American Elephants

We Talk A Lot About Crony Capitalism, But What Is It? by The Elephant's Child

Most of us don’t like crony capitalism, but there is seldom an explanation of how to get rid of it. It is natural for congressmen to favor the major businesses in their districts. Unfortunately, many congressmen or people who have had leadership roles in federal agencies to move to lobbying, or to positions in large organizations where their connections can prove useful in getting government contracts or favorable government treatment. Connections are what matters — who you know and what influence they have. When it gets ugly is the favors and financing and deals that follow the influence and the connections. Partly, it is unseemly, and then ranges from unfair to bribery and criminal influence.

Congress has made valiant efforts to control this kind of fraud with Inspectors General for each of the agencies, and attempts to rein it in, but the members of Congress are only human with all the human flaws. There is, understandably, little effort to control the revolving door that promises good employment when one leaves office.

The essential control is smaller government. I can think of several agencies I would eliminate completely, and you probably can too. Republicans usually favor smaller government, and eliminating unnecessary agencies, but they don’t do a very good job of explaining why it is so important. The more agencies there are, the more busy work, excess regulation, duplication, and waste, fraud and abuse.

Democrats believe in big government, and the power over the citizens that big government offers. They work hard to make citizens dependent on government because that insures they will vote for Democrats to keep their benefits, without realizing the extent to which they are giving up their personal liberty.

You may have noticed that Democrats are far more tolerant of crony capitalism, vote fraud, or misbehavior in office than Republicans are. I suspect most Republicans and a goodly percentage of Democrats would be outraged at President Obama’s and Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch’s efforts to allow non-citizens to vote. That’s what all of the claims that requiring picture ID from voters was “racist” were all about. Unfortunately, “racist” has become the all purpose word to defend whatever ploy the Left is advocating. So far, the judge in the case is dubious.

David Horowitz provides us with a startling example of crony capitalism from our former Secretary of State, and donations to the Clinton Foundation, which seems to donate little to worthy causes and mostly act as a slush fund for the use of the Clintons. The countries were certainly generous with the funds they allocated to Secretary Clinton’s private foundation. What, if anything, they received in return is unknown. I’m sure they just gave these rather large sums as a gift, knowing that it would go to a good cause, and didn’t expect any special consideration in exchange, don’t you?  (Click to enlarge)



2 Comments so far
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May I propose that from now on, it be referred to as “crony socialism”? That’s what Solyndra really was wasn’t it? Government stepping in and protecting the manufacturer.


Comment by atmsafetypin

Gosh not just protection. It’s government choosing winners and losers out of all beginning businesses out there, and using taxpayer money to finance their business. President Obama believes that climate change is an immediate growing crisis (there is no evidence for that) and that solar energy will be the solution (although there is no evidence that solar energy can produce a significant amount of energy at a reasonable cost) so he is happy to finance a company that makes solar panels.

The intrinsic nature of solar energy is that is quite diffuse, and produces energy only when the sun shines —not at night, not on cloudy days, and not even when the clouds hide the sun. When that is the case, you have to switch on a conventional power plant. When free enterprise comes up with a new product, the entrepreneur must find backing from enough people to pay for the startup long enough for public demand to appear. The market will either want the product or not. The federal government has no money of its own — it must take money from the pockets of the public to fund government’s bright ideas. They rarely have any.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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