Grant Bosse, editor of the New Hampshire Watchdog, discusses the most effective way to end corporate welfare–shrink government. He correctly places the blame, not with the companies reacting to government-provided incentives, but with the invasive growth of big government largess:
When the New Hampshire Senate voted last week to tighten its control over the franchise agreements car makers sign with local car dealers, it also expanded the law to cover farm equipment dealers. The people who make farm equipment did the only logical thing they could in the face of growing government meddling in their business. They hired a lobbyist.
Nicholas Johnson, in a piece for the DC2Iowa blog, discusses the first steps that need to be taken in order to repeal corporate welfare:
The Democrats and Republicans in Washington are seemingly suffering from ideological immobilization. Republicans fear that if taxes are increased the tax-and-spend Democrats will just squander the money on bigger government and more wasteful giveaways.
Marc Scribner writes at the Open Market blog about the history of regulation and the railroads, and how the cronyism that occurred previously shouldn’t be ignored today:
In USDA’s case, it is doing the bidding of rent-seeking oilseed shippers from the Midwest rather than Wyoming coal companies and Western utilities, but the goals and policies both groups seek are nearly identical. The irony is that this administration is simultaneously waging a war on coal-fired electricity through Utility MACT, etc., while going to bat for the worst and most naked rent-seeking segments of American Big Business against the most environmentally friendly, least subsidized domestic transportation mode. In case you’re wondering, the STB has found no evidence of market power abuse on the part of the Class I railroads. This is pure crony capitalism.
Against Crony Capitalism notes that prosperity stems from free markets, not government intervention.
What we need now is more capitalism, more dynamism, freer prices, freer markets, less regulation, more transparency, increased separation of government and business, more freedom. Let the economy breathe and prosperity will come.
R. P. Thead at PJ Media writes about a statistic that highlights just how problematic cronyism has become:
From 2000 to 2010, the richest Washington-area counties’ income (by two income measures — defined at the end of this article) grew at about twice the rate of the rest of the country. D.C.-area income also grew at almost twice the rate as the other richest counties in the country not located in the Washington area.
Robert Bradley, CEO of the Institute for Energy Research, discusses the detrimental effects of political interference in the energy industry. We are all losers in a game in which the government attempts to pick winners and losers, often behind closed doors:
In a familiar sign of the times, another major U.S. coal company recently announced layoffs. Alpha Natural Resources, which has mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, is cutting coal production and terminating 1,200 jobs, accounting for nearly a tenth of its workforce.
Tad DeHaven writes at the Cato@Liberty blog about a recent investigation showing that many member of congress are benefiting financially from their own legislation:
A Washington Post investigation found that 73 members of Congress have “sponsored or co-sponsored legislation in recent years that could benefit businesses or industries in which either they or their family members are involved or invested.”
Mitch Kokai writes at the John Locke Foundation’s blog about their attempts to highlight the problem of cronyism in North Carolina:
When governments enact policies designed to benefit particular individuals or businesses — rather than set clear rules that apply equally to everyone — there’s a good chance that cronyism is playing a role.
Jon Sanders outlined his research into Carolina Cronyism during a presentation today to the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society. In the video clip below, Sanders discusses the motivation for his research.
Nick Sorrentino at AgainstCronyCapitalism writes about the current battle over food trucks:
The war on low overhead food establishments is the main reason why those silly stories about lemonade stands run by children being shut down due to lack of permits popped up over the summer. Not that the lemonade stands are a threat, it is the “grown up” version of lemonade stands, the food truck, that restaurants are afraid of.
And they should be afraid. Food trucks make a lot of sense for nearly everyone but the owner of a restaurant. Sorry, but markets change. Restricting access to a service most people want just to favor an entrenched interest is unfair to both the entrepreneur and the taco eating public.
Robert Bradley at the MasterResource blog writes about cronyism within the Us energy industry, beginning with coal, then discussing oil, and ending with the Enron scandal. It is a quick read, but worth it if you want to see just how pervasive cronyism can be in certain industries:
America’s energy industries (oil, gas, electricity) have been a bastion of crony capitalism for much of their history. Leading gas and electricity firms sponsored state and then federal public-utility regulation during the Progressive Era and New Deal. Like other so-called public utilities, they welcomed the prospect of making commission-approved “reasonable” profits in an entry-restricted environment rather than taking their chances in open-entry markets.