Though it has always been present to an extent and will never disappear as long as humans remain imperfect creatures, our Punk President (named by me) and his Gangster Government (tagged by Michael Barone) have taken cronyism — other than the financial industry component of the TARP bailouts, which Obama enthusiastically supported — to levels never before seen in the history of this great nation.Making others pay their fair share means making sure that your own friends are paid off...
Unlike prior administrations, Team Obama has been brazen, shameless, and unapologetic about its cronyism. Its members have bragged about its results when they’ve been even remotely positive and pooh-poohed the far more numerous and financially devastating failures as mere costs of doing the government’s business. Ultimately, they and their comrades who pretend to be in the “private sector” want Americans to buy into the idea that cronyism on steroids is the only way things can get done in what is an otherwise opportunity-barren, unfair world.
In a free-market economy, there’s a control on firms which too frequently cross the line into hiring poor workers and inferior suppliers on grounds of favoritism alone: Leaner, higher-quality, and more innovative competitors will take business away from them, and will ultimately put them out of business if they don’t get their act together.
Favoritism becomes cronyism once governments become involved. The fear of going out of business facing firms in the private sector largely disappears, at least in the short and intermediate term. State and local governments which allow their costs to spiral out of control by hiring too many ineffective cronies, getting too chummy and generous with cronies in organized labor, or handing out too many excessively priced contracts to crony firms simply raise taxes and threaten dire consequences if they don’t get their way. Their ability to pursue relentless tax-and-spend policies and the cronyism which almost inevitably accompanies them is somewhat but nowhere near sufficiently limited by balanced-budget laws, the ability of people and firms to “vote with their feet” by moving to other locales, and ultimately in the long-term, as residents of many California cities are learning, by bankruptcy.
Unfortunately, the federal government as currently structured can fund their cronyism by running deficits, printing money without limit, and engaging in accounting maneuvers which would put private-sector players behind bars. The only controls are executive and legislative branches determined not to play the game, which hasn’t been the case in either branch for decades, and an electorate which promptly and consistently throws out the rascals.
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Friends And Money
So much for leveling the playing field: