Yesterday I read in the Muscatine Journal about a man who works in the private sector was appointed to serve on a public sector foundation. This man holds the highest ethical standards. But I was wondering if some corporations try to place their executives on public boards like Muscatine Power and Water to influence public policy in their favor.
I have read many annual reports for Fortune 500 companies who report that they are a responsible corporate citizen. Often these reports highlight the number of volunteer hours that their employees have contributed to the community. Many serve on boards of banks, the Community Y, and scholarship foundations. I believe that this is strategic positioning and protects the private sector. For example, say that I am a business who uses a lot of electrical energy. My position on the board at the utility would be to keep rates low.
Public Choice Theory of Regulation holds that regulators will do what is in their own best interest to maximize their power and market share. Yet, the only people who will serve on boards are those who are interested in the regulation to begin with. This poses a dilemma that I can't solve. It just makes me more careful about what I wish for.