Crony Capitalism

The Public Policy

Crony Capitalism Critics Claim the Moral High Ground

By 5.9.14

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century moved the policy conversation onto a battleground that has traditionally favored the Left—inequality. Advocates of free enterprise were expected to object to Piketty’s premises and prescriptions, and they have: Why focus on relative outcomes rather than actual increases in living conditions for society’s less fortunate? 

But perhaps the Left didn’t expect that Utah Senator Mike Lee and others would seize on the same populist impulse that’s fueled interest in Piketty and take aim at the privileged and the powerful from a different direction. Instead of Piketty’s redistributionist agenda, these reformers are calling for an end to crony capitalism and more limits on a spendthrift government. 

Sheldon Adelson: Crony Capitalist

By on 11.18.13 | 12:29PM

Sheldon Adelson, the wealthy casino mogul and political donor, doesn’t have a leg to stand on if he plans to fight against online gambling. The Washington Post reports that Adelson intends to roll out a state-by-state campaign to ban Internet betting services—ostensibly because such websites are “a danger to children, the poor and others who could be exploited by easy access to Internet betting.” What’s not clear is how Adelson’s own casino empire doesn’t pose such a danger.

The Justice Department and numerous states, including Chris Christie’s New Jersey, are moving ahead on easing restrictions or altogether legalizing Internet gambling. That’s not to say that gaming and betting will be a libertarian dream come true—the services will be subject to voluminous regulations. But if Sheldon Adelson had his way, they wouldn’t exist at all.

Government Shouldn’t Pick Winners and Losers

By on 5.24.11 | 3:52PM

Over on the main page today Roger Pol argues that a government subsidy and taxation scheme to create incentives for use of natural gas in vehicles -- a la "The Pickens Plan" -- should be the nation's new "True Energy Policy," and he ponders why President Obama hasn't endorsed the NAT GAS Act, which has the endorsement of "a bipartisan group of more than 150 members of Congress" (as though that is a reason to do anything). He writes:

The NAT GAS Act provides incentives for using natural gas in vehicles, purchasing natural gas vehicles, installing natural gas refueling stations, and producing natural gas vehicles in America.

Today James Valvo of Americans for Prosperity explains in The Washington Times why NAT GAS is another loser effort by both major political parties to pick economic winners and losers:

Different Implications for BP in a Real Free Market?

By on 5.15.10 | 10:46AM

Thanks to my John Locke Foundation colleague Roy Cordato for calling attention to an article by Sheldon Richman of The Freeman about the Gulf oil spill and how things could/should have been in a real free market.

Conflict of Interest for Obama’s Weatherization Czar

By on 1.14.10 | 7:57PM

If you did not catch John Stossel's program tonight on "Crony Capitalism," he did a segment that theFreedom Foundation of Minnesota helped him with (a lot!) about a small window company called Serious Materials.


Three Little Piggies

By From the September 2009 issue

… go against the market in trucking with the government.