Crony capitalism is capitalism in name only, and always involves corruption. And the political class almost always dresses up the growing government side of crony capitalism as “public service.”
[I]n terms of total compensation (salary plus benefits), federal workers earn 16 percent more on average than private-sector workers with the same experience, education, and responsibilities. They are paid out of your current and future taxes, not corporate profits. In what some have seen as an echo of the setting for The Hunger Games, the growing power of the federal government to dispense favors and direct whole industries has transformed the Washington, D.C., metro area into the nation’s wealthiest, boasting 10 of the top 20 counties for median household income.
“Obama is Bush on steroids.”
In 2007, in the wake of the biggest lobbying scandal in decades, Congress limited the ability of family members to lobby their relatives in the House or Senate. But it declined to ban the practice entirely.
Since then, 56 relatives of lawmakers have been paid to influence Congress. More than 500 firms have spent more than $400 million on lobbying teams that include the relatives of members, according to a Washington Post analysis of disclosure forms.
From Capitol Assets, the Washington Post series
The rest of us should consider the contemptible behavior of people like Hoyer as we watch the expansion of politics into every area of our lives. The government grows; the private sector diminishes; everything becomes a political act. Soon you will see the phrase “none of your business” become an antique aphorism, as quaint as telling someone to “dial” a telephone number. Everything is everyone’s business now. That’s what Big Government means.
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The expansion of government replaces competition with coercion. Free people lack coercive power, so they must compete with each other for business opportunities. Customers must be persuaded. Employees must be attracted. It’s messy sometimes, and the process must be policed for theft and fraud, but it’s generally constructive.
As government gets bigger, crony capitalism and its culture of corruption and paternalism and nannyism grows hand in hand.
How did Harry Reid get so wealthy? Ah, right, “public service.”