Top executives see imbalance of influence on government

The executives who run America's top corporations believe the communications media have far more influence on government policy than other major institutions , according to the Conference Board.

The board's study is based on the views of 536 chief executive officers and presidents of the nation's largest corporations.

The executives said the media, labor leaders, consumerists, environmentalists , and other public-interest groups have "too much influence" on government policy. Corporate executives, financial leaders, small business, and the public at large were said to have "too little influence." The Supreme Court was the only "highly influential" institution in which top corporate officials expressed a high degree of confidence.

The business leaders were nearly unanimous in agreeing on the country's major priorities. Cited as the top six priority areas were inflation, government growth, tax rates, energy, capital formation, and national defense. Ranking at the bottom of the list were worker participation in management, income redistribution, consumer protection, and sex and reverse discrimination.

The large majority of surveyed executives viewed the economy from a basically laissez-faire perspective. Specifically, they agreed that the pricing system in American industry is basically a competitive free-market system, that business should define the social responsibility of their enterprises as they see fit, and that the profit motive is an essential, driving force for both economic and social advancement.

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