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Opinion

Unveil Corporate Money Trail in US Politics

By Ralph Gomory, Research Professor & Leo Hindery Jr.

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Corporations should also voluntarily disclose their political dealings to consumers. When any of us chooses a bank or buys a car, we should be able to tell if our money will go to push a political agenda that we might oppose.

America today is very different from the country that fought the Revolutionary War and framed the Constitution. Then, it was a nation of farmers; today, it’s a nation of corporations. Most Americans now work for corporations, the largest of which command resources and money on a scale beyond that of many nations.

Yet when it comes to public issues like jobs, the distribution of wealth or even plain old politics, we still talk as we did 200 years ago. Remarkably, too few citizens discuss the effects of corporate behavior on jobs, health care and the economy, even though corporations affect all of these through their influence on elections and the actions of government.

As President Theodore Roosevelt noted in his first annual message to Congress: “Great corporations exist only because they are created and safeguarded by our institutions; and it is therefore our right and our duty to see that they work in harmony with those institutions.”

The key to doing this is to hold corporations accountable by ensuring that their activities are made visible.

Read full article as published in Bloomberg.