Invest Iiguru: Video: Milton Friedman: Free to Choose- How to Stay Free
If you look at the lobbying industry in America and why it’s so large and why they’ve become so powerful and have dominated Washington politics, preventing both good and bad things from happening and becoming law, it’s because as the famous bank robber Billy The Kid once said to why he robs banks, he said, “because that’s where the money is.” Why do lobbyists lobby Washington, because that’s where the power is. We now have a Federal budget of 3.7T$ and now have a public service of eight-million workers including Congress and their staffs. So of course they are going to lobby the Federal Government so much to represent their interests, because that’s where the power is.
If you look at the Washington skyline, especially downtown Washington, you’ll see a big beautiful city with lots of big beautiful buildings that take up a lot of space. Most of those buildings paid for by Federal tax revenue and most of those buildings are Federal property. To house the thousands of Federal agency’s we have and thousands of Federal workers who work there. Do we need Federal campaign and lobbying reform, of course we do. But campaign finance and lobbying reform in America is not a silver bullet to fix the corruption in our Federal Government.
But as long as the Federal Government is as big and powerful as it is, lobbying will always be an issue in the Federal Government. Members of Congress will always be looking for the easiest way to get reelected and the fastest way to move up in the House and Senate and be planning their post Congressional careers. Well the few members who actually leave Congress will be doing that. The others will concentrate on the easiest way to get reelected, move up in Leadership, perhaps land a sweet Cabinet position or look to run for President themselves. Progressives, especially make the arguments that our Federal Government is small compared with Europe. As far as what their federal government’s spend on GDP compared with ours. And that they don’t have the same campaign, lobbying and corruptions issues that we do.
Well, today’s Progressives are correct in a sense, but most of those countries compared with the United States are fairly small. If Europe were to unify then they would match up pretty well with us in population and with their economy. Also Europe’s freedom of speech protections, are not as liberal as ours. And some of the things that American lobbyists do in Washington would be illegal there. European company’s and organizations that do business in America, lobby Washington like when it comes to mergers, trade, taxes and those sort of things. The Federal Government now spends 25% of U.S .GDP. Up from 18-19% in 2000. If we got back down to 18, 19 or even 20% of GDP, we could eliminate a lot of the corruption in Washington, because the Federal Government wouldn’t have as much power and control. And lobbyists would have to spread out and go to over places, if we simply decentralized the Federal Government. And passed more power down to the state and local government’s and even the private sector.