As a career politician, getting reelected is your job in modern politics. You need money and supporters to ensure that happens. I’m going to discuss this at a national level. State and local races have a very different formula, often times.
It’s easy to understand why someone in that position would pay attention to big donors. For many domestic economic policies, you can support the below groups:
- Large business executives and investors
- Small/Medium business owners and investors
- The consumer
- The worker
The general rules are that you cannot completely screw the worker and the consumer. If you do something that impacts them in a way they notice, your opponent will have the ability to message against you in a way that will make you lose your election. However, if you go with everyone else or subtly screw them over in a complex way that can’t easily be explained, you are safe.
Although it is the most important thing to do, small and medium business isn’t something that matters for a reelection campaign, unfortunately. It can’t be used except in a positive advertisement, which is shown to have a limited impact unless it is the kind that would go viral in the current culture. Also, they won’t give you the money to run that advertisement like a large company would.
Helping small companies isn’t sexy enough to be viral anyways. The owners don’t have enough money to matter on the national stage, so there is no incentive to listen to them or consider what would help them the most. The only thing stopping a politician from completely ignoring them is their morals.
That leaves large businesses. These are the largest donors and also the most likely to completely destroy you if you cross them. It’s also common for people to care about these large companies as many are employed by them. It’s a self perpetuating system that gives more political power to these large companies.
Are large companies the most important thing in America? Should we make it, as a country, almost impossible to properly start a small business? Depending on which statistics you look at, 80% or more of small business fail, most within the first 1-5 years. This is a natural thing, but it isn’t a very attractive way to make money as an investor or potential owner. It’s a large risk and the return is smaller than just doing the same task for a large company.
I believe helping the consumer and the worker should be the priority. I also believe this will naturally help the small business community as the large businesses lose their huge advantages to consumers and workers being more empowered. Consumers, workers, and small business are losing today. Is this a sustainable course?