areas, sectors and activities where the greatest carbon is being generated and the greatest possibilities are available to encourage energy conservation and CO2 emissions reductions. Transportation, electricity generation, home and commercial offices are some of the areas where higher energy prices (through taxation or market conditions) will encourage technology and investments in alternative energy.

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