This is an ongoing battle in the Republican party. There are the “pro-business” folks who are more than happy to engage in crony capitalism usually financed by the taxpayer. And then there is a small but increasingly influential “pro-market” contingent within the GOP which finds crony capitalism repugnant.
Guess which group the lobbyists like to throw money at?
Government work is pretty good for the most part. (There’s the whole selling your soul aspect, but that aside. — I kid. I kid.) The pay is far above average. Union protections mean you basically can never be fired. The pension comes early, is forever, and is backed by the US taxpayer. Civil servants have it pretty darn good. Government employees on average earn over $120,000 in total compensation. Banking regulators make on average far more than this.
We really do appreciate Congressman Lynch and his candor with regard to Obamacare in the attached video. We have long been critics of the ACA because we see it as a massive vehicle for crony capitalism (pharma and the big insurance companies do quite well under Obamacare) while it also undermines the good parts of our healthcare system and the economy generally. Obamacare is a disaster. It is a train wreck and the pile up continues.
I would love to see this become a real trend. I have my doubts however. It has been my experience that people who are enamored with the state have a hard time breaking up (even a little bit) with big government.
Interesting article. It is very true that the Oracle of Omaha has benefited handsomely from sweetheart deals and political connections over the years. He has played the crony game very well.
I will say though, as much as I agree with the general sentiment of the author, I’d still go long on the USA before Kazakhstan. We do still enjoy the reserve currency of the world. As long as we do the bet is still to the upside for US equities generally. Reserve currency status is the linchpin. If you ever hear that the US dollar is no longer the reserve currency it is time to sell. Of course when we hear it it will be too late.
An aside. – My first real job was working for GEICO (One of Warren Buffett’s companies. His “cash cow” as he calls it.) selling insurance over the phone. To this day – “Thank you for calling GEICO Direct. This is Nick Sorrentino speaking. How can I help you?” – rolls right off the tongue.
(From Nomad Capitalist)
…allow us to examine just how Warren Buffett became so wealthy, because while he is obviously an astute investor responsible for generating huge returns, he has also enjoyed advantages few other Americans do.
It is such advantages, propped up by his cronies in government, that perhaps contribute to so much of his optimism.
To begin with, much of Berkshire Hathaway’s holdings are in the equities markets. While Buffett has done an excellent job over the years of picking winners and losers, he has no doubt benefitted from the amazing impact that inflation – and recently endless money printing – have had on the American stock markets.
Click here for the article.
This is a pretty damning article. The fellow who poured money into the Virginia gubernatorial race and helped crony capitalist extraordinaire Terry McAuliffe squeeze out a win, and the guy who is doing his darnedest to stop the Keystone XL pipeline because he says it will contribute greatly to global warming, appears to have made much of his fortune in the global warmingest industry of them all, coal. His hedge fund owned or owned parts of many mines in Indonesia and Australia until very recently. In fact, Powerline reports:
The maximum tax rate in 1915 (before World War I and the institution of the Federal Reserve and broad income tax) was 7%. The maximum tax rate after 30 years of uncontrolled government, 2 World Wars and an emerging system of crony capitalism driven by the Fed? 94% in 1944. Insane. It just goes to show how powerful statism was during the mid-20th Century. In many ways, a very dark time for the world.
He has not only been feted recently by White House advisors. He is all the rage at the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Monetary Fund, and the United Nations as well.
The corporations are on welfare and so is a large portion of the US citizenry (and non-citizenry too it must be acknowledged). Votes are bought with a program. Politicians are bought with fat feline donations. The state expands. Everyone it seems has a hand in the till. Everyone it seems has an angle. The welfare state, leviathan, is ever-present. And to challenge the monster is to challenge the way of life of many who have long ago made peace with (in some cases) or cozied up with (all too often) the beast.
We at ACC are big fans of “alternative energy.” We love solar power, wind power, the whole bit. In order to “live off the grid,” a personal goal – at least a cabin one day, such sources of energy are vital. I grew up with solar panels heating our hot water and they nearly always worked, even in the depths of winter. We like the idea of “clean energy.”