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Lecture 2

POLS 3470 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: American Exceptionalism, Labor Unrest, United States Chamber Of Commerce


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLS 3470
Professor
Tim Mau
Lecture
2

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BUSINESS-GOVERNMENT RELATIONS IN THE US
KEY CHARACTERISTICS
MOST CAPITALIST COUNTRY IN WORLD
NO SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY
WEAK UNIONS – ONLY 12% OF WORKFORCE
LIMITED GOVERNMENT SPENDING
SMALL WELFARE STATE
oNo national health insurance (historically) 1 in 6 no regular
access to health care
oObama (2010) provides subsidies, business encouraged to
provide coverage
o19% without – 2016 expected to be 8% (illegal immigrants)
FEW NATIONALIZED INDUSTRIES
AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM
oSTRONG SUPPORT FOR CAPITALISM
oLIMITED ROLE FOR GOVERNMENT
oLOWER GOVERNMENT SPENDING
oWhy?
oProsperity, high standing of workers
oUnique historical development
oDeveloped as a new nation – capitalism dominant form
oWhite males full citizenship as soon as country formed, hard to
socialism to form
oSome – isn’t as exceptional as it claims to be – historically
adopted policies to economic development – CN rail way, tariffs
oIndividual companies not immune to public criticism
oNo level of class consciousness
oMost capitalist country in the world
oStrong support of capitalism by citizens
RELIANCE ON FREE-MARKET PRINCIPLES OVERSTATED
GOVERNMENT ROLE IN PROMOTING THE MARKET: 1) TARIFFS; 2)
REGULATION; 3) UNIONS
oGovernment more activist/interventionist
oEfforts to promote unionization
GLOBALIZATION
FROM PROTECTIONISM TO FREE TRADE
Strong globalization
Shift away from tariffs inhibiting trade among other nations

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Strong advocates of free trade
Lead role of developing international institutions – world bank, IMF
Move to other countries – pay workers way less than Canada or US
Capitalize on cheaper labour, few regulations
REPRESENTATION OF BUSINESS
CORPORATE LOBBYING
oWashington, DC
oSecure corporate sales, interest in broader economic policies
CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS
oPAC – political action committees
oUS 1970s
oAmendments to federal election campaign act
oInfluence players in decisions once elected into public office
CONTRACT LOBBYISTS
oSmaller corporations don’t have resources to set up own office
oCan pay someone else to do this for them – lobbying firm
TRADE ASSOCIATIONS/PEAK ASSOCIATIONS
oDon’t have peak associations in US
oWeakness of trade associations – cannot be voice of business
BROAD-BASED BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS
oNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS (NAM)
Late 19th century, oldest in US
Manufacturers only
oUS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Heavily associated with small business
Overly aligned with right-wing politics
oBUSINESS ROUNDTABLE
CEO’s of major corporations in US
Limited to most significant economic players
NAM and chamber too closely aligned with republican
politics
Given voice to significant players
7.4 trillion $ of revenue
16 million employees
oNATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
CFIB (Canada)
Represent small/medium businesses in US
FRAGMENTED & COMPETING INTERESTS
oDecentralized
oIndividual enterprises
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