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.
I run this clip periodically because I think it is one of the most important presidential speeches caught on tape. It is of president Eisenhower, who was the commander of American forces during World War 2 warning of the emergence of a powerful armaments industry in the United States, and the danger of such an industry. It was his farewell address to the nation.
I am a navy brat. My father is/was a Cold Warrior. I’ve spent a good part of my life around the Military Industrial Complex and I believe Eisenhower’s warning was dismissed and continues to be dismissed simply because so many people make money in the war machine. People go into the military, retire on a pension and then enter the military contracting game. It’s a very complicated works program which is championed by supposedly small government “conservatives.” (They aren’t really conservatives.) It’s a shame actually. Our military should be much smaller and much smarter.
Every time I post this video somebody gets upset and explains to me why it is that we should have a military apparatus which spans the globe. This time the rule is – anyone can make the same argument – but only if they’ve never gotten a dime from the Military Industrial Complex.
Explaining why we need to reduce the size of the military to some is like trying to explain to a UAW guy why GM should have died in 2008.
We’ll see. But we are very pleased that crony capitalism has emerged as a key issue in the 2016 presidential race. It is one which we obviously believe is of vital importance.
The American people have consistently rejected union coercion across the country. Right to Work laws haven’t gained traction simply because a group of anti-union CEOs have wanted them. Right to Work laws are supported to a very large degree by voters. There is no reason why any place of business should ever be a “closed shop.” Workers shouldn’t have to pay union bosses for a job. Never mind that the businesses aren’t owned by the unions, so why should unions determine who can be hired anyway?
But in the face of this rejection the unions have resorted to enlisting the bureaucrats in DC.
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.
The income tax is absolutely crazy if one takes a moment to think about it. We’ve become so conditioned to accept it that we don’t even realize how ridiculous it is. The government taxes one for being productive, for creating income for one’s family, for doing one’s part to grow the economy. It doesn’t make any sense.
But there is a vast government infrastructure which depends on your money. There is also a political constituency which believes that it is the government’s duty to take income from some in the name of “social justice.” That this money happens to flow back to many of the people calling for “social justice” is a coincidence of course.
The point here is that there is some effort to make welfare recipients go through drug testing etc., and that this is humiliating. So we should focus on the welfare the rich get too.
I’m for that.
Thing is this list, almost completely, lists tax DEDUCTIONS as “handouts.”
Has he considered that the Obama Administration, which he supports, has greatly fostered this trend? How? First by making workers so much more expensive by encouraging state minimum wage increases, by increasing the healthcare costs of a worker by about $3-5 dollars an hour, and by making overtime and related rules tighter and tighter. All this makes employees too expensive to hire. Second by encouraging the Federal Reserve to keep interest costs artificially low. Those giveaway interest rates encourage investment in robots to replace people.
It’s not like suddenly Seattle won’t have any restaurants. It just won’t have any restaurants at which people of modest means can eat. It also won’t have as many mom and pop immigrant owned restaurants.
Too bad as Seattle is one of the great food cities of the world.
Licensing is often just a scam. It’s a way to shut out competitors.
If one wants to handle plutonium or do brain surgery I’m OK with a license. If one is braiding hair or doing almost anything else licenses pretty much are nothing more than crony tools for vested interests.
Cheap gas is great. I’m all for it. Seriously $1.90 at the local pump. Fantastic. But pretty much all net “real” jobs created in the US since the onset of the current economic calamity have been as a result of the shale gas revolution and in Texas specifically. The oil plunge has impacted this and Americans should be prepared for it.
It is interesting that according to the attached article Texas alone is the 6th largest producer of crude oil on the planet now. One never hears that in the old media.
It should also be noted that all of this happened while US carbon emissions dropped markedly during the period. One doesn’t hear that either.
Bob Dylan is a personal favorite of mine and to be clear he’s not making some anarcho-capitalist statement here. He isn’t openly advocating a libertarian economic stance. It’s just common sense coming from an old man who has seen a whole lot of life, made a whole lot of money, and who has made his way observing the human condition.
Seems a reasonable position for the guy who once had a radical Marxist terrorist group name themselves after one of his lyrics and who once sang an ode to Woody Guthrie.
Times have indeed changed.
We are starting to approach what many economists call “full employment.” The point at which the people who are unemployed really are “just between jobs.” There is little long term unemployment. Jobs are plentiful. There is upward pressure on wages. In short, general prosperity.
Can’t you feel it?