Politics: The Art of Advancing in Your Career

Politics is Business Quotes

Politics is such an integral part of life that it even turns up in idioms, like get down to business. It refers to anything that involves a transaction for monetary gain, whether it be selling products or services.

Political activity can be constructive and positive, or it can be destructive and negative. Which category does your company fall into?

2. It’s a science.

One view is that politics is a science, and this involves the notion that political behavior reflects certain universal laws. In other words, just as physics has Newton’s laws of motion (for example, force equals mass multiplied by acceleration, and to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction), politics has its own set of laws that describe how politicians behave in particular situations. However, it’s important to remember that scientific knowledge is always tentative, and that the answers that scientists find may change over time. Also, knowledge can be used for good or bad purposes. For example, motivated actors can use political science to manipulate voters and suppress vulnerable groups.

3. It’s a way of life.

If we paint all politics with the same brush, we miss the potential for constructive and positive politics. While scheming and underhanded tactics can be political, not all politics are negative or destructive. For example, spreading a rumor about your colleague to get ahead would be an unethical use of politics, but forming supportive relationships and gaining influence are perfectly ethical uses of politics.

Even though organizations are problem-solving instruments and sociotechnical systems, they are still political structures in that they distribute power and set the stage for competition. This means that individuals who are highly motivated to secure and use power find a familiar and hospitable environment in business. Politics is both how Congress debates laws and how you and your brother decide who does the dishes.

5. It’s a way of life.

Organizations are political structures, which means they distribute power and set the stage for competition. While cynical politicians may paint all politics with the same brush, constructive and ethical uses of power exist. For example, a superior might spread rumors to bolster his or her project in order to gain an advantage over a colleague. In doing so, this is a form of politics that strengthens relationships of support and expands influence.

Those who deny the role of politics in their professional lives are doing themselves a disservice. By failing to curate their networks, develop their brand and engage in other politically smart activities, they are putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage. Politics, after all, is the way of life. If you want to advance in your career, you must understand and master the art of politics.

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The Impact of Politics on Business: Understanding the Complex Relationship between Business and Politics

Business and Politics

Politics enormously impacts business, both domestically and internationally. Aspiring entrepreneurs, seasoned business leaders, and strategists in heavily regulated industries should familiarize themselves with how politics shapes the world of business.

The relationship between business and politics is more complex than is commonly assumed and is undergoing a process of change. This collection of articles explores some of the factors that influence this relationship.

Interactions of Businesses with Government

Business and politics interact in many ways. Governments formulate the basic rules of the game for market exchange via general regulations, corporate taxes, and competition law. They also represent one of the main sources of commercial activity in modern democracies, sourcing goods, services, and public works from businesses via contracting activities.

Governments fulfill a number of responsibilities that significantly impact business, for example by protecting citizens and guaranteeing a base pay for employees. They also provide economic resources that benefit business, for example by offering tax credits and lowering regulatory burdens.

Many business leaders believe they have a role to play in politics. In a survey conducted by Leadership Now in 2019, a majority of business leaders agreed that they should be involved in politics. However, some believe that their involvement may lead to cronyism. This is a concern that has been raised in the past with regard to other industries, such as banking and insurance.

Influencing Government

Many government officials and scholars argue that businesses should not mix with politics because the cronyism that can result is anti-democratic. They also point out that business is primarily concerned with making money, while politics is about governing and representing citizens.

Others point out that realpolitik often requires buy-in from economic elites to pass laws that advance the public interest. These leaders should therefore have a right and a responsibility to use their resources to lobby government.

The authors in this collection suggest that the relationship between business and politics is more complex than is commonly believed. They also point out that this relationship is undergoing a process of change. This includes the rise of populist governments and the increasing polarization of political debates on issues such as economic nationalism and protectionism.

Responses by Businesses to Their Legal, Social and Political Environment

Politics significantly impacts businesses, both locally and globally. Aside from the need for a stable legal environment to operate and invest, business leaders face a host of other political issues including increasing public polarization, lightning fast news cycles and demands that they proactively take positions on social justice issues.

Among the competing narratives on business and politics is one that assumes that businesses in market economies exist to make a profit and return to shareholders, and thus should focus only on their economic objectives. This narrative also argues that politicians should not interfere with the market economy.

A more nuanced approach, informed by the literature on Varieties of Capitalism (VoC), is to understand business-politics relations in terms of business response strategies to their political challenges and constraints. To test this, this paper presents a typology of business-politics relations and then applies it to four reform episodes in the development of social programmes and codetermination in Germany: the introduction of work injury insurance in 1880s (adaptation), the introduction of unemployment insurance in the 1920s and the introduction of board-level codetermination in the 1950s (confrontation). The results show that different response strategies facilitate very different political outcomes.

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The Intersection of Politics and Business

Politics and Business Degrees

Whether you see yourself shaping public policy, lobbying on behalf of nonprofits or creating laws that drive change in your community, a degree program can help you find the right path.

A political science major develops critical analysis, research and communication skills that are highly sought after in the business sector. Graduates have a high employment rate in fields such as marketing, media and communications.

Business Administration

A bachelor’s degree in business administration provides the skills and expertise required to manage a company. This major is popular among people who want to work for government or private businesses, and it covers topics like business ethics, leadership, and decision-making.

A business and finance degree will teach you how to analyze companies and market trends, and it can help you develop your communication and problem-solving skills. You will also learn how to calculate financial risk and understand the fundamentals of marketing. A business and finance degree is a good choice for people who want to pursue a career in politics, as it can help them learn about the professional sector.

Politics is an exciting field to study, and it can provide many opportunities to change the world. A politics degree can include subjects such as sociology, philosophy, and history, and it is often taught in a mixture of lectures and seminars. Graduates of a politics degree can find employment in the media, marketing and public affairs.


Politics graduates have a very high employment rate and can often be found in public affairs, charity and voluntary work, media and PR, the civil service and local government. Others pursue careers with supranational organisations such as the United Nations and World Trade Organisation, or with pressure groups and think tanks.

A degree in politics can provide a strong foundation for a career in business, especially because the political world and economy are closely connected. Politicians need to understand how the economy works in order to create effective policies. In addition, economics studies can teach students valuable skills such as problem-solving and communicating complex financial information clearly.

NYU Stern’s dual degree program combines liberal arts with business fundamentals, social impact learning and global experiences. Students are able to choose elective courses, minors and the Stern Track to personalize their education. They also have the option to spend two semesters abroad at an NYU global site of their choice to complete their required Global Experience for this program.

International Business

With the globalization of our modern world, international business has become a vital part of any company’s success. This field encompasses all for-profit border-crossing transactions including importing and exporting, foreign investments and the expansion of corporate operations abroad. International business students learn to understand and implement international business concepts.

Politics graduates have a high employment rate because of the transferable skills they acquire, such as critical thinking and thorough research. They are well suited for positions like parliamentary researchers, special advisers and other political posts within government agencies and local councils.

The combination of a politics degree with a business administration one gives you the best of both worlds, as it provides a comprehensive knowledge of business practices and how they interact with the evolution of politics and government. It also prepares you for the responsibilities of managerial roles in both fields. Students in this combined major take courses in both political science and business administration, such as accounting, management techniques, marketing and organizational behavior.


Entrepreneurship is a vital component of a free market economy. It creates jobs and increases economic growth, while also lowering unemployment rates. However, entrepreneurs must be willing to take risks and make difficult decisions in order to succeed. In addition, entrepreneurship can lead to financial loss and requires a lot of time and effort.

Entrepreneurial activities are inescapably political in that they take place at the margins of distributions of the sensible and are therefore bound to produce new possibilities of subjectivity, ways and styles of living, and value. This dimension can be analyzed both in terms of what Luthy and Steyeart call speculative affirmation and, more generally, as participation in the production of lasting social realities.

Unlike previous studies, which investigated entrepreneurial behavior from the perspective of entrepreneurial teams or entrepreneurial opportunities, this study empirically examines for the first time the internal influence mechanism of different types of political connections on corporate re-entrepreneurial performance. The results show that implicit political connections bear noticeable positive regression relation with entrepreneurial knowledge resources and support Hypothesis 2.

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Navigating Political Nuances for Business Success

Political Business Strategy

Political business strategy involves navigating a country’s political nuances. It’s important for companies to understand these nuances before expanding into a new country.

Extant research recognizes that politicians and governments are sources of dependency for firms due to their regulatory power. A political business strategy focuses on overcoming this dependency by reducing information asymmetry, constituency building and leveraging tactics.

Understanding the Political Environment

It’s important for businesses to understand the political environment in which they operate. This includes the laws, regulations and policies that affect their business. This can have a negative or positive effect on the business. Understanding the political environment is also important because it can help companies plan for future changes in laws and regulations.

In the context of developing countries, where government policies are less stable and firms must be ready for sudden policy shifts, understanding the political environment can help companies develop and implement a sound political business strategy. Political business strategies can include lobbying, participation in public hearings, campaign contributions, the use of revolving-door personnel, advocacy and nurturing and exploiting political connections.

A firm’s resources and urgency determine which political strategies it employs. Political strategy outcomes also influence strategy choice, as positive or negative performance reinforces or undermines the rationale for political activity. The determinants of strategic choices differ by country and industry.

Developing Principles

Recent research has argued that emerging market institutions have strengthened to the extent that firms can now use a wider array of western-oriented political strategies (Shirodkar and Mohr 2015a). However, many frontier countries still suffer from basic institutional voids that undermine political strategy implementation. For example, many African nations have no formal business-government interfaces for deploying an information strategy, and electoral laws are poorly enforced to make political campaign financing transparent (Liedong 2017).

In such contexts, political influence actions that support strategic initiatives are often more effective than those that do not. Proactive influence actions leverage a firm’s market clout to shape the political environment in its favor, for instance, by influencing proposed legislation that could impose inspection and clearance requirements for imports that would hurt competitors.

The other main type of political influence actions is defensive, which involves proactively seeking to change the political environment to hinder a competitor’s strategy. This strategy is often less successful than proactive efforts because of a lack of market power, and it can be fraught with unethical practices such as bribery and cronyism.

Developing a Strategy

As the political landscape shifts, so must your business strategy. In today’s highly polarized societies, new societal issues such as gender equality, gun ownership, and religion require a more diversified approach to politics that is anchored in your values. And as society becomes more fragmented, the ability of politicians to govern has become increasingly difficult and volatile.

In such a dynamic environment, it’s no surprise that corporate political strategies are becoming increasingly popular. For example, the kinship and pseudo-attribution strategies rely on relationships with politicians to gain access to funds, goodwill and protection. This strategy is especially successful in Africa, where weak institutions allow it to flourish (Liedong and Rajwani 2018). But these relationships are also fraught with unethical practices such as bribery, nepotism and patronage. Moreover, these strategies don’t produce the expected economic benefits. They actually harm business performance by increasing costs and reducing efficiency. They also undermine the credibility of a company and its executives.

Implementing the Strategy

Managing the intersection of politics and business is a tricky task. It’s impossible to anticipate every challenge, including backlash from employees or customers over a new policy (Google’s censor-friendly search engine, H&M’s environmental stance), laws or regulations that conflict with one’s values, or even changes in a company’s core business.

Besides urgency and resource considerations, business groups choose the political strategies they employ based on their scope. The affective strategy targets politicians’ emotional needs, especially their sexual instincts, which can be exploited using pseudo-attribution tactics. The financial strategy, on the other hand, focuses on establishing connections with politicians by giving them preferential financial services beyond loans.

The kinship strategy builds on the latter by recruiting family members of politicians, thus strengthening the ties with the government. However, this strategy can be considered ethically suspect. The scope of political strategies may also influence the outcomes that follow from their use, with positive (negative) results reinforcing or weakening the rationale for doing CPA.

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The Influence of Business on Politics: Strategies for Quiet Power

A Special Issue on Quiet Politics and Business Power

The articles in this special issue – edited by Christian Lyhne Ibsen and Glenn Morgan – explore how business can shape politics under conditions of noisy or quiet political engagement. They build on Culpepper’s concept of quiet politics – the instrumental power that business has to shape policy when issues are of low salience – and extend it to consider different strategies in the face of noisy politics.


The term fragmentation is also used in a different sense when it comes to computers, where it refers to the storing of files in a way that breaks them up. Its opposite is defragmentation, which brings the files back together.

In the articles in this issue, scholars examine a wide range of strategies and contexts for keeping politics quiet. They offer insights that can help us better understand the limits and dynamics of business power, which are shaped by the nature of the business elite and its relation to the wider political economy.

For example, in the article by Ibsen, Ellersgaard, and Larsen on Denmark, they show how a cross-class alliance of employers’ and trade unions from key industries dominated the sphere of quiet politics through their agreement on managing wage growth. Those excluded from these agreements may feel frustrated and seek to regain leverage through noisy politics. But the authors warn that their acquiescence risks undermining the core actors’ bargains and creating more instability.


Salience is the degree to which an issue is noticeable, perceptible, or present. In a political context, salience can affect the extent to which an issue is debated and the nature of its politics.

The articles in this special issue illustrate how a business’s ability to keep policy issues quiet is affected by the extent to which an issue gains or loses salience. They also demonstrate that the extent to which a business can maintain a sphere of quiet politics is related to its power and the structure of its networks, which vary across types of capitalism.

For example, the article on Switzerland by Mach, David, and Ginalski shows how a strong unified voice for business and a focus on economic issues can enable Swiss business to avoid the noisy politics of referenda. This enabled it to retain its privileged position in the global FDI growth regime while remaining insulated from nationalist opposition and anti-immigration concerns.


Pepper Culpepper’s seminal work on quiet politics and business power has revitalized the study of when and how business shapes policy in ways that evade public and political scrutiny. This special issue takes his analysis forward in a range of ways that address the challenges presented by the rise of noisy politics associated with new strident forms of populism.

The articles in this collection show that strategies for keeping issues quiet can be undermined by a wide variety of factors including scandals, broader crises, and the mobilisation of losers outside the sphere of quiet politics. These losers can seek to regain leverage by dragging the issue into the realm of noisy politics.

Even when this is successful, those inside the sphere of quiet politics can still lose leverage by having their position weakened by the presence of a unified and strong opposition to the policy agenda they support. This can create an opening for business to use rhetoric of establishment conspiracies and populism to challenge the actors it has worked with in its sphere of quiet politics.


The articles in this special issue challenge conventional ideas about the limits of quiet politics and business power. By analyzing a range of strategies in action, they show that salience is not a fixed property of policy issues, but is socially constructed through agenda-setting power and bottom-up mobilization. They also reveal that quiet politics may persist even in the face of noisy politics. For example, the article by Ibsen, Ellersgaard, and Larsen on Denmark shows that despite political elite breakdown over bank reform, business continued to shape banking policy through a negotiated tripartite agreement.

Pepper Culpepper is Blavatnik Professor of Government and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and European University Institute, and co-author of Quiet Politics and Business Power (Cambridge University Press 2011). This article was adapted from his contribution to this volume. His work explores the intersection between capitalism and democracy, both in politics and in policymaking. His current research examines the effects of business interest group strategies on policies involving corporate governance, labor markets, and social protections.

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1. Power-Hungry Politicians versus People-Centric Leaders 2. The Evolving Role of the Vice President 3. The Speaker of the House: Leading the Legislative Agenda 4. The Senate: Responsibilities and Structural Debates

Politicians and Leaders

Politicians are interested in power and positions and all the entitlements that go with it for self-serving reasons. Leaders are interested in developing and emancipating their people. Politicians mix lies with truths leaving the people confused. Leaders build friends based on competence, shared visions and values. Leaders make good neighbors.

2. The Vice President

The Vice President serves as an important senior adviser on domestic and foreign policy. The role has also evolved since the 1970s, when Jimmy Carter gave Walter Mondale an office in the White House and brought him into the inner circle of the administration as a trusted advisor. Many of the Vice Presidents who followed him took on executive tasks, traveling as presidential emissaries and serving as chairmen of task forces, commissions, and councils.

For example, Dick Cheney had extraordinary influence on the administration’s national security policies during the George W. Bush administration, and he was a regular participant in NSC principals meetings and lower-level interagency forums.

Some Presidents, like Garret Hobart, Martin Van Buren, and Richard Nixon, have a close relationship with their VPs and often listen to their advice; others keep a cooler relationship with their running mates and tend to push them aside. Regardless of their constitutionally defined powers, contemporary Vice Presidents are highly influential policymakers.

3. The Speaker of the House

The Speaker of the House holds one of the most powerful jobs in Congress. He serves as the institution’s presiding officer and administrative head while leading the majority party in the House. Speakers are responsible for airing and defending their party’s legislative agenda.

They also enact legislation, oversee nonlegislative House activities and serve on a number of boards and commissions. The Speaker, or his designee, appoints Members to conference committees and often serves as the formal recipient of reports and other communications from government agencies, boards and commissions.

The Speaker has the power to recognize Members to speak on the House floor, make rules decisions and administer oaths to newly elected Members. Despite their powerful positions, Speakers are elected as Members of the House and have the same rights and responsibilities as other Members. They may debate and vote but are required to abstain from voting on certain institutional business. By tradition, Speakers do not serve on a standing House committee.

4. The Senate

The Senate is the upper chamber of Congress, and each state gets two senators. The Senate, which is part of the Legislative branch of government, has many responsibilities, including proposing legislation, amending bills, voting on treaties and impeachment proceedings against high officials.

The president and vice president serve as the “presiding officers” of the Senate, but other non-member officers also run the day-to-day operations of the body. The presiding officer carries out certain powers, such as calling on senators to speak, ruling on points of order (challenges by senators that a rule has been violated) and announcing the results of votes.

At the Constitutional Convention, delegates discussed how to structure the Senate. Most agreed that it should be a smaller body than the House of Representatives, but debate over how small and how members should be selected raged on. John Dickinson of Delaware favored state selection, arguing that it would prevent the formation of a national party and keep the nation from growing too large. James Madison of Virginia, however, argued that long terms of seven years were necessary for the body to achieve “coolness, system, & wisdom” in governing.

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Values Shaping Political Behavior

8 Political Values

Political values are a person’s beliefs, principles carried with them that guide their general behaviour/attitude towards political ‘objects’. Research has shown that political values are important determinants of individual political orientations, attachments and behavior.

Political ideologies and attitudes are becoming more important than social structural variables as explanations for people’s politics. However, figuring out someone’s exact political stance is difficult.

1. Freedom

Freedom is more than just the right to do what you want. It’s also the right to speak your mind, write what you like, join clubs or political groups and even organize peaceful demonstrations.

Political scientists have long worried that ordinary citizens lack the knowledge necessary to make rational political choices and may easily shift their attitudes from one day to the next. They hope that a commitment to certain political values can ground them. These include freedoms such as those enshrined in the Four Freedoms that Franklin Roosevelt’s administration promoted during World War II.

2. Justice

In Plato’s Republic, Socrates engages in a lengthy discussion about justice. He argues that the rational part of the soul, which corresponds to the leaders or “guardians” of the state, is different from the spirited portion of the soul, which he likens to its defenders.

In this context, he rejects the traditional utilitarian definition of justice as the just allocation of property. He is a deontologist, like Kant, and so believes that what is right cannot be derived from a pragmatic desire to maximize the good.

3. Fairness

People value fair treatment and want institutions to operate with fair rules. Fairness often refers to principles like distributive justice, wherein individuals receive what they deserve. It can also include retributive justice, such as when institutions punish offenders or make them pay for wrongs.

Worries that everyday citizens are not politically knowledgeable and can be easily influenced by framing effects are often soothed by the assumption that political values provide stable internal cues that help filter information and guide people through complex political environments. Research, however, shows that core values can shift in response to social influences.

4. Equality

Equality is one of the most central values in modern political philosophy. Many egalitarians argue that equality is a moral good in itself and that it is intrinsically bad when people are worse off than others through no fault of their own.

Others, however, are concerned about the exact nature of equality and how it relates to justice in particular. For example, some egalitarians argue that gender, racial, and economic differences should be taken into account when judging distributive justice while others believe that such distinctions are morally irrelevant.

5. Human Rights

In the past decades human rights have gained widespread acceptance. Three quarters of the world’s countries have ratified major human rights treaties.

Despite some intellectual critiques on the right, human rights have emerged as modest standards that leave most legal and political matters open for democratic decision-making at the national and local levels. Yet the values underlying human rights are complex. Economic rights merge into civil and social rights and the fulfilment of one type of right often depends on the fulfilment of other types.

6. Security

Security refers to protection from, or resilience against, potential harm. It involves a sense of safety for beneficiaries, or “referents,” that may include individuals and social groups, objects and institutions, or ecosystems.

Results of regression analyses on NEP and EC predicted by political values indicate that Civil Liberties, Security, Self-Direction, Universalism and Benevolence significantly influence environmental attitudes and pro-environmental behaviors. This is a substantial improvement over previous research on political values, which included only a few of these personal and ethical beliefs.

7. Growth

Political values influence the ways people think about public goods and private goods. For example, an economic conservative might prioritize the idea that it is a public good to invest in infrastructure because it benefits everyone – regardless of whether they pay taxes.

In recent years, research on political attitudes and behaviours has emphasized the role of values in politics. Some authors argue that traditional social structural variables such as class and long-standing group loyalties are losing their importance as explanations for people’s political choices.

8. Individualism

Individualism is a political value that values the autonomy of every person as a rational independent being. Individualists believe that the government should only perform tasks that defend and enable individuals’ freedom.

Individualism is in stark contrast to collectivism, which values the collective needs of a group over the needs of its members. Individualism also includes egoism, which holds that an individual is an end in himself and that morality is primarily a matter of one’s own well-being.

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Exploring the Thrilling World of 에볼루션파워볼

Delving into the Exciting World of 에볼루션파워볼

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The Impact of Corruption and Scandal on Politics and Business

How Corruption and Scams Affect Politics and Business in the Gilded Age

In a world where corruption is now in the spotlight, it is worth remembering that the bribery and trading of influence can make political systems incapable of addressing social problems whose resolution would threaten vested interests. This is a well-documented phenomenon in the history of democracy.

This issue explores new approaches to the relations between businessmen and politicians, a theme that has enjoyed a recent comeback in historical studies.

Credit Mobilier Scandal

In the nineteenth century railroads were inseparable from politics, as state governments issued corporate charters and determined where the lines would run. Consequently, railroad builders sought to influence political leaders and use government power to their advantage.

In 1872 the House of Representatives started investigating allegations of bribery related to the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad and its associated company, Credit Mobilier (not to be confused with the French bank, Credit Mobilier). The scandal involved the illegal manipulation of contracts by a construction and management firm for the railroad.

The conspiracy involved a sham construction company, called Credit Mobilier of America, that was designed to shield the real owners of the Union Pacific, George Francis Train and Thomas Durant, from accusations that they were using the construction phase of the railroad to extort the government with inflated costs. Congressman Oakes Ames gave stock shares of Credit Mobilier to several members of Congress in an attempt to allay suspicions of his interest in the scheme and encourage legislation favorable to the company.

Whiskey Ring Scandal

The Whiskey Ring was an example of how political machines, private companies and governmental neglect contributed to corruption in the United States in this time referred to by Mark Twain as the Gilded Age. The scandal helped to instill a distrust in many Americans of their government and fed the belief that a federal commission was corrupt.

The scandal was uncovered in 1875 when the Treasury Department broke up a criminal conspiracy involving whiskey distillers and corrupt Treasury officials who evaded taxes by sharing government revenues with each other. President Grant appointed Benjamin Bristow to investigate the case, and he quickly began to uncover evidence against those involved in the ring.

One of the more disturbing aspects of this scandal was that a number of Grant’s advisers were implicated in the ring, including his private secretary Orville Babcock. To avoid a conflict of interest, Grant appointed John B. Henderson as special prosecutor, but he was soon fired when it was revealed that he had also been a part of the St. Louis ring, and had received government contracts in return for his service.

Gould & Fiske Scandal

A gang of robber barons led by Jay Gould and James Fisk hatched a plan to corner the nation’s gold market. At the time, the Treasury sold gold every week in exchange for greenbacks—the unbacked currency the Union used to fund the Civil War. Gould and Fisk schemed to convince President Ulysses S. Grant, whom they knew socially through his brother-in-law, to halt those sales.

To accomplish their goal, they recruited Abel Corbin—a former Washington bureaucrat and friend of Grant’s sister Jennie. Gould hoped that corbin’s relationship with the president would give him inside information about government actions in the market. He also deposited $1.5 million in gold in an account opened under Corbin’s name as a quid pro quo for his help. The ploy failed on September 24, 1869—a day known as Black Friday. Both Gould and Fisk lost large sums of money, but they died wealthy men. Their scandal undermined public confidence in the federal government.

Indian Reservation Scandal

When people think of the problems on Native American reservations, they usually point to alcoholism or corruption. But they don’t often talk about how a lack of property rights contributes to the poverty.

Reservation residents can’t get mortgages or loans to improve their homes because they don’t have clear title to the land. That’s because the 1887 Dawes Act allotted land to individuals instead of communal tribal property.

That led to a checkerboard of private ownership where, on one reservation, hundreds of people share one piece of privatized trust land. On another, the Crow Reservation’s 1 million acres are divided among as many as 20 family members.

The government has a plan to fix the problem, but it will cost $1.9 billion over the next decade to buy back fractional interests in land. Getting the tribes to agree to it could be tough. In addition to a history of mismanagement and incompetence, the NHA’s board includes some who’ve benefited from shady deals with Abramoff and Scanlon.

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