Campaign spending limits are like a dam – the water will eventually go over or around. The money doesn’t have to be direct. Lobbyists can fund independent ads supporting a candidate, and PR campaigns to affect votes in Congress. A good example was the health insurance lobby’s ads against proposed health care reform in 1993, which turned public opinion, which turned votes of legislators wanting to please their voters.
Capitalism encourages businesses to manipulate us any way they can so we’ll buy their products and their politicians. It’s a horrible system. The only thing worse is every other system that has been tried. Businesses manipulate us and our kids with subliminal tactics to make us fatter and buy more of their processed food, or to turn us into human ATM machines for them by going into debt to buy their products. Then they use similar tactics to influence us as voters when Congress tries to regulate them. Business operates within a set of rules, such as limits on what can be done and disclosure and labeling requirements, since we don’t have time to research every choice we have to make.
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