Des idées orphelines

CHICAGO - Depuis la décision « Citizens United » de la Cour Suprême des Etats-Unis, qui a interdit au gouvernement de réduire les dépenses des partis politiques indépendants et des syndicats, les préoccupations à l'égard de l'influence des intérêts des entreprises se développe. Mais les contributions politiques ne sont que l'une des raisons pour lesquelles les intérêts des entreprises ont tant de pouvoir. Quand il s'agit de lobbying, l'argent n'est pas tout : les idées aussi jouent un rôle important. Malheureusement, plutôt que de rétablir l'équilibre, la bataille des idées peut biaiser encore davantage la politique des Etats-Unis en faveur des grandes entreprises.

On peut percevoir l'importance des idées dans les choses les plus simples. Les propositions de loi du Congrès qui visaient à conquérir de puissantes circonscriptions ont généralement reçu des noms séduisants (et trompeurs). Par exemple, une exonération fiscale temporaire pour rapatrier les bénéfices étrangers a été baptisée « Loi américaine de création d'emplois ». Il est plus facile de défendre un projet de loi qui (prétendument) profite à tous les membres de la société plutôt qu'à un petit groupe de ses membres les plus privilégiés.

Plus important encore, le lobbying quasi-gouvernemental des prêteurs hypothécaires Fannie Mae et Freddie Mac n'aurait pas connu un tel succès sans l'idée de « société de propriété ». Qui pourrait s'opposer à l'idée de faire de tous les Américains des propriétaires ? C'est précisément l'attrait de telles idées qui peut les rendre aussi dangereuses politiquement.

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