It pays to hire an army of lobbyists.
Investing is a time-honored American tradition. Millions of Americans have some sort of investment, and the stock market is an honored cultural institution. But investing your money in a publicly traded company isn’t the only way to make a buck. Let’s say you’re a powerful industry that wants to make a lot of money with an enormous Return On Investment (ROI). One way you could do so is by investing in lobbyists.
We here at United Republic have put together some stats about the sort of ROI Big Money expects for its lobbying dollars in Washington. As one example, an average American can expect a ROI of 11 percent for investing in one Blue Chip stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2010. Meanwhile, Big Pharma has a ROI of 75,500 percent for the lobbying dollars it spends to bar the government from bargaining for cheaper drug prices through Medicare:
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Of course, that money that Pharma and the rest of the industries on the chart are making is at expense of American taxpayers and American consumers. But as long as we have a political system that bends to the whims of Big Money, the best ROI you can get is to be a lobbyist.
Zaid Jilani is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator for United Republic. He previously served as the Senior Reporter-Blogger for ThinkProgress, and his work has also appeared in outlets including Salon and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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