The Chamber of Commerce is supposed to champion “the spirit of enterprise.” Guess just not “free” enterprise.
The New York Times reports on the the dealings of one Sidney Blumenthal, Bill Clinton White House confidant, who saw dollars to be made in a post Qaddafi Libya. He was advising Secretary of State Clinton at the time. (In an unofficial capacity.)
Mr. Blumenthal (it appears) was looking to cash in on his relationship with Ms. Clinton.
Not many fortunes made in Libya, aside from Qaddafi’s. Looks like Blumenthal learned this.
This is good news for consumers. This is good news for cities. It’s bad news for the crony medallion systems and the insiders who benefited from these systems.
Crony capitalism is bipartisan, transpartisan even.
Though there is a general rule which holds, and that is that the degree to which a politician enables the state is the degree to which that politician will probably enable cronyism. The bigger the government the more crony the government. It’s just the way it is.
The only real way to fight crony capitalism is to lesson the catalyst which makes crony capitalism possible, government. There is no “electing good people” to government and then having a large government “work for the people.” Government corrupts. It is at best a necessary evil. For the most part, get it out of the way.
Hint: None of the good cities are in California, New York, or Illinois.
If you are an employer with over 500 employees in Connecticut and you hire someone for less than $15/hr you must now pay a tax of one dollar for each hour your employee works.
It’s a shakedown from the state wrapped in the banner of “wage justice.” It’s a revenue stream for government and another barrier to employment for low skilled workers.
Just another reason people and business continue to leave the Northeast.
This would seem a reasonable thing to do. Locking the treaty text in a dungeon, under guard, with senators only allowed to view it by themselves and while there prohibited from making notes, is probably a bit unreasonable.
These sorts of loans are typically vehicles for crony capitalism. Think Solyndra. But in this case the market has already resolved the issue. The plant the taxpayer backed loan is allocated for has already been built. The project was originally financed within the private sector. Why is megacorporation Alcoa now getting a plum loan?
The answer it appears is political. (Isn’t it always?)
But Nick, these are good billionaires. They are fighting “climate change.” They are “green.” They are progressives.
Yeah, well they are also pushing regulations which will benefit them financially you can rest assured of that. You can also rest assured that they consider anyone who believes that government should be as small as humanly possible is – I hate to use this term – the enemy. To them those who won’t get on the green bandwagon are actually wronging the world. Those who do not buy into their worldview, some would call it a religion, are actually committing a crime (a sin?). I am not kidding.
Regular readers of ACC are aware of the current battle surrounding the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. We believe, along with many others, that Ex-Im is great example of crony capitalism which should be euthanized by a Congress which professes to be for free markets and small government. Whether this will actually happen is an open question however as the bank serves some of the heaviest hitters in corporate America, Boeing chief among them.
But for some, including the author of the attached article, the question is why even have this battle at all? Is cronyism really so bad? So what’s a little a public/partnership action? Who are these nuts anyway who want a separation of government and business. Free markets and economic freedom stink anyway.
We’ve documented why Ex-Im is bad from more than just a moral perspective. Taxpayer backed loans to one corporation often disadvantage other businesses. Free markets allow for opportunity and growth. Crony capitalism strangles growth and enriches established firms which get fat, inefficient, and tend to be slower to respond to the customer.
Still some still don’t get it. Jeff Spross at The Week clearly doesn’t.
Ms. Fiorina is right on the money here. We look forward to hearing more from her in the months ahead.
Many people wrongly believe that politics is to a large extent a battle between government and business. That the 2 represent opposite dispositions. This is a foolish notion. Business and government are more often partners than adversaries. Especially now.
But crony capitalism has a long history in this country.
“Amtrak is a massive failure because it’s wedded to a failed paradigm. It runs trains that serve political purposes as opposed to being responsive to the marketplace. America needs passenger trains in selected areas, but it doesn’t need Amtrak’s antiquated route system, poor service and unreasonable operating deficits.” – Joseph Vranich, former Amtrak spokesman
As I ride the train and look out at the Virginia countryside, Blue Ridge Mountains to my left, the Piedmont to my right, I am struck by the beauty of my home state. As the sun rises the sky quickly shifts from violet to pale blue. There is no mist this morning, just crisp clear early spring.
Overall I don’t have many complaints with Amtrak. For the most part it’s on time. The trains are usually pretty clean. The fares are reasonable. The stretch I ride is usually populated with regular Washington DC commuters and so I get the sense a bit of extra attention is paid. This morning however I got on a train which had started last night in New Orleans (from what I could gather) and which would arrive ultimately in New York in the afternoon.
The train was late by 15 minutes – not terrible – but just as I was about to hop on a stream of bleary eyed people poured out, most immediately lighting cigarettes as they exited. They got off. We got on. The people finished their smokes and the train started rolling again. By then we were ½ hour late.
I know I am being picky.* Frankly $33 to go from Charlottesville to Washington DC is a very good deal. I get to sit at a table in the cafe car while I write this. It certainly beats the heck out of driving 3 ½ hours into Washington. And that’s if I don’t hit traffic, which I always do.
So, as I fly along just south of Manassas I wonder why it is that no one can make any money doing this privately?