Warning to Corporations: Bribing Politicians May Be Hazardous to Your Financial Health
It’s too bad the Supreme Court
prostitutes justices have opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate donations, thereby selling America to the highest bidder. But just maybe, that legendary elusive Invisible Hand Of The Marketplace will balance things out a little.
An extensive study by Rice University and Long Island University has found an inverse ratio between the amount of money a company spends on political activity and the market performance of that company. No doubt there are exceptions; I haven’t seen any reports of Exxon or Koch Industries going bankrupt (damn it!).
The study was based on 943 companies in the S&P 1500. Over an eleven-year period, they measured each company’s end-of-year stock value and return on assets against the amount of money that company spent on lobbyists and campaign contributions.
The results of this study will be published later this year.
A few years before her death, Molly Ivins wrote that buying a congressman is by far the most lucrative investment anyone can make. She said it’s so far ahead of every other type of investment, it doesn’t even matter what comes in second.
So which is it? Personally I like the Rice/Long Island University results better. A co-author of the study said:
“If you look at most of the literature on business management and strategy, the implication is that these investments really pay off. But we found a really persistent negative relationship.”
This study should give a lot more momentum to shareholders who are pushing for the right to vote on their companies’ (i.e. the companies that THEY OWN) political expenditures. This movement is growing and strengthening as we speak.
So go ahead, skanks. John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy can go ahead and bend over for their corporate owners ‘til their ears are touching their heels. Go ahead and put a giant For Sale sign across the whole country.
At some point there’ll be an equal and opposite reaction. I hope.