Cronyism is the practice by which government officials—Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives—give preferential treatment to particular firms or industries in exchange for votes, campaign contributions, or the pleasure of promoting pet projects. Favored companies reap financial rewards, reduce their exposure to risk, and gain an advantage over rivals who don’t get the same government help. And as Veronique de Rugy explains in our November issue, the practice of crony capitalism is thriving in America today.