We say often that fundamentally there is little real difference between the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties. The below graph sums it up pretty well.
So it makes sense to have a lobbying firm which is comfortable dealing with whomever. Because in the end, Republican or Democrat it really does come down to just getting paid.
(From The Intercept)
The founders of Rokk Solutions, a new political consulting firm that serves corporate trade associations and other lobbying ventures, offer their clients an unusual value proposition: whichever party triumphs, they’ll have had a hand in a big-money group that can claim victory.
While bipartisan political consulting firms are a dime a dozen in Washington, D.C., what makes Rokk noteworthy is that it is comprised of campaign operatives with major roles in two big-money groups — one Democratic, one Republican — expected to play major roles in the 2016 elections.
Click here for the article.
Calls to reform, audit, and even eliminate the Federal Reserve have been growing in recent years. We certainly call for an end to the Fed and I encourage anyone interested in monetary policy and the Federal Reserve to read Free Prices Now by ACC co-founder Hunter Lewis. Hunter is a scholar of the highest order and a remarkably successful financier. If you want to understand the sins of the Federal Reserve read his book.
But many people already understand the sins of the Fed and many of these people gathered in a counter summit to the party the Federal Reserve was having this week in Jackson Hole Wyoming. One of the people criticizing the Fed was Benn Steil who, believe it or not, is a director of international economics at The Council on Foreign Relations.
This piece is from Alejandro Chafuen and it is 2 years old. But in light of the current Fed confab in Jackson Hole and the ongoing market twitches, drops, and government induced rallies I think it deserves another view.
China is, as we say, The Ultimate Crony Capitalist State. Business and government are an amalgam. Long a crony paradise where a premium was placed on compliance and government favor and not on real pricing.
It looks like reality is finally starting to hit however.
About 6 months ago I was talking to a China energy markets analyst and he explained the complexities of implementing a carbon tax regime in the country to me. One bit I found particularly interesting. He explained that no one knew what the real price of energy coming from a particular plant actually was. A mandate from Beijing had been handed down, that energy would cost X amount, and that was the number used for “business.” Everyone knew the official price was way below the actual market rate but it sounded like no one really knew what the market rate was.
One can’t keep running a country like this. One must have real pricing for long term prosperity. The problem is that real pricing can create problems for the political establishment, anywhere, but particularly in China.
He wanted a bailout because Uber and Lyft have hammered his business. He leveraged himself to the hilt financing more taxi medallions than he should have and now he’s crying in his beer because he is losing business and medallion prices are tanking. Boo hoo, he wants his government protected monopoly to remain insulated. Unfortunately for him the market has come calling and creative destruction is doing its thing. Even Freidman’s new crony buddy, Mayor DeBlasio probably wont be able to save him.
Uber is just better than taxis. It’s as simple as that. The taxi companies should either evolve and compete or they should close shop. And that whole bit about cab companies having to adhere to laws Uber doesn’t have to is a red herring. If it’s such a problem why don’t the cab companies lobby to reduce livery regulations?
Why don’t they? Because these regulations were written originally to benefit the cab companies in large part.
I’ve got no sympathy for this guy.
Things just keep getting wackier in The Ultimate Crony Capitalist State.
Hey, why not just have the government come in and buy up the stock market? That ought to do the trick. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that. It’s not like this whole crash was precipitated by central planning and malinvestment or anything.
You want to know how to solve the traffic problem in this country? You really want to know. Some of you guys aren’t going to like it because it doesn’t involve light rail or carpooling. (Not bad things in and of themselves.)
We need to increasingly privatize roads. (And really privatize. No public/private “partnerships.”)
The Kochs are a great target. They are rich. They are white. They have business interests in the fossil fuels industry. And perhaps most importantly, they are not Democrats. They aren’t even big government Republicans. The Kochs are custom made for statist ire.
But in my years of following them I am generally impressed. I’ve read Charles Koch’s book which outlines why it is that Koch Industries continues to grow even given its already immense size. (Not easy to do.) I am also thankful for their efforts in the marketplace of ideas. They sponsor Cato and other think tanks (not this one) which do much good. (I have some beefs with them too which I won’t go into here.)
The Kochs have also taken a pretty explict stance against crony capitalism. In fact Charles Koch talks about the need to eliminate it in the economy even while he admits that such cronyism benefits Koch Industries.
The Kochs as we have said in the past can defend themselves. They don’t need us to do it. But in the grand scheme of things anyone who thinks president Obama and Harry Reid have anything like a leg to stand on when they criticize the Kochs just doesn’t understand the situation. Of course Obama and Reid have a problem with the Kochs. Obama and Reid are classic crony capitalists. They’ve made their money through schmoozing and coercion in the public sector. As such they know that if a truly limited government regime was put in place by some miracle, one favored by the Kochs, they would be on the losing end of things along with all their buddies.
The private sector, the sector in which the Kochs largely operate is legitimate. In order to succeed in the private sector one must produce a good or service of value. The government sector, largely (certainly not totally) is not legitimate. It benefits those – often – who are not productive. Obama and Reid know this. But government is the teat at which they and the crony class of both parties suckle. Best to dress up their philosophy in “green” garb and “social justice” than confront the truth which is that on an even playing field they can’t compete with those who succeed in the private sector.
This is nice. Lockheed Martin runs a nuclear lab in New Mexico which gets federal funds, taxpayer money. The company recently lobbied for an extension of its contract with the government on a no-bid basis. Seeing as Lockheed doesn’t have piles of money lying around (they do) the company figured that the best way to secure a no-bid contract was to use taxpayer dollars which were allocated for national security purposes, and to hire a former congresswoman turned lobbyist to help secure said no-bid contract with the money.
That’s right, we allegedly paid for Lockheed to crony it up on the Hill so that the giant company could infuse itself with more of our money. (Without even having to worry about competition.)
Good. Glad to hear it. We are very much for solar energy within the marketplace.
Solar HAS enjoyed crony subsidies for far too long. However, if we can get rid of the solar subsidies now that would be progress. If solar can continue to grow, then great. But don’t ask the taxpayers for anymore sweetheart deals.
The Chinese have just cut rates and reduced the reserve requirements for banks. Now US stock futures are indicating a strong open to the upside. See, everything is fine. At least if you work for a high frequency trading firm.
Wall Street broadly is hoping, praying, that the central bank mojo will work again. We’ll see.
I actually don’t believe that “socialists hate freedom” as the poster on Youtube of this video asserts. I tend to think socialists are instead confused about what “freedom” actually is. This is not a dig. I find it to be the case quite often.
One is free, or one is not. There is no “personal freedom” and “economic freedom.” No “personal liberty” and “economic liberty.” There is but freedom. There is but liberty.
One owns one’s self or one does not. Simple.
It could have been a whole lot worse. The Dow opened down over 1000 points this morning. Then markets rallied. Then they fell off again. Massive shifts in markets. Craziness.
Now the world looks to Asia.
So lots of people are asking WHY? Here’s a big reason why. This video is from back in 2014, but it’s worth another view.