Statement: Recent Instability in Our Democracy Harms Our National Business Climate

By Daniella Ballou-Aares, Rhett Buttle, and Samantha Tweedy |
US Capitol building


WASHINGTON – In the midst of heightened government instability, Business & Democracy Initiative leaders Daniella Ballou-Aares, CEO of Leadership Now Project; Samantha Tweedy, CEO of the Black Economic Alliance, & Rhett Buttle, Founder of Public Private Strategies; released the following statement:

“A well-functioning government is the cornerstone of a healthy economy. These past weeks of chaos and dysfunction caused by a small faction in the House of Representatives have shaken the pillars of our democracy and done serious harm to our business climate. With a near government shutdown and a short budget extension which is quickly running down, we call upon those who are jeopardizing our economic stability to address the urgent challenges ahead.”

Additional Context 

Business & Democracy Initiative Research: Business Leaders Want to Be Active in Protecting America’s Democracy, and Consumers Support Them

  1. 96% of business leaders say the existence of a well-functioning democracy is important to a strong economy.
  2. 77% business leaders agree that businesses should speak out about threats to democracy.
  3. 56% of business leaders say their business is more likely than they were five years ago to encourage employees to take a stance or speak out in support of democracy – only 8% say they are less likely to do so than they were five years ago

Washington Post: Vote To Oust McCarthy Is A Warning Sign For Democracy, Scholars Say

  1. “But historians and political scientists say it is something more: a warning sign for the health of American democracy.”
  2. “‘If you want to know what it looks like when democracy is in trouble, this is what it looks like,’ said Daniel Ziblatt, professor of government at Harvard University. ‘It should set off alarm bells that something is not right.’”
  3. “‘If American democracy is already suffering and weak from various maladies, this unruly crisis in the House is just going to kick it a little further in that direction,’ said Alex Keyssar, a professor of history and social policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. ‘You are taking a set of institutions and you are weakening them and then pointing to their weakness.’”
  4. “‘What precedes a democratic breakdown is political stalemate and extreme dysfunction where there’s a sense that nothing can get done,’ Ziblatt said.”