There are two particular targets of American progressive political ideology: special interests and the curse of bigness, primarily in business. But the preferred solution of the progressives, central planning and regulation, only serve to make these matters worse.
The proliferation of lobbyists and their influence is a common campaign theme. Both parties appear to disdain them. At their best lobbyists serve to bring the pragmatic realities of constituents to bear on pending laws that will affect them. This should help to fashion regulations and legislation that will actually work as intended without destroying the host industry or interest that is expected to produce the results.
At its worst lobbyists are just special interests that work to fashion legislation for their constituent self interest at the expense of competitors and consumers. When we hear of a large company or industry representative pushing for its own regulation, our skepticism should cause us to wonder if the ultimate goal is not to write the rules for protection from competitors.
Lobbyists are a byproduct of modern regulation. The more we regulate, the more lobbyists are needed to protect the businesses affected and the more the political process becomes distorted by their influence. The better answer to lobbyists and special interests is to reduce regulation and stop offering them the cover of preferential treatment. Regulations that intend and claim to level the playing field too often serve to tilt it to the special interest with the better political influence.
Big business is also often cursed by the progressive movement, but again their response is to encourage more bigness rather than less. The intense and uncertain regulation, especially of the last two years, has created an enormous burden on business that is much more easily absorbed by the larger concerns who have the sophisticated infrastructure to comply with new burdensome rules. Smaller enterprises who eventually get overwhelmed by the new and growing administrative burdens are more likely to sell out to larger concerns or just shut down, leaving the larger competitors with a bigger market share.
Progressives are defined not by the problems the seek to solve and the values they claim to cherish, but by their methods. Their methods seek more regulations and more central planning. This approach only makes the problems worse and only serves their own special interest to gain ever greater political power.