The American Colossus Nobody Understands: Local Chambers of Commerce
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  • Anthony

    The relationship between actors, i.e. local chambers of commerce, and the institutional structures are important factors in behavior of chambers. Historical context provides explanation of how structural change (the association of businessmen and the role of business) affects particular events….

  • Kenny

    Well, I’ll say this. In Ohio, the Chamber of Commerce has been running TV ads for some time now bashing our leftwing senator, Sherrod Brown (Democrat) for his support of ObamaCare.

    Since Brown is up for election in November, such a factual presentation of the man’s record should hopefully lead to his defeat.

  • In California, the local chambers are fragmented and not particularly effective politically. It may be that, like many of the institutions discussed in these pages, they are based on an out-of-date model. While the state Chamber is willing to get its hands dirty politically, the local ones tend to shy away from overt activism. Thus the business “community” has had only a marginal impact on the on-going decline of a once great state. We started Small Business Revolution to explore a better way to engage effectively.

  • Wayne Lusvardi

    The Chamber of Commerce in Pasadena, California is indicative of how such organizations can be co-opted by the unions. The Board of Directors of the Chamber (not the members) are stacked with union representatives and non-profit agency representatives. This is partly the consequence of living in a de-industrialized community with mainly a service economy.

  • Glen

    Princeton economics professors Thomas C. Leonard has written extensively on the economic history of the Progressive Era. In particular, he has focused on the “deeply illiberal strain in American progressivism,” and its “origins in anti-individualism, statism, social efficiency, and planning by scientific experts.”

    Leonard, Thomas C. (Tim), American Progressivism and the Rise of the Economist as Expert (July 2006). Available at SSRN:

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