Saturday, September 3, 2016
The Evolving Relationship Between Corporate America And Washington
Its too easy to believe that politics in Washington is controlled by large corporations. The relationship between big business and Washington has gone through several different eras over time. There was a time when business leaders and political leaders could reach a common ground in which compromises could be reached that served corporations and the public interest. That is no longer the case. Changes in corporate governance and in politics have significantly altered the interactions between government and corporate leadership. This article provides an interesting description of the changing landscape between business and government. The bottom line is that politics have become so polarized that compromise is almost impossible to achieve. Most of the polarization has been the result of changes within the Republican Party. Compromise is regarded as selling out to an enemy which must be destroyed. Those changes are visible today in the relationship between the Party's presidential candidate and the Party's leadership. The strong relationship that had emerged over time between corporate leadership and the Republican Party has been broken. Its hard to find any support for Donald Trump in corporate boardrooms. However, they are not terribly excited about the leadership in the Democratic Party either. There is more of a tension between corporate leaders and politicians in either Party than a sense of cooperation. Corporate executives have been forced to focus on increasing shareholder value in order to pad their compensation and retain their jobs. They worry more about political interference in Washington than they do about joining together with political leaders to serve the interests of the public and their shareholders. The system is broken.