Analysis Of Learning To Love Our Lobbyist Friends, By Frederick Allen

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In the article “Learning to Love our Lobbyist Friends”, Frederick Allen argues that lobbyists are an imperfect necessity to democracy. Allen argues that Americans adore the lobbyists who represent them, yet despise the ones who represent causes they oppose. Allen examines the history of lobbying, and how their transparency has changed over time. Lobbying has changed from a shady and secretive system composed of bribery and scandal to a much more open and heavily regulated system whose lobbyists are well-educated and dedicated to their causes. Although scandals and cases of bribery still do occur now, various pieces of legislation have been passed over the past century to make lobbying more transparent, with registration for a lobbyist being …show more content…

Now that lobbyists cannot utilize earmarks, traditionally the most direct way for a member of Congress to do a lobbyist’s bidding, because of the informal ban in Congress on earmarks, lobbyists are no longer receiving this kind of direct funding for their projects. Nonetheless, the presence of lobbyists will not fade. Lobbyists serve a vast array of interests, and reflect the diversity of the United States in what they represent. Today lobbyists are more powerful than ever, attempting to buy influence on issues, and are also more accountable than ever before. Allen concludes with asserting that since lobbyists represent interests at least some Americans hold, Americans cannot think that lobbyists are the …show more content…

I agree with Allen that lobbying is an imperfect necessity. Americans cannot say that do not support the actions of lobbyists, when lobbyists play a major role in guiding Congress and have a great influence on the passing and wording of legislation. I also think that it is extremely important to recognize how the evolution of lobbying, from a corrupt system to an organized system composed to well-educated and dedicated persuaders, has affected the opportunities granted to Americans. The side of the lobbying argument which Allen does not acknowledge is how the actions and persuasion of lobbyists has produced legislation which does not only represent the interests of the corporations and institutions the lobbyists represent, but also the interests and future interests of American citizens. The United States’ first major industry, as Allen acknowledges, is the railroad, which also began America’s first largely organized lobbying effort. Since creating railroads involved major government land grants and subsidies, lobbyists were hired by railroad barons to influence lawmakers into passing legislation with would benefit the railroad

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