Tag Archives: political corruption

Why crony capitalism is not capitalism

Piatt Castle Mac-O-Chee in Liberty, Ohio

Piatt Castle Mac-O-Chee in Liberty, Ohio

From “the sage of Mac-O-Chee“, Donn Piatt:

When [civil] war broke upon us the brave men went to the front to fight and the thieves to the rear to plunder. …The war ended and the thieves held Washington. They were contractors, carpetbaggers, railroad plunderers and monopolists of all sorts and they sought to use the government to further their greed.

Elections no longer turn on a diversity of opinions or a difference of policy as to how the government may be controlled, but upon the fraudulent use of money at the polls. Of course the capitalists thus investing in politics, seek to recoup themselves through a use of the government they control as official agents.

I think Donn should have done a better job differentiating between crony capitalism and true, free market, capitalism. However I believe his insight as to the corruptible nature of politics and its unholy union with large businesses warrants just as much attention today as it did over 100 years ago.

Here are some more lessons in crony capitalism from the Cato Institute.

And here is an excellent report by John Stossel on crony capitalism: