POLITICS

Lobby, or else.

By |
Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

If there's anything that irks Washington politicians, it's companies that don't lobby enough. Apple is the latest offender, Politico reported recently. 

Apple is taking a bruising in Washington, and insiders say there’s a reason: It’s the one place in the world where the company hasn’t built its brand.

In the first three months of this year, Google and Microsoft spent a little more than $7 million on lobbying and related federal activities combined. Apple spent $500,000 — even less than it spent the year before.

The company’s attitude toward D.C. — described by critics as ‘don’t bother us’ — has left it without many inside-the-Beltway friends.

The funny thing is, Politico carried this piece a couple of years ago, and Apple still didn't get the message, continuing to lag behind its competitors in lobbying.

This helps highlight how huge corporate lobbying budgets represent shakedowns by politicians as much as influence-peddling by corporations. David Boaz of the Cato Institute has a good take in the Daily News.

 Every successful company finds out that it can’t just work on improving its products and serving consumers. Sooner or later, it’s going to have to deal with politicians and regulators sniffing around its business.

Yes, Apple — praised to the skies for being an innovator and job creator by Washington politicians when that narrative serves their interests — has become the latest target of the political class....

  Make no mistake: This will continue unless and until Apple gets with the program and starts spending a few million a year on Washington lobbying.

And even then, it will not stop.

Heard of “too big to fail”? Well, to Washington, Apple is now too big not to nail.

Read Boaz's column. He talks about the previous targets, like Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and Google. If you like the free-market, you'll be depressed. If you think lobbying is all about business corrupting government, your world will be turned on its head.

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