Crony Capitalism—Why It’s Not Actually Capitalism At All

People often claim that capitalism is broken because of the cronyism that’s infected our politico-economic system. The influence of special interests, and the subsidies, credits, tariffs, investments, and preferences that work to elevate some industries and companies at the expense of others, has undoubtedly reached staggering and nauseating proportions.

In this episode, we argue that this state of affairs is a corruption of capitalism and the free market economy. Although even Adam Smith warned against cronyism in his explication of the economic system that we now know as capitalism, politicians on both sides of the aisle frequently engage in this anti-competitive, anti-free market practice.

We contend that, while cronyism is not a partisan issue, conservatives in particular need to reject crony capitalism and re-embrace a truly free free market.

Episode Notes, Sources and Corrections

Keith mentions Robert Reich’s new book “Fixing Capitalism,” by which he means Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few.

The Lauren Brubaker article that Keith cites when paraphrasing Adam Smith can be found on the Heritage Foundation’s website here.

For more information on the Hudson Yards development, you can read Remington’s article on Forbes here.

The $110 billion in public handouts to corporations Keith cites is from a 2014 report that reviewed 965 companies. You can view the report here.

For more information on sugar reform and its costs to the U.S. economy and consumer visit the Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy here.

For more information on the Foxconn debate in Wisconsin, this Bloomberg article provides a solid summary.

For more information on the authority of the Wisconsin governor and the controversy surrounding the legislation stripping authority from new Governor Tony Evers, please see this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

Check out this article for more information on Boeing and other corporate welfare recipients.

For more information on Harley Davidson moving production overseas, check out this Fortune article.


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