The estimable Tim Worstall reports on a study into lobbying:
So lobbying is definitely worth the cost to the people doing the lobbying: as The Economist notes, it might well be the most profitable thing a company spends money on.
And, dear reader you will remember my little theory of marketing (we spend the money where we get the best return):
Now, so long as Government takes it upon itself to regulate the behaviour of businesses, it will always be in the interest of those businesses – alone or collectively – to target government rather than to target the buying public. Think about it for a minute – for £1 million pound in donations to the minister’s favorite charity (at present using the name Labour Party) and a hint of lucrative future consultancy employment you can get the Government to change the law protecting your industry from new entrants, innovation and foreign competition.
So you see lobby works - from the perspective of the marketer if not from the perspective of the poor benighted consumer! And, so long as government has the power and the cash, we will continue to lobby for our self-interest to be promoted by that government. Perhaps the solution really does lie in reducing the power of government to control our lives, lower taxes and less regulation. The alternative, dare I say it, is corruption and the repeat of the very problems that got us all into this current mess.