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

By Mark A. Smith

Most humans think that enormous enterprises wield huge, immense political energy after they foyer for guidelines as a cohesive bloc. With this debatable publication, Mark A. Smith units traditional knowledge on its head. In a scientific research of postwar lawmaking, Smith finds that company loses in legislative battles until it has public backing. This stunning end holds as the forms of concerns that lead companies to band together—such as tax charges, pollution, and product liability—also obtain the main media cognizance. the resultant debates supply electorate the data they should carry their representatives liable and make elections a call among contrasting coverage programs.

Rather than succumbing to company the US, Smith argues, representatives mockingly develop into extra conscious of their materials whilst dealing with a united company entrance. organisations achieve the main impression over laws once they paintings with agencies similar to imagine tanks to form americans' ideals approximately what govt should still and shouldn't do.

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BUS I N E S SUN I T Y ANODE Moe RAe Y 29 even without the intervening mechanism ofelections (Stimson, Erikson, and MacKuen 1995). When many officials move modestly in the same direction at the same time, the cumulative result can be substantial changes in aggregate policy choices. 5 The effectiveness of the electoral motive in stimulating responsiveness does not require that all or most individuals closely follow politics, correctly perceive their representatives' positions, and vote accordingly during elections.

Multitudes of trade associations belong to the Chamber, making it to a large extent an organization that aggregates the common concerns of IDE N T I FYI N G 8 U SIN E S SUN IT Y 41 other business organizations. The Chamber also serves a constituency of individual businesspeople and of companies of all sizes, from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations. The companies and trade associations span many industries and sectors, including manufacturing, finance, construction, retail, mining, transportation, and services.

3). Within that broad consensus, many details were necessary to flesh out the legislation, such as the methods by which state agencies would measure the numbers of people moving from welfare to work. Public opinion was more ambiguous on these details, leaving lawmakers and administrative agencies considerable discretion. Given the extensive debate that accompanies some issues, public opinion on certain occasions can offer guidance to lawmakers on both principles and details. The creation ofMedicare in the 1960s, as shown by LawrenceJacobs's (1993) analysis, provides one noteworthy example.

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