Big Business and the Politics of Regulatory Reform
This chapter explores how the debate over the Chrysler bailout within the business community highlighted persistent tensions over what “free market” solutions really should look like, as well as business's ongoing policy struggle with the liberal regulatory state. By the end of the 1970s, industrial lobbyists led by major employers' associations had notched a number of significant political victories and established themselves as powerful players in national policymaking. Organized business groups played key roles in stopping the forward tide of liberal reform legislation and spreading a market-oriented, antiregulatory vision throughout American political culture. For many lobbyists and executives, however, such achievements represented only a starting point toward loftier goals: the severe rollback of environmental, consumer, and workplace regulations and the comprehensive overhaul of the regulatory apparatus.
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