Some days I know exactly what I want to write about and then there are days like today when I review sources I have bookmarked, I find it hard to make up my mind. Everything I looked at said this is what you want to write about today, Jim? In the end, I decided to write about one of my pet peeves, cronyism.
These days when we see the word “crony” or “cronyism”, it is almost always used as an adjective to modify the word “capitalist” or “capitalism”. As a free market capitalism purest who became so as a teenager after reading the works of Ayn Rand, I get all bent out of shape every time I see the terms “crony capitalist” or “crony capitalism”. In the early days of this blog, I wrote a couple of posts on this subject and in threads I and a few others tried to come up with a better term to replace “crony Capitalism”. The best we could come up with was “corporatism”. Not very satisfactory and unlikely to catch on in the media. I am convinced that tying cronyism to capitalism is part of a left-wing socialist plot against free market capitalism. They are, after all, the pros at corrupting language. I define cronyism as the act of an entrepeneur or corporate CEO getting into bed with government and using government to create a competetive advantage for their companies over their usually smaller competitors. A true capitalist, on the other hand, knows that it is competition that drives innovation. Be that innovation in achieving a cost advantage or in the design advantages of their products or services. Innovation then leads to bigger market share and greater profits. Cronyism stifles innovation. I see those who practice cronyism as parasites that suck the life blood out of our economy every bit as much as those we complain about on the other end of economic spectrum who abuse our system of social safety nets. Capitalist they are not!
So, because I didn’t like the term “corporatist”, whenever I wanted to mention the theme in future posts I simply used the word “cronyism” alone. However, over time I have come to believe that cronyism should really be used as an adjective to modify the word “fascism”. In my opinion, The Powers That Be (TPTB) who once secretly or not so secretly funded the socialist revolution in Russia a century ago, learned the hard lesson that socialism can not work. I believe TPTB have now latched on to another failed system; that of social fascism. I believe that TPTB see the future as one where powerful centralized governments and a relatively few mega-corporations will rule the world.
By now you may be wondering what provoked this tirade about “cronyism” or “crony fascism”? It was a Human Events article by Steven Greenhut that I saved nearly two weeks ago. Although cronyism is a tool of all statist whether they have a “D” or an “R” after their name, Greenhut points out that the Obama administration and the Democrats have really fallen in love with cronyism. And, he describes how this love affair was on display at the recent Democratic National Convention.
Few political observers were surprised that President Barack Obama sees himself as the second coming of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as he uttered these words at the Democratic convention Thursday night:
“And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. It will require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.”
Greenhut reminds us that Jim Sinegal, the co-founder and former CEO of Costco, spoke at the convention and plugged President Barack Obama’s investment in education and affordable energy, as well as his immigration policies. He then goes on to tell us what kind of “businessman” Mr. Sinegal is.
Despite the apparent disconnect, having Jim Sinegal at the DNC is no more of a surprise than seeing Joe Biden there also. Costco is not an aberration in its support for the Democratic platform. It is, in fact, the embodiment of the kind of pliant, government-subsidized corporation that Democratic leaders prefer these days.
I’ve tussled with Sinegal in the past, back when his company was strong-arming local governments in Southern California into using eminent domain to clear away properties to make it easier for Costco to expand. Costco offers some great merchandise, but its success is built as much on special governmental privilege as it is on hard work and ingenuity. The company takes millions of dollars in subsidies from local governments chasing sales-tax revenue.
I think we can all agree that the bullying and blackmailing behavior of Costco’s Mr. Sinegal is despicable. I hate that people like him can get away with this type of behavior and I hate that politicians give-in to it. The uninformed public hears about these stories and they immediately associate them with big business and with capitalism and it doesn’t help that the media and we conservatives refer to people like Sinegal as “crony capitalist”. The left loves that capitalist receive the blame for this reprehensible behavior. So, I beg my fellow conservative bloggers to refrain from using the term “crony capitalist”. Call it crony socialism or call it crony fascism because that is what it is. Cronyism is the antithesis of capitalism.
Well, now you know what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?
Original Post: Conservatives on Fire