SNAP is a strange animal. On the one hand it does help some people who are in very troubled circumstances. On another hand the program is also widely abused and everyone knows it. And on still another hand SNAP is big time crony capitalism with taxpayer money barely stopping in recipients accounts before being funneled to companies like Coca-Cola and General Mills.
The history of Native Americans in the United States has been a history of raw deals and sadly much worse. The raw deal continues today.
Notice that there was no celebratory “Google doodle” yesterday.
This video only scratches the surface.
And it’s not exclusively government power that is expanded. Bureaucrats also use language to expand the crony capitalist system as a whole.
Funny, the statists always warn that without big intrusive government societies go haywire. But we have seen over and over and over that this is simply not true. In fact where government has a light hand and the rule of law upheld the typical result is prosperity.
However what we also see over and over and over is that countries that embrace big government have a tendency over time to turn into hellholes. The Soviet Union,
As we said in a recent video, there are many reasons why much of urban America is an economic wasteland. We site 2 main reasons however, big government, and cronyism.
Cities are often not very good places to do business. They are typically high tax high regulation zones. Cities often look at businesses as little more than revenue streams. And what can’t be extracted from business via taxes can be regulated out of businesses with laws.
Consider that one of the classic forms of “welfare” in this country is also absolutely a form of corporate welfare too – food stamps. Many big corporations owe a large part of their bottom lines to these programs. In some places one can even buy McDonalds and other fast food directly with EBT cards. Years ago we did a story on how JPMorgan has EBT servicing contracts with states worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Add in Walmart and other discount stores that see immense flows from government programs and one begins to see the picture.
If we ended crony capitalism (a good goal, but it likely it can only be reduced – but perhaps drastically) it would indeed help the plight of the global poor. Countries which are poor are always rife with cronyism. The established powers that be, which control the government, loot the rest of the country. It is the natural tendency of humanity, but this natural tendency must be fought. If we want broad prosperity cronies must be brought to heel and hiding places for cronies eliminated.
Is inequality bad? It is assumed that it is for some reason. And to the degree that it is caused by the already powerful gaming the system it is absolutely a problem and one we examine closely here. (That the big banks have access to the Fed window and that the Fed backstops the bankers is a good example of unjust inequality of wealth.) But what of an inventor who made the world a better place? Should a person or company who cures cancer for instance feel bad in any way about the vast sums which would likely follow such a cure?
All I can say is we made the case for making Detroit an economic “free zone” back in October 2012. Not that “free zones” are our idea. Free market/price advocates have made the case for them for years. It’s good to see the idea getting some real political traction.
Free up places which are disasters. Make them business friendly. Lower or eliminate taxes. Let people innovate. Many of our cities have little to lose at this point. Other than a rigid fear of free markets why wouldn’t one want free zones in areas of economic despair?
I despise parking tickets primarily because they are such a racket. Washington DC, the major city in which I drive regularly collects tens of millions of dollars in parking ticket fines each year. If one visits DC keep an eye out for the folks in the red jackets. They’ll answer your questions and give you directions but they are also patrolling the streets looking to fine drivers.
I’ll grant you that there are legitimate reasons for parking tickets.
Sweden isn’t some sort of Shangri la. It’s cold. It’s dark. It has high rates of depression. Economic freedom levels are low. Taxes are high. And relative to most states in the USA Sweden is poor. Like Arkansas poor.
On the other hand it made Saabs, which I always liked. (Before GM took them over.)
This is wonderful news and it is driven by a general tendency to liberalize markets. Resources now flow from one place to the next more easily than they ever have. As such entrepreneurs are more able to create wealth even in some of the most challenged parts of the globe. Freedom works. Liberty works. Economic decentralization works. Where allowed to flourish without undue burden the market makes life generally better. Where the market is largely restricted poverty continues to prevail.