As I was walking to the bus stop this morning, I was wondering if I could ever afford a lobbyist.
So, with this question on my mind for the whole day, I decided to make some research as soon as I had internet access.
The results weren’t so pleasant. I could not find solid information about how much lobbyist cost. The cost vary, that is what most articles mention, it depends on the project, for how long the issue is going to be debated, and other facts. This article mentions that some top Washington firms can charge as much as $10,000 a month, most firms require a year contract, which makes the cost to be approximately $120,000 a year! This is for some firms that can be made of dozens of lobbyist. Other articles state that some individual lobbyists can ear up to $350,000 a year, if not more.
So what is wrong with lobbying? Lobbying itself it not wrong at all! I think it is great! one of the most amazing forms of liberty to express your opinions in America. Not in all governments one has the freedom to talk in front of the legislative branch of their country, and express one’s concerns. However, it is when private profit is introduced when people should worry, mostly because someone who is getting paid will not express what is better for society, only what is best for the company they are representing.
According to the nytimes, “Health care and insurance lobbyists spent more than $648 million in 2009” this was during the Health Care bill scare. I call it “scare” because most people saw this as an attempt of the president to turn this country into a “socialist” country, I don’t blame them, after all that is what the companies what you to believe. The article also mentions that “In addition to the $648 million that all sides spent lobbying on health care, they also poured $210 million into television advertising”.
Not everyone can afford this massive amount of money to have their concerns expressed, and lobbyist hired by an oil company will not support environment-friendly legislation that might limit the places they can excavate for petroleum. This is what is wrong with the current way that America handles lobbyist, the voice of the rich can be easily heard by Congress when the voice of the less wealthy seems to be just a whisper. After all, concentrated wealth leads to concentrated power.