The Revolving Door: Social

The focus of the social component of my white paper is how individual voters and active citizens are affected, and in turn, raise public opinions of influential corporate and political executives.  I plan to focus my efforts on a few informative, data-based research sources that include, the Sunlight Foundation and academic research papers [refer to below sources].

In particular, is a component of the Center for Responsive Politics, a tracker of money among political groups, and key individuals.  The database serves to educate citizens on the general flows of campaign finance and recurring trends, anomalies and other distinctive characteristics.  I believe that its tools including sections on Industry Impact [ie. tracking the top industries that contribute the most lobbying funds, like Real Estate and Securities and Investment] and Revolving Door [including the “Featured Revolver,” one who has passed repeatedly from Congress to private industry and back].  OpenSecrets also provides links to a few differenct academic research papers from university professors and economists on the issue, and possible resolutions.

I referenced the Sunlight Foundation in my last post, which bears similarities with OpenSecrets.  The two will provide ample resources for the social dimension of my white paper.


Relevant Links: – this provides a wealth of academic research papers, one or two of which I will read and actively utilize for key issues and solutions



One thought on “The Revolving Door: Social

  1. You do NOT need to have a “social” impact of your white paper. I only wanted you to make sure you expanded the base of your resources you use and to be aware of WHO makes information.

    In this case clearly, yes Open Secrets and the CRP are civil society groups that rely on donations or other revenue streams to purse their public-minded missions.

    Your focus can and should be as it always has been the problem of the revolving door and how to solve it.

    I imagine these resources can help you define the problem. They may also provide research or resources about the causes as well as solutions.

    For what it is worth, I feel that Open Secrets, and many other “good government” groups focus on transparency as the primary antidote to the revolving door. This is a hunch, not a well-researched opinion. But, anyway, they presume that if we only had more transparency, then the problems would go away. Sunshine is the best antiseptic is a phrase I have heard.

    I certainly have no problem with transparency, but for it to change the behavior of individuals or firms, or, ultimately to affect the problem, I wonder if stronger, more active solutions are needed. For example, the mainstream media, all themselves profit-minded businesses, seem to avoid or ignore the problems of this revolving door. Journalists and interviewers do not seem to push public officials about their ties to industry.

    Corporations seem to actively seek out former regulators or legislators. Can they be pressured to not do this? If they feel they are giving up competitive advantages, could they have like reciprocal agreements. Like, Bank A will not hire regulators as long as Bank B doesn’t. That way they can multi-laterally “disarm” together. I am actually specifically thinking of how arms reductions treaties have worked in the past.

    Of course, laws too can help. However, we face the “who is watching the watchers” problem at times. They can weaken laws or avoid enforcement because individuals imagine they will reach a bigger payday after public service.

    Finally, one idea I have seen out there is to pay regulators competitive salaries to comparable people in their industry. In other words, if coal company lawyers make $200,000 a year, pay EPA lawyers that much. Let’s not naively expect that debt-laden college and grad school grads must pay a “public concern” tax in the form of forgone wages by pursuing a career in public service.

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