Lobbying is a common practice that we all do every day in some away. In short, Lobbying It is the action of seeking to influence someone or something on a specific issue and for specific interest. If you’re trying to negotiate a discount at a store where you always shop, then you’re lobbying the employee at the store to help you save some money. Lobbying is a controversial and often misunderstood activity. Protected by the First Amendment and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, in its most simple form lobbying is informing government officials as to what a group of citizens wants. This is a fundamental part of democratic government.
In our modern society, lobbying usually involves the practice of political lobbying. Political lobbyists work to create beneficial legislation for those they represent, companies or single entity/person. Numerous companies use lobbying in order to fulfil their objectives in the long-term and serve their interests. As corporations in the U.S. are considered to have some rights of citizenship, they also can start this dialogue in the same way.
As an example, in 2013, official spending on lobbying activities in the United States totalled $3.2 billion. Trade associations, public relations firms, and policy advocates are all examples of lobbyists who are involved in this process. This process also generates some advantages and drawbacks with its utilization.
Lobbyists can represent the health and safety interests of the public and bring about change for the better. While lobbying is often done on behalf of large corporations, lobbyists can also represent the interests of minorities using all their network and skills to bring the interests on the table. Lobbyists represent almost every U.S. institution and interest group, including labor unions, corporations, colleges and universities, churches, charities, environmental groups and state, local and foreign governments.
In its creation, Lobbying had a strong vision to serve public interest and not private interests like Libra. Corruption is now an important drawback and fear associated with the Lobbying in large companies:
When lobbyists give large amounts of money to Congress via fundraising Congress may pass laws to keep lobbyists and their clients happy but may not be in the best interests of the citizens.
Libra Controversy and Facebook Lobbying
Facebook, through the creation and vision of Libra, faces many obstacles related to the American legislation and the consequences that could be generated via the use of the Libra currency.
In a July 2 letter addressed to Facebook CEOs Mark Zuckerberg and David Marcus, and COO Sheryl Sandberg, the lawmakers requested that Facebook and its partners immediately agree to a moratorium on the development of Libra and its dedicated Calibra wallet. The committee idea claims that the project may lead” to an entirely new global financial system that is based out of Switzerland and intended to rival U.S. monetary policy and the dollar.”
Recently, Facebook hired lobbying group FS Vector to help manage the repercussion against its cryptocurrency, Libra, from global regulators and political.
The controversial vision toward Libra idea was directly criticized by President Trump as well as a numerous known political figure. After being requested stop the development of the Libra coin, Facebook direction made the choice to reach FS Vector, a Washington DC-based advisory firm, staffed by experts in regulatory compliance, public policy, and business strategy.
One of the partners , John Collins, was vice president of international policy at the American Bankers Association for Finance and Trade, and a staffer at the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and therefore has a lot of experience in this field in order to help the Libra status.
On August 5, a joint statement by some of the world’s top privacy regulators said that Libra’s “combination of vast reserves of personal information with financial information and cryptocurrency” could make it a privacy disaster if it’s not regulated properly.
Libra must also contend with Congress’s “Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act,” which would stop big tech companies ( those earning global revenues of $25 billion or more each year) from starting their own currencies. This act is a huge step to block giant tech companies to become financial actors, which could lead to financial instability across the world.
Finally, The American Anti-Corruption Act is a model policy that makes it illegal to purchase political influence. It aims to stop lobbyist-sponsored fundraising from special interests they regulate. Cities and states across the United States are following this model to help take the corruption out of lobbying but, with Facebook, can we really be sure that agreements won’t be made to serve personal interests in exchange for certain financial benefits?