The purpose of lobbying in general and corporate lobbying, in particular, is to make the government aware of the needs of the big businesses which are responsible for providing livelihood to millions. Since these corporations consist of government’s taxpayers, lobbying firms which protect their interests are, by extension, protecting the interests of the common man.
Have doubts about this claim? Think government consulting firms care for nothing but money and the interests of their clients? Then you must check out these ways using which lobbyists benefit the common man.
Shaping the policies of the government
Economists agree that one of the reasons why the financial crisis of 2008 came into being was the absence of regulations that could have prevented mega-mergers of banks which were declared “too big to fail”– but ones whose eventual failure nosedived the global economy.
Lobbyists help prevent such a scenario from re-surfacing. Since they are in the good books of both the business as well as the government, lobbyists act as a channel of communication between both to make the latter aware of the policies which might disrupt the operations of the former.
By doing that, lobbyists are not only protecting the interests of the big business. Instead, when a government crafts a policy that benefits corporations, the businesses use that opportunity to expand their operations. That, in turn, creates livelihoods for hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
Influencing the legislative process
According to a report prepared by Politics UK, corporate lobbyists have been targeting EU-based advisory groups to not only influence but also shape the governing body’s legislative process at the earliest possible stages, as doing it at a later stage might expose them to more opposition.
In case you are wondering, lobbyists, do that to help the businesses they represent. Some legislations like the anti-fossil fuel ones, if come into force, would cause not only the loss of profits to the business but also the loss of livelihood to millions.
Lobbyists prevent this from happening by influencing the legislative process at the earliest possible stage. They make sure that even if business-unfriendly legislation is passed, it is watered down to such an extent that the damage is minimal.
Swaying the decision-makers
Apart from influencing the legislative process through advisory groups, corporate lobbyists are also dominating direct meetings with the decision-makers. One example of this can be quoted from Britain where, as per a report, ministers prioritize meeting with corporate lobbyists over other groups.
Ever wondered what talks are carried out in these meetings? You guessed it; those which benefit the business. Lobbyists make the key decision-makers aware of the consequences of their actions. That effort, in turn, forces the decision-makers to take into account the viewpoint of businesses while drawing new policies.
As they do that, the decision-makers are inadvertently protecting the common man. After all, when a business is, say, given tax relief, it passes it onto the consumer in the form of reduced prices of the goods that it is selling. That’s just one example of how lobbyists swaying the decision-makers help the person walking on the road.
In places like Britain where regulatory bodies are more in action, the effects of how lobbyists use their voice to help the common man are more visible. In other places, like Africa – where the functioning of government consulting firms doesn’t dominate newspaper headlines, the influence isn’t much visible. Still, as the examples quoted above show, it is an undeniable fact that lobbyists all around the globe use their proximity with those in power to help those walking on the street.