by John Hawkins | September 30, 2005 11:58 pm
“If you want to know why business takes such an interest in Washington, the answer can be found in your low-flow toilet, in the warning labels adorning your cars, in your 8 zillion page tax returns. It can be found while you wait on hold trying to get a human to answer your questions about your health insurance. And the answer is most certainly somewhere in your box of cereal, made with grains subsidized by Uncle Sam and coated in sugar that has no business being grown in the United States of America. Corporations meddle in Washington because Washington meddles with them.
It is simply naive to believe that a businessman will have no interest in politics when politicians have taken a great interest in him. And it is grotesquely unfair to assume that businesspeople are corrupt simply because they want to support politicians less inclined to hurt them.
Microsoft CEO Bill Gates used to brag that he barely spent a dime on lobbying — “I live in the other Washington,” he liked to say. But the very moment that government — federal and state — tried to tear apart his company, Gates abandoned his view that the New Economy could ignore the Old Politics. Now D.C. is awash in Microsoft lobbyists. Wal-Mart is only now learning the same lesson. If you don’t get in the game, you might be regulated out of it.” — Jonah Goldberg
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