While the influence of large corporations in our political process is already enormous, the Supreme Court’s Jan. 21 ruling to permit unlimited corporate financing in elections will open the floodgates of increased corporate influence over our democratic electoral process. Consider how powerful corporate lobbies have already blocked meaningful health-care and climate change policy from being enacted, or how Wall Street has thwarted even modest regulation of the financial sector after the economic meltdown.
It’s hard to imagine the balance of power being skewed any further than it already is. Of the world’s 200 largest economies, 133 are corporations and 67 are nation-states. The 500 largest U.S. corporations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce already spend hundreds of millions in lobbying, campaign-oriented advertising, and other contributions that shape the context of our civic dialogue.