Ideas huérfanas

CHICAGO – Desde la decisión “Citizens United” de la Suprema Corte de los Estados Unidos, que prohíbe que el gobierno limite los gastos políticos independientes de las corporaciones y sindicatos, las inquietudes por la influencia de los intereses empresariales en las elecciones estadounidenses han estado creciendo. No obstante, las contribuciones políticas son solo una de las razones por las que los intereses corporativos tienen tanto poder. En lo que se refiere al cabildeo el dinero no lo es todo: las ideas tienen una gran influencia también. Por desgracia, en vez de equilibrar el campo de juego, la batalla de ideas puede sesgar la política estadounidense todavía más a favor de las grandes compañías.

La importancia de las ideas se puede ver en las cosas más simples. En general a las iniciativas legislativas destinadas a beneficiar a electorados poderosos se les asigna nombres atractivos y engañosos. Por ejemplo, un impuesto de vacaciones para repatriar ganancias en el extranjero fue denominado “Ley para la creación de empleo en los Estados Unidos”. Es fácil promover una ley que (supuestamente) beneficia a todas las personas de la sociedad, no solo a un pequeño grupo de sus miembros más privilegiados.

Más importante, el cabildeo de las instituciones de crédito inmobiliario cuasigubernamentales Fannie Mae y Freddie Mac no habría tenido tanto éxito sin la idea de “sociedad de propietarios.” ¿Quién llegaría a oponerse a que cada uno de los estadounidenses se convirtiera en propietario? Esas ideas son tan peligrosas políticamente justo porque son tan atractivas.

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