Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crony Capitalism's Common Nightmares

Left and right both point to crony capitalism as a cancer upon our nation.  The left fails to see that it afflicts democrats just as badly as republicans.

Liberals love to launch incoherent farragoes at our American capitalist system.  A noxious admixture of watered-down marxism, disconnected statistics, and warmed over French Revolution propaganda, the most entertaining ones usually add in anti-Halliburton rants, Bush's blood for oil wars and Reagan's hatred of poor people.  Fortunately for our collective sanity, there are also smart people on the internet who effortlessly dismantle these angry diatribes.

The logic is terrible, with no cause and effect, and worse, no solutions beside making government bigger.  See an example towards the bottom of thread over a Sue's Place (She's a liberal happy warrior, and a rollicking good time can always be had over at her place). I tried in vain to show them this is a bipartisan problem.

Libs and Cons both Hate Crony Capitalism

But we still do not share a common definition.  We are currently at the stage where each camp can see it when their political opponents do it, but are blind to the same actions when their political heroes engage in it.

I think ordinary conservatives, especially tea partiers, are ahead of the curve, willing to admit that Bush and the Republicans are big offenders.  Republican politicians are still willfully half-blind, and nobody on the left besides Bernie Sanders gets it completely. 

Conservatives rightly fingered Texan T Boone Pickens' windmill scheme as a crony capitalist foray.  The left still can't understand how "Green Jobs" is a lefty version of the same affliction.

Crony Capitalism is a Bipartisan Affliction
Corrupt lawmakers pass special laws for their corrupt friends, using the power of the state to favor certain individuals over others.  Of course, the moneyed class thrives in such a "pay for play" environment, because the small business owner and the poor can't even buy a ticket to get in, let alone play.

Human Nature
The typical liberal author digs deep into the black hearts of those greedy captitalists, divining their nefarious motives.  Selfishness!  Greed!  Pure Greed!  And usually "hatred of the poor" thrown in for good measure. 

Well, if we can start prosecuting thought crimes based on a liberal version of morality...  But since that is dang near impossible, the next best thing is to take human nature into account when crafting laws.

The liberal answer is predictable: Bigger Government. We need that like we need more cowbell. Can't they see that bigger government just produces bigger crony capitalism?

Conservatives and libertarians point to the free market untrammeled by a government that favors well-connected businesses and industries.  Let them compete fairly, and let the failures be carved up by the winners.  The American workers, consumers and taxpayers will all be the beneficiaries.

A free market with a firewall between government and big business.  A free market, refereed by blind justice.  A free market, where the players suffer the direct consequences of their failure.  Complete transparency of markets and government. 

Pass more laws?  Hamilton and Madison dispatched that tired progressive bromide over 200 years ago:
Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

Another effect of public instability is the unreasonable advantage it gives to the sagacious, the enterprising, and the moneyed few over the industrious and uniformed mass of the people. 

Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue, or in any way affecting the value of the different species of property, presents a new harvest to those who watch the change, and can trace its consequences; a harvest, reared not by themselves, but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow-citizens.

This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for the FEW, not for the MANY. (Federalist 62)


Ray said...

"This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for the FEW, not for the MANY." Some today would call this "Tyranny of the minority" through hate crime legislation.

Silverfiddle said...

The more I read of the founders the more amazed I am at their wisdom...

Ray said...

Indeed. They would mistake the present 111th as the invading redcoats and Obama as their general.

WomanHonorThyself said...

The more I read of the founders the more amazed I am at their wisdom.....yup and Hussein O wont rest until we are another CubA!

Leticia said...

Our founding Fathers understood and followed biblical principles which allowed them to walk in great wisdom. They would have balked at Obama and his band wagon of cronies.

We need men like the founders to take back what the Democrats and Republicans have stolen from this nation.

Mr Beardsley said...

Leticia hits the nail on the head. John Adams realized this over 200 years ago when he said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."

Does that describe our country anymore? Are we moral and religious? Until the majority are interested in doing what is right for the country, and not what benefits them the most, government and business will continue to run amok.

Silverfiddle said...

Mr. Beardsley and I have had a few discussions about this issue while leaning over our shovels. I usually take the libertarian side, which upsets my fellow Christians.

I have to agree with Mr B and Leticia. Not only do people in important and influential positions respect no God except Moloch.

If we had a shared morality (doesn't have to be Judeo-Christian, anything!) we would probably be OK. But we've lost that too, and as Adam Smith tells us, a free market with no morality is a predatory jungle.

Justice, prudence, benevolence, and self-command are nowhere to be found.

In a way, the constitution used to provide a moral system before the District of Criminals turned it into a doormat...

Silverfiddle said...

Mr B and I used to have discussions about this while leaning on our shovels, and I usually took the libertarian position, but I will agree with him and Leticia.

In the public square, especially big business, there is no God but Moloch, and we're the ones getting sacrificed.

We could survive that still if we only had a shared morality. The constitution used to provide that before the District of Criminals turned it into a doormat.

Adam Smith told us that the market place without morals is a jungle.

Justice, prudence, benevolence, and self-command are nowhere to be found.

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