On 1/15/2013 8:18 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:




On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 5:08 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be <mailto:marc...@ulb.ac.be>> wrote:


    On 15 Jan 2013, at 00:38, meekerdb wrote:

    On 1/14/2013 10:20 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
Lobbying should be forbidden.

    But it's just another name for "petitioning your government".  Lobbyists 
provide a
    lot research and expertise to the legislative process,

    Biased by personal interests.


Exactly. And let's not be naive here, the "research" is just to make the decision look good in the public's eye. What really makes lobbying work is money. Lobbyists pays for politicians careers.




    so I don't think it is workable to just forbid them.

    I did not say it was easy. Note that in Europa lobbying is more or less 
forbidden,
    but by lack of bipartition, we have often coalition which succeed in 
defending some
    special interest too.

    We have to think to prevent democracy being swallowed by corporatism. When 
Romney
    said that "corporations" are people, I get the chilling ...


Another (counter-intuitive) measure against lobbyists and special interests groups would be aggressive deregulation of everything. People who want to fight corporatism with state regulation are trying to extinguish a fire with gasoline. Regulation is what they thrive on. Regulation always end up granting the powerful groups all the liberties they want and restricting the individual liberties even further.

Sometimes, but not always. Restrictions can be useful to to consumers and corporations, e.g. FAA regulations for airline safety are not only good for the consumers but they make the public feel that flying is safe which serves the airlines.


Let supermarkets sell rotten meat. Soon businesses will appear to tell you which meat is ok to eat - because the demand will be there.

And who will pay them more - the consumer or the meat packing industry? I think consumers have no trouble telling bad meat. The more typical problem is something like cigarette smoking - the tobacco industry hired 'researchers' to obfuscate the issue for decades. Now the same PR firms are hired by the oil and coal industry to obfuscate the problem of global warming.

Brent

There certifiers would have an incentive to tell you the truth, because that's how they'd make money. The government rarely has an incentive to tell us the truth.


    Bruno




    Brent

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