Crony Capitalists vs. Value Makers: Q&A w Max Borders

Superwealth author says income gap is red herring.

"We have a huge problem in this country with the difference between makers and takers," says Max Borders, "between crony capitalists and actual value creators.... You've got people who have figured out how to game the system. They go down to the brothels of K Street and figure out how to change the rules to benefit them[selves], and we get massive transfers of wealth from middle class and poor people to rich people." 

Borders is the director of content at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and editor of its flagship publication, The Freeman. His new book, Superwealth: Why we should stop worrying about the gap between rich and poor, argues that many conventional measures misrepresent large and contining gains in widespread well-being and material progress for virtually all Americans.

In an interview with Reason's Nick Gillespie, Borders says that focusing on the gap between rich and poor has become a "fetish" in which people are consumed with the idea that America is no longer an economically mobile society. Borders argues that mobility and income growth remain strong - and that the extent they've been dampened, it's due to policies that reward politically connected operators rather than businesses that generate truly popular and affordable goods and services.

About 6 minutes. Camera by Joshua Swain and Amanda Winkler. Edited by Winkler.

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  • Tak Kak||

    Bring back Sheldon!


  • Johnny||

    just as Alan implied I am in shock that any body can profit $6783 in a few weeks on the computer. did you read this web page...

  • Libertarius||

    "Rational Mysticism"

    Dr. Evil sez "Rrrrrriiiigggghhhhttttt....."

  • Gilbert Martin||

    The most recent exhibition in the crony capitalist category is the spectacle of the head of Dow Chemical writing an editorial in the Wall Street Journal about how energy companies should be blocked from exporting liqufied natural gas to take advantage of higher prices overseas.

    He would much prefer they be forced to supply him with cheap feedstock for his chemical business.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Maybe he shouldn't talk like that until Dow shuts down their cracking operations in the middle east and moves them to Texas.

    Them there kuwaitis took our jerbs and our erthylene!

  • CatoTheElder||

    I, too, was disappointed with the WSJ article, beginning with the first sentence: "There is virtually unanimous agreement that America needs a sound and balanced energy policy." Government energy policy has given the likes of Solyndra. Though some of the basic science was sponsored by government back in the 70's, market forces created the impetus for the private technology development and risk-taking necessary to launch the 21st Century shale gas revolution. This has given us the likes of Devon Energy and Chesapeake that now supply about a quarter of US energy consumption. The only sound energy policy is the one that leaves markets unimpeded. Unfortunately, that's not what Mr. Liveris has in mind.

    As long as the US government does not subsidize the exports, Liveris has no economic argument against US gas producers exporting the natural gas that belongs to them. Markets should determine the highest and best use of shale gas and whether the gas is consumed in the US or abroad.

  • Paul.||

    "There is virtually unanimous agreement that America needs a sound and balanced energy policy."


    *looks around*

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    Well, they did say "virtually".

    ... Hobbit

  • desosa||

    like Andrea said I'm alarmed that a mom can earn $7736 in 4 weeks on the internet. did you read this site link and go to tech tab.

  • DunzRunz||

    Well now that makes a lot of sense dude.

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