Big business is funding our current push to drill for more US oil, even our politicians motives to go to war.
I think that's way too easy.
The public is complicit in our policy decisions. If most of us didn't really want things to happen, then they wouldn't happen.
But time and time again, the majority want an easy way out: tax cuts without giving up anything for them, wars without paying for them, and more energy through unsustainable increases in oil imports and domestic production so that we don't have to change our habits.
Carter tried to tell us that real energy independence would require us to start making different choices in our lives, and he was trounced. Reagan sold the idea that we could have something for nothing, and he won twice. Since that time, any politician who suggests that people might actually have to do something on issues they say they care about runs the risk of getting kicked out of office, so few of them have the courage to even ask.
As Andrew Bacevich puts it in his book "The Limits of Power": "Yesterday's civic obligations have become today's civic options. What once rated as duties--rallying to the country's defense at times of great emergency, for example--are now matters of choice. As individuals, Americans never cease to expect more. As members of a community, especially as members of a national community, they choose to contribute less."
Too many people want to be told there's an easy way out, and too few are willing to actually do the work necessary to achieve the national goals to which they say they aspire. And that's not due to the influence of big business or any other interest group. As Shakespeare said, the fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Heck, the complaints about the influence of businesses in politics is itself an example. Plenty of people complain about big money in politics, and it would take very little per person to have a robust system of public campaign financing to counteract it. But too few people favor paying even the small amount necessary to do so. Too many people want it fixed for free, and there are no free fixes. Until we change that attitude, both in campaign finance and lots of other policy areas, we're going to keep getting what we're getting.