Who Does The Chamber Of Commerce Represent?

Posted by | January 26, 2011 21:29 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

My six year old just entered his comic book phase (which, if he is like his father, could last ten years).  So when I hear “Chamber of Commerce” I think of a band of supervillains (like these guys).  Of course that makes me feel bad because I know that Chambers across the country help small businesses and their communities.  But Mother Jones reconciles these conflicting emotions for me.

But there’s no denying the divergence of views within the Chamber’s ranks on health care. It’s just the latest reminder of the gulf between the Chamber’s unapologetically conservative views and those of the small businesses that it purports to represent. Though the Chamber portrays itself as the country’s leading voice on Main Street, one glance at the national organization’s donor base and leadership show an organization dominated by major corporations.

The Chamber readily decries the Affordable Care Act (and climate change legislation and worker protections and . . .) as hurting small businesses.  But remember, what the Chamber really cares about is big businesses; seeming to care about small businesses just makes a more sympathetic face for public consumption.  Supervillains at their finest.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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