Capitalism

Socialists Are Scary, but Capitalists Are Their Own Worst Enemies

New research shows that business leaders who benefit from government favoritism are more comfortable with government intervention into markets.

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According to a recent Gallup poll, four in 10 Americans now think favorably about socialism.

This reminds me of the economist Joseph Schumpeter, who in 1942 wondered, "Can capitalism survive?" His conclusion? "No. I do not think it can." Schumpeter didn't like this conclusion. But his fear, to borrow a Marxist saying, was that capitalists would sell the rope with which they would be hung. Schumpeter and many other free marketeers from Adam Smith to Milton Friedman observed that individual capitalists can profit by destroying capitalism, by lobbying governments for special privileges that undermine competition and tilt the economic playing field in their favor.

If this depressing hypothesis is right, we should find evidence of it in the way business leaders think and talk about markets. Sadly, it turns out we can.

Working with a national research firm, my colleagues Scott Eastman, Tamara Winter, and I surveyed 500 American business leaders. What we found was that capitalists who benefit from government favoritism are more likely to accept interventions into markets. Being a favorite is correlated with approving of favoritism.

To qualify for the survey, respondents had to work full time, be at management level or higher, and be knowledgeable of their firm's characteristics, like the number of employees and financial details. They also had to be either decision makers or have influence over their firm's decisions. Our sample drew from every major industry defined by the Census Bureau, and included leaders of small and large firms alike.

We began by asking these leaders whether they thought their firms benefited from any number of government privileges, including: direct loans, loan guarantees, subsidies, bailouts (or the expectation thereof), regulatory barriers to competition, targeted tax breaks, tariffs or quotas on foreign competition, or government-created monopoly. About 61 percent told us that their firms benefit from at least one of these government-granted privileges.

Next, we set out to see whether those who think they work for firms that benefited from such favors have systematically different beliefs when compared to those who don't work for privileged firms. We focused on their beliefs about markets, about government, and about favoritism itself.

This group was about 10 percent more likely to say that markets should be generally free and that free markets serve the broader public. Yet these same business leaders were also about 10 percent more likely to say that the U.S. market is currently too free.

This isn't necessarily a contradiction. One can believe that free markets are generally a force for good and believe that, on the margin, markets in a particular country are too free. Yet leaders of favored firms were also more likely to say that competition is unfair to business, which is more difficult to square with their belief that markets should be free. Leaders of favored firms were 12 percent more likely to approve of government involvement in the economy, 9 percent more likely to think that regulations benefit consumers, and 16 percent more likely to say that regulations benefit the economy.

Now, seven out of ten business leaders we surveyed said that government shouldn't favor specific businesses or industries. Even among those who think they work for favored firms, a majority—61 percent—disapproved of favoritism. Predictably, however, among leaders of non-favored firms, disapproval of favoritism ran much higher at 84 percent.

Notably, the leaders of firms who received government favoritism had different ideas about what it takes to succeed in business. They were about 10 percent less likely to say that either customer focus or a unique business model are the most important factors for success and about 7 percent more likely to say that either knowledge of influential people or government assistance are the most important.

They were also more likely to hold contradictory beliefs about free enterprise—believing both that markets should be free and also that government should favor particular firms. Compared with other business leaders, those who work for favored firms were more than three times as likely to hold these contradictory ideas, 28 percent versus 8 percent.

Like any study, ours has some limitations. We're relying on business leaders to report whether they work for favored firms or not. Their own statements may not always be reliable. And we should also be cautious in drawing causal conclusions. When we find that business leaders who think they work at favored firms have different beliefs compared to other leaders, we can't be certain that employment at the firm caused this belief. It is plausible that a business leader's attitudes about markets, government, and favoritism change once he comes to work for a favored firm. But it's also possible that one who is comfortable with an active government that favors particular firms or industries will naturally self-select into (and be comfortable working for) a favored firm. 

Whatever the causal relationship, our study offers some reasons for optimism as well as some reasons for pessimism about the fate of capitalism. Optimists can take heart that most business leaders disapprove of favoritism, have mildly favorable views of competition, and think that customer focus is the key to business success. On the other hand, the pessimists may be disturbed to learn that experience with or awareness of favoritism seems to correlate with greater approval of favoritism, greater disapproval of competition, and a stronger belief that government relationships are the key to success.

Were they alive today, I suspect that free marketeers like Smith, Schumpeter, and Friedman would say that our findings are consistent with their conclusion that capitalists are their own worst enemies. At the same time, I can't help but note that the study is consistent with Marxist notions of class interest and false consciousness. According to Marxist theory, different classes—capitalists, workers—have different and often opposing interests. The idea of false consciousness is that many of us are deluded into thinking and acting in ways that do not serve our class interests.

Maybe some capitalists support the "free market" because they believe it is consistent with favoritism and that this favoritism will permit mass flourishing? In this, I fear they are deluded. And their delusions may be an even greater threat to capitalism than the four in 10 Americans who favor socialism.

NEXT: California's Politically Powerful Unions Aim To Crush Sharing Economy

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  1. I think what conclusions like this miss is that these corporations are now full of Socialists. Of course, they think government should play a bigger and bigger role in the business world.

    You can really see this with some companies assisting government with blatant boot stomping of rights. For example facial recognition companies, contract companies for the NSA, Google assisting the Communist Government in China to track people….

    1. What is surprising is that there are still some Capitalists left.

      Decades of Lefties controlling Academia clearly produced tens of millions of Socialists or those sympathetic to Socialism. Americans who don’t like Socialism had to hide under the radar and hope they make it out in one piece.

      Then the corporations filled with these Socialists and Americans who don’t like Socialism had to hide to get jobs and get promoted in companies that don’t want dissent to their Socialist ideals.

      1. They won’t make it out in one piece if the likes of Sanders or that idiot from the Bronx ever gain power. It blows my mind how inattentive people are about the fact how far to the left the DNC (and Liberal party in Canada) have gone. This is not only obvious by plain observation (and listening to their rhetoric) but objectively as well.

        When The Economist and the NYT say you’ve gone too far left maybe you should listen.

      2. Yeah, but you’re on welfare. Doesn’t that make you a socialist?

        1. OG
          July.5.2019 at 10:08 am
          “Yeah, but you’re on welfare. Doesn’t that make you a socialist?”
          Doesn’t mommy have your cookies and milk ready, kid?

        2. Poor OG troll.

      3. Have you even set foot on a university campus in your life?

        1. I certainly have, and the marxists had the place on lockdown. This was before the #culturewar and “cancel culture” etc so I didn’t really feel the existential threat that the whole aforementioned “#culturewars” brings about. More like I was just enjoying the realization that all those supposed “socialists” were absolutely lapping up the benefits of (relatively) free markets and capitalism every day.

        2. Tony
          July.5.2019 at 12:59 pm
          “Have you even set foot on a university campus in your life?”

          Do you ever post anything which wouldn’t embarrass a 10 year old?

          1. No. No he hasn’t. And sadly, he has not drank his Drano yet either.

            Best thing for him really, his commentary is going nowhere.

        3. Have you even developed one second of self-awareness to see how much people laugh at and ridicule your faux-sophistication that you use to cover up your insecurity about being at the core a slack-jawed rube?

          1. I’m not boasting about my education, I’m trying to ascertain where people get the idea that universities are socialist indoctrination centers. It must be through first-hand experience, I’m sure.

            Of course nobody seems to care about Christian universities telling their students that Jesus had a pet dinosaur.

            1. I’m trying to ascertain where people get the idea that universities are socialist indoctrination centers.

              From academic studies analyzing academic bias; from news reports; from looking at the academic programs and syllabuses; from meeting graduates; from watching university lectures online. Did that answer your question?

              I’m not boasting about my education

              I’d suggest not. The better your education, the more embarrassing your current state.

            2. I wouldn’t boast about any education you’ve allegedly had since all it’s given you is the false belief that you’re better than the cousin fucking Okie shitbag stock you’re obviously still butthurt about coming from. And you’re not that bright. In fact, you’re painfully stupid.

    2. But since they’re not government, we’re supposed to let them do whatever they want to whomever they want. Even though they are performing the functions that our government would like to perform (censorship of the public square, surveillance, facial recognition, etc.)

      1. “But since they’re not government, we’re supposed to let them do whatever they want to whomever they want.”
        Was that strawman heavy to carry all the way here?

      2. But since they’re not government, we’re supposed to let them do whatever they want to whomever they want.

        If they’re not violating the NAP, yes.

        1. Surely pollution is aggression.

          Some of us thing labor exploitation is aggression, among other things.

          1. Mmm’kay. And your point is?

            1. That even according to the fatally limited concept of the “NAP,” libertarian policy preferences do not account for a whole range of aggressive actions on the part of business.

              1. That even according to the fatally limited concept of the “NAP,” libertarian policy preferences do not account for a whole range of aggressive actions on the part of business.

                How so? What libertarian argues that businesses should be allowed to damage people with impunity?

                1. Is there any other point to libertarianism?

                  How should businesses pay for their role in polluting the environment? What is the robust libertarian environmental policy?

                  1. Stop deflecting and answer the question:

                    What libertarian argues that businesses should be allowed to damage people with impunity?

                    You may disagree about methods, but that’s you changing the subject.

                    1. Anyone who says such damage should be dealt with by torts alone.

                      It’s snake oil. Everyone knows it on both sides. It’s a bad joke.

                  2. Anyone who says such damage should be dealt with by torts alone.

                    So in fact what you’re saying is that you agree with the NAP, you just don’t think tort is the way to enforce it.

                    1. I don’t believe any simplistic “principle” is sufficient to handle all of the problems of a complex modern society. I disagree with the implicit claim that simpler is better.

                    2. I don’t believe any simplistic “principle” is sufficient to handle all of the problems of a complex modern society.

                      Please detail your sense of the proper limits that should be placed on the principle that you should be able to do whatever you want as long as you’re not hurting anyone.

                    3. Tony
                      July.5.2019 at 3:33 pm
                      “I don’t believe any simplistic “principle” is sufficient to handle all of the problems of a complex modern society. I disagree with the implicit claim that simpler is better.”

                      Bullshit! You think the simple process of outlawing something is like clicking your heels together and flying off to leftyignoramusland.

                    4. I don’t have to, because you already believe in such limits. Walking on your lawn isn’t hurting anyone, but you think you ought to be able to blow someone’s head off for the trespass. NAP!

                  3. Tony
                    July.5.2019 at 2:37 pm
                    “Is there any other point to libertarianism?”

                    You bet! It’s to allow us to easily identify fucking lefty ignoramuses like you.

                2. Those who think Twitter, Facebook and CNN ought to be able to unperson or dox anyone they disagree with.

                  1. Those who think Twitter, Facebook and CNN ought to be able to unperson or dox anyone they disagree with.

                    I don’t believe I have ever heard a libertarian argue that if a person is damaged by such behavior that they should have no recourse.

                    Have you?

                    1. But they’ll defend section 230 to the death.

                      Same thing.

              2. Would Reason favor any policy as inimical to the interests of private business as open borders are to the interests of the lower tiers of labor?

                1. Would Reason favor any policy as inimical to the interests of private business as open borders are to the interests of the lower tiers of labor?

                  That’s not really an apples-to-apples comparison. Would Reason favor policies that are inimical to the interests of the largest and most embedded industries? Yes.

                  And by “lower tiers of labor” I assume you mean all those tiers above the lowest tier, which is forbidden from working so that they don’t out-compete the higher tiers (that’s not just immigration, that’s minimum wage laws, too).

                  What’s the common thread here? Is it championing the interests of “business,” or is it championing the removal of economic restrictions?

          2. You think having to work at all is slavery tony, you lazy fatass.

            1. What’s the point of working if not to make enough money so that you don’t have to work anymore?

              Sure, some people like working. Some people like running marathons. Whatever floats your boat. Why should anyone have to be required to run a marathon in order to feed their children, if there are better options available? Because you say so? Because some deity says so?

              1. Sure, some people like working. Some people like running marathons. Whatever floats your boat.

                Hey, look – you’re starting to get it! Now let’s talk about income inequality . . . .

                1. If you’re okay with the social outcomes that result from large income inequality, you should just say so and stop trying to justify them with platitudes.

                  1. If you’re okay with the social outcomes that result from large income inequality, you should just say so and stop trying to justify them with platitudes.

                    You just can’t leave goalposts in one place, can you?

                    If some people like to work, and some people don’t, is it a problem that the people who like to work have more wealth than those who don’t?

                    Bonus points for answering the question rather than changing the subject.

                  2. There’s no such thing as income inequality. There is income disparity, which is nothing to be alarmed about per se.

                    If I earn 10 bucks an hour working retail, the earning disparity between me and some guy working at a tech office will be considerable. But so what? What’s the causal relationship between me and him? The income inequality narrative is an arbitrary comparison between two extremes to create an illusion of inequity.

                    If you’re watching the next Spiderman movie or paying 200 dollars to build a 20 dollar light saber at Galaxy’s Edge (what the hell), you have no cause to complain about income inequality. The underclass throw gobs at money at vanity every year.

                    1. Ultimately if someone makes more than you they are more efficient.

                      It is the entire point of markets, and a mind numbingly simple thing to understand.

                    2. There’s the standard-issue classist bigotry that justifies your political beliefs. You know what, hardworking Randian heroes do not actually populate the ranks of the people doing the hardest work in this or any society. Most people doing much more work than me make much less money. So feel free to change the subject to “making money by having it already is just being smart!” and away from efficiency or a work ethic, as long as it’s convenient for the donors to your phony economics religion.

                      What self-congratulatory bullshit.

          3. Most of us think that you’re a laughable retard.

            1. And who the fuck might you be?

              1. Someone who thinks you’re a knuckle dragging semi literate Okie moron.

          4. Some of us thing labor exploitation is aggression, among other things.

            Yes, because offering you a job at a wage you are not satisfied with is so aggressive! My, it’s like punching you in the face! You should punch those evil Nazis who offer you jobs right in the face! It’s what you do!

    3. I think what conclusions you miss is that the world isn’t black and white. There are very few pure socialists or capitalists or libertarians. You naively look for people to play the roles you ascribe to them based upon some textbook definition. But that’s not how people are in real life.
      Look at yourself. By your own definition, you’re the prodigal libertarian son come to school all us lefties on H&R. But, you’re not even a libertarian by definition. You’re much more of an American Constitutionalist. There’s a ton of overlap, at least in this country. But if you were in Canada, what philosophy would you fall back on? What if you were Chinese? How would you promote libertarian beliefs to those not under the authority of the Constitution? Do you understand the nature of rights? Do understand, or ascribe to the NAP? I don’t think so. At least not based upon what you write here.

      1. Pretty much this.

        Republicans talk about the scourges of socialism and central planning, yet many celebrate Trump’s tariffs because they are seen to support American nationalism.

        And of course Democrats are much, much worse yet. As far as free markets go, they’re too far gone.

        1. Tariffs are protectionism. I grant it’s not a great thing but it’s far from being as bad as central planning. You can revert out of tariffs through policy or change of government. Try ridding of socialism without raising the body count.

          1. It is central planning. The planner decides the price of goods. It’s also quite cronyist in that the planner picks industries to protect.

        2. Leo… that dishonesty is back. Nobody is celebrating the tariffs. But unlike you they realize we do not live in an open and free international market and never have. They understand game theory and that if only one side is completely open it will be exploited.

          1. Maybe not celebrating, but certainly accepting them.

            Your argument is reminiscent of GWB’s we have to abandon the free market in order to save it. What it means is that you don’t actually believe in markets. Because markets don’t need gamesmanship to work. It’s just another form of planning, which is inefficient.

        3. Republicans talk about the scourges of socialism and central planning, yet many celebrate Trump’s tariffs because they are seen to support American nationalism.

          If I were a libertarian in prison, I wouldn’t complain about “government handouts” when the prison guards feed me; to the contrary, the prison guards have a moral obligation to do so.

          We live in a country where 50% of the economy is due to government activity, in a world where most nations are authoritarian shitholes. It’s utterly naive for people to look at each policy individiually and say “in an ideal libertarian world, would that be the right policy”?

          I don’t know whether Trump’s tariffs are good policy. What I do know is that there are no valid libertarian grounds to attack them on. Trump’s tariffs are just a consumption tax, and as long as the US government has a massive annual budget deficit and debt, a basic application of the NAP tells you that at the very least, it should tax citizens enough to eliminate that. The fact that they are a consumption tax on goods imported from a hostile totalitarian regime employing slave labor and trying to use economic domination to wipe us off the face of the earth is an additional point in their favor.

      2. Poor Eric.

        Words like Socialist, Capitalist, Libertarian, and NAP have very established meanings.

        The World is actually very Black and White. People like YOU create artificial gray areas to hide from ridicule.

        Its funny that you think that you can hide after opening your mouth. Your Leftism drips from every sentence.

    4. They’re not full of socialists. They are full of people who think capitalism can only flourish with government intervention. As such they are like the Democrats who insist they aren’t socialist but that government intervention is need. As such they are like Republicans who say they are for capitalism but want government to manage trade.

      The number of people in the US (never mind the rest of the world) who are genuinely in favor of free markets is damned rare. Even that watered down variety known as “free enterprise” died a quiet death last century.

      1. When has government not managed trade?

        1. Pre civilization.

        2. “When has government not managed trade?”

          Guy name of Cowperthwaite (sp?), post-war Hong Kong.
          Directly comparable populations between HK and the mainland; HK flourished, the mainland remained in poverty and starvation.

        3. That is a very good question for a conservative to ask.

  2. Is this any surprise? The rise in socialism’s popularity is directly linked to capitalism failings. For too long our government has favored the rich and powerful. The idea was that helping the rich trickled down. But it has not worked that way. I am not saying that the CEO of a company should not make more than an average worker. But policies that allow the CEO to make 100s of times more are not good. Government policies have also decreased labor unions. These unions were a part of the capitalist system that allowed a counter balance to management. Overall the capitalist system is building wealth for a few by eating itself. Want to stop socialism, fix the problems with capitalism.

    1. “” The rise in socialism’s popularity is directly linked to capitalism failings.””

      The only thing capitalism is failing is those who think it’s something it’s not. Capitalism is not about wage equality, or ending disparities. It is not altruistic. Things often look like failures when you judge them by metrics they were never meant to achieve.

      Socialism isn’t about wage equality or ending disparities either. It too would fail.

      1. +1000000

      2. Would you agree it’s also not about government reducing trade deficits and “winning” at trade?

      3. Does Moderation4ever realize Socialism also produces a class than makes 100s of times more than the average worker? The “average worker” is going to get screwed either way, I just prefer Capitalism as it’s more likely to actually produce things people want.

        1. Actually, to go back to the original question Schumpeter asked, democratic capitalism sets the stage for the sort of regulatory capture that leads to market socialism. It is not that capitalism does one thing and socialism another, it is that any government large enough to affect the economy in any way will tend toward market socialism of some variety. This is why libertarians should be as suspicious of big business as they are of big labor. If business is big enough, buying government to protect its market position becomes easier than competing. Big business and big government inexorably become intertwined and the only way to break up big government is first to break up the big business whose influences sustain it to their own ends instead of the ends of the people.

          1. the only way to break up big government is first to break up the big business whose influences sustain it to their own ends instead of the ends of the people.

            I agree 100% with your first four sentences, but having the government break up big corporations just makes the government more powerful, upon which arrives a new group of big corporations.

            As democratic citizens, we have the actual ability, however minute on the individual level, to limit the power of the government. If you limit the power of the government, you de facto limit the power of the corporations.

            1. They never would have been that big in the first place. They defrauded the public. What are the courts for?

              I think his point needs to be considered more thoroughly. I can give a shit about big business as much as I do government. They are both corporations. Never forget that.

      4. Socialism thrives on pointing out the differences in wages between different occupations. You cannot compare a blue collar worker to a tech worker in terms of wage. Many blue collar jobs require minimum training and are often repetitive. As such these employees can be replaced easily.
        Most tech jobs require a high degree of specialisation and often require years of training and experience thereby making such employees hard to replace.
        This is the free market.
        Socialist believe both should earn the same. Socialism works on jealously and spite and it doomed to failure since those with tech experience will simply move to other locations for work if they are force to drop their standard of living to that of the average blue collar worker.
        Socialism is totally against human nature.

    2. Moderation4ever
      July.5.2019 at 9:13 am
      “…But policies that allow the CEO to make 100s of times more are not good…”

      Get fucked with a rusty chain saw and die, you miserable excuse for a pile of shit.

    3. We can tell who didn’t read the article. The use of government favoritism in the article is an example of the creeping socialism dummy.

      1. I did read the article. It is about a failure of capitalism. Too much money is now in the hands of too few companies that then use that for government policies that favor their companies. People see the wealthy have power at their own expense. They then look at alternatives like socialism. My point stands, want to stop socialism, fix capitalism.

        1. Moderation4ever
          July.5.2019 at 10:43 am
          “My point stands, want to stop socialism, fix capitalism.”

          Using socialism to “fix” capitalism is what we have now.

          1. Well said.

        2. There is no fixing capitalism outside of protecting against unnatural monopolies. Government cant fix shit as their primary interest is the accrual of powers based on the people who become politicians.

          Using government regs to increase barriers to entry is a socialist idea. It creates a government regulated industrial complex as the companies begin to rely on governmental power for market shares and so become subservient to government. That’s socialism, or fascism, not capitalism

          1. Even “unnatural monopolies” really should be treated different if you mean utilities. Most of the modern monopolies are created with the help of government. Keep government out of business except very minor regulation and most monopolies are not invincible.

            When government creates utilities, then competition is nearly impossible because you need to go through government to even get into the business.

            While it seems like a good idea to create utilities because you dont want 5 sets of water pipes running under streets and 10 power companies weighing down power poles in neighborhoods, the reality is that the market finds a way to make it better for the customer. Solar and microgrids is a technology that would eliminate multiple power companies wanting to lay power lines into neighborhoods. New tech to filter rain water, small municipal water systems, or local wells eliminate the need for 5 sets of water pipes.

            Cellular Wireless services is another tech that has almost eliminated landlines and the need for multiple phone companies laying a bunch of phone cables in neighborhoods.

            1. Lefties always refer to the “Rail Barons” of the 19th Century as evil monopolies. There were more rail companies than we have today.

              Additionally, the government picked winners and losers to create many of the large rail companies because continental rail service was a government priority. We see that these government still cannot give up the Choo-Choos even when air and vehicular travel are vastly superior in almost every way.

              1. How did the tanks get to DC?

                Think hard upon this. Not the shermons nor the airports captured in 1812.

            2. Should just let the “natural” monopolies form and compete at the boundaries. People who live between two utilities could choose which one to join. The companies with better service and value would grow, those not as good would shrink.

            3. For unnatural monopolies I mostly mean large market shareholders who commit buy and kills to eliminate market competitors. Weve most recently seen this from Facebook and Google. A glowing example is Google buying Vimeo to kill the higgest competition to youtube. But both companies are notorious for both buy and kills as well as straight up stealing.

              1. And neither one is a monopoly.

              2. Natural monopolies are ok.

                Just not unnatural ones.

        3. So your answer is to put all the money in the hands of Elizabeth Warren, who isn’t qualified to run a corner convenience store?

        4. The wealthy do not derive their power at my expense. That is a grievance narrative that seemingly needs no explanation.

          Unless of course, you think that I should be resentful of the amount of taxes that are taken from them by our bloated government. I am not.

    4. Helping the rich has trickled down though. Everyone is far better off than they were a century ago.

      Government policies don’t allow CEOs to make hundreds of times what lower level workers make, freedom does. There is a small pool of people capable of running a large corporation competently. Companies compete for them because a top CEO can make a huge difference is a company’s profitability and stock price.

      1. CEO salaries can be tax deductible meaning the government subsidizes those salaries and thus can encourage the inflation of those salaries. If you can not deduct the workers wages then you can not deduct the CEOs wages. And the CEO’s wages should be taxed at the same rate. Dump paying in stock which allows for lower tax rates.
        I also disagree that about a limited number of people for CEOs. The CEO selection process itself is somewhat incestuous and may not lead to the best person. Instead the most connected person get the job. CEO selection for a publicly traded company should be a free market process.

        1. If you can not deduct the workers wages then you can not deduct the CEOs wages.

          Agreed.

          And the CEO’s wages should be taxed at the same rate.

          You don’t believe in progressive taxation? That surprises me – you seem like the type who would.

          Dump paying in stock which allows for lower tax rates.

          So no more ESOP’s? I think there are lot of workers out there who would like to have a discussion with you about your plans for their retirement plans.

        2. Letting people keep their own money isnt a subsidy dumbfuck.

          1. Wrong. Reducing a person’s or company’s taxes is subsidizing them. Someone else is paying their share. Try it in the grocery store next week. Ask the clerk to reduce your bill 5% and charge it to the guy in line behind you. Tell the clerk that he just letting you keep your money.

            1. Moderation4ever
              July.5.2019 at 5:40 pm
              “Wrong. Reducing a person’s or company’s taxes is subsidizing them.”

              Bull
              .
              .
              .
              shit.

            2. You seem to be unclear on how this works, and don’t seem to really understand the relationship, or lack thereof, between taxation and spending.

              You just take it for granted that however much money the government decides to take from you is just, by definition, and that any reduction in that rate is a gift from the government, regardless of how that money is being spent or how that taxation came about.

              If a thief decides not to rob me but instead robs my neighbor, the thief is not subsidizing me, even though my neighbor lost money and I didn’t.

            3. If the clerk did reduce your bill by 5%, it wouldn’t be paid for by the next customer, or any customer, but by the owner.

        3. Moderation4ever
          July.5.2019 at 1:59 pm
          “CEO salaries can be tax deductible meaning the government subsidizes those salaries and thus can encourage the inflation of those salaries.”

          Get fucked with a rusty, running chain saw, slaver.

        4. What made you think those things aren’t all tax deductible? Wages and salaries are business expenses.

        5. @ModerationForever: If you are talking about the corporate income tax, workers and CEO’s wages are both deductible at 100%. Income = revenues – expenses, and wages are expenses. A lot of things are complicated in the tax code, but wages aren’t one of them.

          Or are you confusedly talking about individual income tax on the pay people receive? Nearly half of the workers don’t pay any income tax. CEO’s pay about 33-38% on the pay that they receive as wages. Where things get funny is when CEO’s and business owners get paid through other routes, that they might be able to classify as “not income”. And that’s because rich people buy Congressmen to make the tax code so complicated – and they always will be able to do this as long as we allow a big government. The solution to government corruption is NOT more government.

    5. Uh, sure. That’s why in absolute dollars and percent of expenditures or GDP, government spending on social welfare and health programs has consistently climbed for the past 5 decades.

    6. Capitalism doesn’t have “problems”. Capitalism is merely the private ownership of the means of production. And by extension, the private control of the privately owned means of production. It’s not a system that needs fixing. It’s not the game, it’s one rule of the game.

      Marx was savvy in his misdirection by coining the term “capitalism”. It’s buggered everyone’s mind so they can’t think straight.

      What we want is NOT capitalism, but free markets. And capitalism is just one part of a free market framework. That framework also needs the rule of law, enforcement of contracts, the impartial mediation of disputes, and of course, free individuals trading freely in a market. A free market is a set of legal and social frameworks.

      Crony capitalism is NOT a free market because it does not have the impartiality of law. Firms are given special privileges by the government, either directly as charters or monopolies, or indirectly via tax and corporate structures, special trade status, special immunities, subsidies and tax breaks, etc. Crony capitalism is a capitalist system, but it’s one where economic success is tied to a connection to political power. And that’s exactly what this article is talking about.

      1. ^ So much this.

        1. Then why use Marx’s term at all? “Capitalism” suggests rule by capital, just as other -ism words are constructed. Say “free enterprise” instead.

    7. “For too long our government has favored the rich and powerful.”

      Umm…Socialist countries DON’T?

      You ever see the lifestyles of the children of Socialist leaders? Kids have money to burn.

      Yes, the market has problems. CEO’s are some of the least capitalistic entities on Earth. It is why Reason and the old GOP’s love of big business…not of the free market…is frustrating. Splitting up Google will help plenty of others. The trickle down effect of that alone liberates unknown numbers of people.

      1. Umm…Socialist countries DON’T?

        ^ This.

        Government by definition favors the rich and powerful.

        So – who’s actually talking about getting government to stop favoring the rich and powerful – advocates of big government, or advocates of limited government?

    8. But policies that allow the CEO to make 100s of times more are not good.
      So a person starts his own business and builds it to a multi million dollar corporation should not have his hard work and ingenuity rewarded even if he pays his workers a generous wage.
      Nobody has the right to tell this person what he should be paid.
      His employees have the ability to take their labour to anyone who will employ them. Nobody in America is ‘forced’ to work for someone they don’t like because they think that person pays himself too much.
      Fucking socialist think employees should have equal say in any business. WTH gives them the right to believe this when anyone of them have not put in the risk of starting that business.
      Instead of comparing your financial situation against someone on the board you should compare your finances to where you were the year before. If you are not doing as well, then retrain or take your labour to another company who will pay you more. Your financial situation is not the concern of the company you work for beyond what the company pays you.
      If you are not happy with this wage, then get a backbone and ask for a pay rise.

  3. There’s nothing inherently anti-capitalist about asking for and accepting free stuff or stuff at a lower price than the competition. You don’t need to manage a firm to understand the art of the haggle.

    And it doesn’t matter if the other side of the transaction is a business partner, a vendor, a competitor or taxpayers represented by the government.

    Side note: The title of this article, “Socialists Are Scary, but Capitalists Are Their Own Worst Enemies”, could use some work. Like adding sardines to a peanut butter sandwich, it mixes metaphors and smells a bit off.

    1. “And it doesn’t matter if the other side of the transaction is a business partner, a vendor, a competitor or taxpayers represented by the government.”

      Favoritism is not just “asking for and accepting free stuff”. It includes making a market harder for competitors, or getting stuff for more than a competitor would ask. And sure that is fine if it is YOUR money being spent. But that is not how government works.

      ““Socialists Are Scary, but Capitalists Are Their Own Worst Enemies”, could use some work. Like adding sardines to a peanut butter sandwich, it mixes metaphors and smells a bit off.”

      Uh…do you know what a metaphor is?

      1. “It includes making a market harder for competitors …”
        Part of biz 101.

        “And sure that is fine if it is YOUR money being spent. But that is not how government works.”
        Isn’t it? Where’s your proof it doesn’t?

        “Uh…do you know what a metaphor is?”
        Can socialists actually _be_ scary? Or, is the writer making a comparison? Can a person actually _be_ their own worst enemy? Or, is the writer making a comparison?

        1. “It includes making a market harder for competitors …”
          Part of biz 101.

          Right. Which is what the article is about – i.e. that “Capitalists,” like yourself, are often opposed to “free markets” because free markets threaten the privileges you seek from government to compensate for your inability to compete in an actual free market.

          Can socialists actually _be_ scary?

          Yes. You must be new to this comments-section if you think otherwise.

          Can a person actually _be_ their own worst enemy?

          Ever met an alcoholic?

          Or, is the writer making a comparison?

          “Metaphor” =/= “making a comparison” such that the answer to “Uh…do you know what a metaphor is?” is clearly “no.”

    2. Cronyism has always been a part of the capitalist calculus. As long as there is government and capitalism cronyism will exist. Now whether it graduates to full blown fascism is another matter.

      Point is, these business leaders look for hand outs. People should be careful as to not lump all businesses into one basket.

      Corporations and their lobbying usually isn’t friendly to small business for example.

    3. “…or taxpayers represented by the government.”

      Your first mistake is assuming this country’s government represents anyone but themselves. Your second mistake is forgetting that the government has a monopoly on the use of violence. There is no such thing as a fair transaction when the other guy can assault, imprison and/or kill you with impunity.

    4. It’s getting free stuff at a lower price by using your connections to the dude that has the legal monopoly on the use of force. A fat juicy subsidy counts as free stuff, but you got it through taxes, not through a market. Special privileges that other businesses don’t get. Special immunities that let you do that which was not be legal by other firms. And even stuff like government contracts for stuff the government should not even involved with. A big fat contract under the ACA counts as free stuff, but it’s not part of a free market. Technically it’s still capitalism, but it’s far closer to socialism than what people would have called capitalism a few decades ago.

  4. Reason has really gone down the toilet to publish shit like this. What’s next, “Communism has some really good ideas, we just need to implement it correctly”?

    Personally, nothing says “libertarian” like drinking the False Consciousness koolaid. The best kind of freedom is the one the Big Man in charge decides you should have!

    1. Sadly, the Koch brothers have said “fuck it” and decided to just completely sell out to George Soros. I guess he’s giving away more money than anyone these days.

      But Gillespie and Welchie Boy didn’t need a whole lot of convincing; they were already about 90% of the way there to begin with.

      1. If you read Soave’s book — which, mind you, I am — you will see Dave Weigel II in the making.

    2. Maybe you can read the actual article. And then pull out a basic Econ 101 text book to know what the article is actually saying.

  5. That’s why one too many business ‘how to’ or business books in general are bunk.

  6. We Koch / Reason libertarians need to get over our fear of socialism.

    Look, I don’t want to raise the minimum wage any more than the rest of you do. But we must keep in mind our brand of libertarianism supports #ImmigrationAboveAll. And it’s democratic socialists like AOC who are leading the way exposing the literal concentration camps Orange Hitler has built.

    Open borders socialists > Anti-immigrant “capitalists”

    #LibertariansForAOC
    #AbolishConcentrationCamps

  7. New research shows that business leaders who benefit from government favoritism are more comfortable with government intervention into markets.

    Nice to see that Reason is promoting socialist equivocation, using the term “capitalism” to refer to both “free markets” and “business”, instead of using the less ambiguous term of “free market capitalism” or “free markets”. In reality “business leaders who benefit from government favoritism” are not operating in a free market and hence don’t prefer it. It’s fascinating that a magazine that calls itself libertarian is surprised by the concepts of “regulatory capture” and “rent seeking”.

    Finally, there is nothing wrong with business owners trying to seek favors from governments. It’s normal, natural, and moral even in a completely free market. It is the sole responsibility of government to deny such favors.

    1. Excellent post: the problem with the article claiming businessmen seeking government favors are capitalists, because they are not free market capitalists, and at best are crony capitalists, which is just a way of saying businessmen and politicians get in bed together to rip off taxpayers in a corrupt use of government force.

      But you’re not correct that “there is nothing wrong with business owners trying to seek favors from governments: it’s immoral but admittedly not illegal. But the party responsible for the immorality here is the politician who chooses to sell such government favors to the biggest campaign donor, which such favors shouldn’t be sold in the first place because it corrupts our free markets.

      Still, you can’t put an end to this without ending government’s ability to spend money, as those involved (in say buying and selling armaments to the government) will seek ways around open bidding processes to advantage themselves. All we can do is minimize government spending to minimize the corruption simply because government doesn’t operate via free markets: it operates via force.

      1. But you’re not correct that “there is nothing wrong with business owners trying to seek favors from governments: it’s immoral but admittedly not illegal.

        I don’t think most businessmen asking for “favors” from the government are viewing what they are asking for as a “favor”; they are proposing some kind of deal, as in “I’ll do X if the government does Y”. This is really no different from any other free market transactions: the deal happens when both sides are satisfied with X and Y. There is no independent way of determining whether X and Y are in proper relation. The only difference here is that one of the sides represents “the people”, and it is not doing a good job.

    2. Yes.
      It’s ridiculous to blame the bribe-er because the beibe-ee accepted the offer.
      There really isn’t anything wrong with offering a bribe. It’s a tool like anything else.
      Accepting a bribe, on the other hand, can definitely be wrong – and the party that accepts the bribe is 100% responsible

    3. Socialists tend to say that every form of Socialism that doesn’t end in desirable outcomes wasnt true Socialism. It’s the no true Scotsman fallacy, and we’re correct to call them out on it.

      Unfortunately the same is often true of Capitalists. Crony capitalism exists in every form of capitalism that has government involved. It’s simply human nature to gain power and wealth by any means necessary. There’s no solution beyond removing government, but anarcho-capitalism isn’t something the people want, clearly.

      The best we can do is hope to limit cronyism through oversight of government officials. Term limits would seem to be another logical step that does have some promise, but I’m skeptical as to how effective it would be.

      1. Socialists tend to say that every form of Socialism that doesn’t end in desirable outcomes wasnt true Socialism.

        No, it’s not. You can’t deliver socialism at all; it’s impossible. What matters is what people who promise socialism actually deliver. And the more you try to implement socialism, the worse the economy gets.

        Unfortunately the same is often true of Capitalists.

        No, it’s not. We have had nearly free market capitalism and it has worked well in lifting countries out of poverty. And any movement towards more free market capitalism tends to improve the economic well being of all people.

        Crony capitalism exists in every form of capitalism that has government involved.

        That’s why we need free market capitalism. “Capitalism with the government involved” is either socialism or fascism, or some weaker form of either.

        1. “We have had nearly free market capitalism and it has worked well in lifting countries out of poverty.”

          I’d ask…when?

          At least in the US, the government was deeply intertwined in business from the start,

          1. At least in the US, the government was deeply intertwined in business from the start,

            There was effectively no corporate income tax and little regulation until the progressive era.

            1. The government have EXTREMELY generous land grants to railroads quite early on, for one early pre-Progressive era example.

              1. The government have EXTREMELY generous land grants to railroads quite early on, for one early pre-Progressive era example.

                Oh, please, that is one narrow sector actually related to the purpose of the federal government (defense, interstate commerce). That doesn’t show that the federal government was “deeply intertwined with business”.

                Before the progressive era, the vast majority of businesses operated largely without federal government interference, regulation, or oversight. And federal government spending as percentage of GDP was less than 2%.

                1. Who said the fault was all that of federal government, and not state or local? You had slavery, eminent domain, censorship, forced labor for infrastructure, militia duty, one sided family law, legal favoritism of white over red man, and school taxes.

                  1. Who said the fault was all that of federal government, and not state or local?

                    You tried to make the case that there never has been much of a free market in the US by citing railroads. I merely pointed out that your example was wrong.

                    You had slavery, eminent domain, censorship, forced labor for infrastructure, militia duty, one sided family law, legal favoritism of white over red man, and school taxes.

                    And how does that any of that contradict my statement that We have had nearly free market capitalism and it has worked well in lifting countries out of poverty.?

                2. Not only that, but the one intervention that was federal, protectionism, is today being given as a reason in its favor, saying the economy grew so much at that time, it must’ve been a good thing.

        2. That’s why we need free market capitalism. “Capitalism with the government involved” is either socialism or fascism, or some weaker form of either.

          In modern parlance it seems that capitalism implies private ownership with government regulation. There are no modern examples of anything but this.

          My point was that anarcho-capitalism, which is what I think you’re referring to as free-market, is not going to happen any time soon because it’s just not popular in electoral politics. We should strive towards that goal through every bit of incrementalism as possible through limiting all forms of government power.

          Trump has actually been good in some areas, cutting taxes and regulations. He’s also been bad in some areas, tariffs and access to labor. We can do better, but obviously we can do far worse.

          1. My point was that anarcho-capitalism, which is what I think you’re referring to as free-market,

            No, free market capitalism isn’t the same as anarcho-capitalism. Anarcho-capitalism seeks to replace all government functions with private institutions. Free market capitalism simply wants people to be able engage in business mostly (not completely) without government interference; that means low taxes and few regulations.

            Both the US and Europe have had periods where they were mostly free market capitalist societies, meaning that there was little national interference in how businesses were run.

            Furthermore, these aren’t binary choices. The fact is that the more a society tends towards free market capitalism, the better it does. The more it tends towards government regulated markets, cronyism, and/or socialism, the worse it does.

    4. Finally, there is nothing wrong with business owners trying to seek favors from governments.

      I’m not so sure that’s true.

      If I’m running a business, and I try to bribe a public official, and the official doesn’t accept my bribe, and then I find another one and another one and another until I finally do find one who will take my bribe, am I still doing nothing immoral? Is the blame still entirely on the one guy I finally found to take my bribe?

      1. Bribery is wrong. Asking is not.

        1. I would posit that it depends on context. I used to work for a guy from India who hired me partly so that I could help him navigate the very different business culture here vis-a-vis things like bribes. In India, as most already know, you don’t get a job without bribing a civil servant – it’s literally part of the funding model for government.

          If you literally can’t get the job without the bribe, and bribing is both legal and socially accepted, then yes – there is nothing wrong with trying. You’re a fool not to.

          But then he would also actively go out and try to find people to bribe and even ply people pretty hard to try to get them to accept bribes in a country where it’s not legal and not socially accepted. There’s a place in there where that starts to be full-blown participation in and encouragement of corruption.

          1. But then he would also actively go out and try to find people to bribe and even ply people pretty hard to try to get them to accept bribes in a country where it’s not legal and not socially accepted. There’s a place in there where that starts to be full-blown participation in and encouragement of corruption.

            As I was saying: bribery is wrong, but merely asking for favorable treatment from government officials is not. There is really little confusion between those two: bribery involves the extra step of giving something of private benefit to the government official, asking for something does not.

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  9. “New research shows that business leaders who benefit from government favoritism are more comfortable with government intervention into markets.”

    In a shocking new discovery, it was determined that people receiving welfare are in favor of increasing welfare.

    Teaser: the sun MAY rise in the east tomorrow. Details at 11.

  10. It’s not surprising.

    Government is ostensibly working for the best interests of the citizens.

    Capitalists are clear that they will throw anything and anyone under the bus to make a quick buck. The quicker the better.

    1. Our best interests? You can’t be serious.

      1. Our best interests? You can’t be serious.

        Well – this guy thinks Hitler was actually trying to protect the Jews by rounding them up into those camps, so yes – I think he’s being perfectly serious.

        1. Jews and many others were in prison camps working in nearby factories supporting the German war effort.

          There are plenty of photographs of those factories, and plenty of Aerial photos of those factories and surrounding areas being bombed. Not one photo or report of a bright pink cyanide poisoned body though.

          Zyklon B was part of an off the shelf delousing system meant to save workers lives. It could NEVER have been used according to the holocaust narrative.

          Showers one minute, cyanide the next? Ridiculous.

          1. Rob Misek
            July.5.2019 at 2:56 pm
            “Zyklon B was part of an off the shelf delousing system meant to save workers lives. It could NEVER have been used according to the holocaust narrative.”

            Fuck off, you pathetic excuse for humanity.

            1. How’s that working for you?

              1. “How’s that working for you?”
                How is your asshole bigotry working for me?
                Fuck off, you pathetic excuse for humanity.

                1. Sounds like you have a problem with logic and science. It’s my pleasure to share them.

                  Sucks to be you.

          2. Zyklon B was part of an off the shelf delousing system meant to save workers lives.

            That makes no sense. Zyklon B releases hydrogen cyanide; you cannot use it on humans. Furthermore, lice are not deadly. And lice were widespread in concentration camps. In summary, your statement is bullshit.

            1. Well hydrogen cyanide was used in the US gas chambers to execute people. When you compare the design of a gas chamber to prison camp shower facilities, the differences are extreme.

              Lice carry typhus, which killed more prisoners than anything else during the period of the holocaust narrative.

              Dipshits like you believe bullshit.

              1. Well hydrogen cyanide was used in the US gas chambers to execute people. When you compare the design of a gas chamber to prison camp shower facilities, the differences are extreme.

                The design doesn’t matter; you cannot delouse people with hydrogen cyanide in any way without killing them.

                Dipshits like you believe bullshit.

                I can’t tell whether you are really ignorant enough to believe what you do or whether you are a lying troll. Either way, stop spreading that bullshit.

                1. Most people who are brainwashed with the holocaust narrative have never researched it.

                  Their post truth emotions to visceral to do so, the brainwashing so complete.

                  Zyklon b was used in properly constructed according to the manufacturers instructions delousing structures complete with specific heating systems, required to activate zyklon b, extensive air circulation fans and especially air evacuation systems required for the safety of the workers inserting and removing the previously lice filled clothing and bedding.

                  These chambers still exist but are not on any tours because they don’t fit the narrative.

                  Do a little research before commenting please.

                    1. The Red Cross regularly visited and kep extensive records at every prison camp.

                      Not one reference to support the narrative.

                      Etc. Etc. Etc.

                      Everything I’ve said and so much more is properly researched and referenced in Kollerstroms book.

      2. What do you vote for?

        1. That you shove a .45 up your ass and pull the trigger.

          1. Fill your boots dipshit.

            1. You couldn’t shine my boots you dickless Nazi apologist. Stick a shotgun in your mouth and pull the trigger you worthless turd.

              1. What’s the matter dipshit, science and logic threatening your delusions again?

                Get used to it.

        2. Betcha I know whom you voted for.

  11. Government creates incentives to support government! Film at eleven.

  12. Tom Seyer, hedge fund billionaire funds Socialist for Florida Governor. Denver Post (leftie hedge fund), Vox (leftie finance moguls), The Atlantic (? some wealthy leftie finance Palo Alto group). Bloomberg Nanny big government media. We don’t need a dam study to look at the obvious, which is tax, mandate, control, ration and re-educate the entire electorate for dependence on big government or european style socialism– 70percent tax rates.

  13. By the way, remember back during the whole Lee statue kerfuffle in Charlottesville, Virginia when some of Resson’s fake libertarians like Rob Soave and Ron Bailey claimed that when the left starting purging George Washington and Thomas Jefferson that they would speak out to oppose it?

    Well, it’s already happening now:

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/professor-says-charlottesville-dropping-native-thomas-jeffersons-birthday-a-step-toward-a-decimated-history

    And of course the Baileys of the world are nowhere to be found, as many of us knew they wouldn’t be.

    1. San Francisco is spending $600,000 to paint over a George Washington mural because the AmerIndians are standing in a forest with tomahawks.

      People like Robby Soave are fools. We called it back then with the purge of historical markers and its still true.

      1. In addition to depicting Washington as a soldier, surveyor and statesman, the 13-panel, 1,600-sqaure foot mural at George Washington High School contains images of white pioneers standing over the body of a Native American and slaves working at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.

        Well, I suppose white supremacist, black rights activists, and indigenous rights activists all can agree on wanting to erase that bit of history.

  14. The pendulum swings. The free market offers externalities that the populous expects government to address. As those externalities accumulate, support for more government will increase from every side. The government will go too far at some point and begin to strangle the economy. And at that point the people will begin to reign in the government. It’s happened many times in the United States over the past century or so.

    1. People won’t begin to reign in the government. It’s just that the system breaks down and new people take over. Some people who cheered on the old regime will pretend they knew nothing. The Silence of the Hausfrau.

      From all appearances, the Democrats have learned nothing and are STILL clamoring for more power to the executive. The Republicans who did use to warn about too much power in Obama’s hand are busy trying to stuff even more into Trumps. Eventually the Democrats will come back into power and the Republicans will shocked, shocked, to see so much power in the hands of so few. And the cycle will continue until something breaks and the voters put in a radical. And that’s not always a good thing.

      1. You need a good Strong Man to defeat the bad Strong Man from the Other Side.

    2. “The government will go too far at some point and begin to strangle the economy.”

      Like 2008-2016?

  15. Socialists are scary and crony corporate capitalists are socialists. There aren’t many big corporations that are run by their founders, most are run by bureaucratic managers playing with OPM. Just like government. There’s a reason that revolving door between government and business is so popular.

  16. Perhaps (and I’m just spitballing here) as companies get larger and more bureaucratic, they emulate government behavior. They become more amenable to government interference when it benefits them.

    1. Or, since organizations start becoming less efficient when their number of organizational levels exceeds around 5, which is when their number of people per independent division exceeds around 5,000, maybe when companies get larger they start needing protection to keep from being harmed by more-efficient smaller companies.

  17. We need to strive for the same separation of government and commerce that some people, especially on the left, demand for separation of government and religion.

  18. Mercantilism in a slaveholding monarchy is what Marx and Adam Smith described. Laissez-faire libertarianism is post-Nuremberg non-aggression compatible with the nuclear age. Every exponent of Franco, Mussolini, Hitler, Peron, Fujimoro or Ceausescu-style religious fascism is described by most voters as “capitalist.” Surely libertarian is a more meaningful term, no?

  19. The false consciousness that you’re referring to, which many people have misdiagnosed over the years, is the real divide between peoples; those with principles and those without. When someone’s reasoning feels hollow, that’s because it is. They don’t actually have principles. They just want things to be their own way. Some of those psychopaths are very motivated. You can’t trust anything they say or do. They might be useful from time to time as allies, but they are not useful idiots. They’re useful sociopaths with deadly intelligence and cunning.

  20. But of you drown government in a bath tub, they won’t have to play footsie with socialism, they can exploit human beings directly. The libertarian dream!

    1. But of you drown government in a bath tub, they won’t have to play footsie with socialism, they can exploit human beings directly.

      Did this strike you as a coherent English sentence when you hit ‘Submit?’

      1. Maybe it was the socialists who took away the edit button.

        1. Tony
          July.5.2019 at 1:41 pm
          “Maybe it was the socialists who took away the edit button.”

          No. It was posted by a fucking lefty ignoramus.

  21. Also just in, new ground-breaking research proving water is wet.

  22. Socialists are scary but “both-side-ism” can be scary, too!

  23. There is no shortage of market-hating idiots who think that anyone who makes money is an ideological “capitalist”. Or at least, who will say so when it suits their rhetoric.

    Unfortunately, some of these idiots write for Reason.

    If someone advocates cronyist collectivism for his own benefit, he is the antithesis of a supporter of free markets. If “capitalism” is supposed to be a pejorative for free market ideology, it must not be used to refer to these people.

    1. That’s because there really is an inappropriate conflation of the terms “Capitalism” and “Free Markets.” China is a Capitalist country by any meaningful definition. It certainly is not “Communist” in any Marxian sense. But China does not have free markets. Not even close. They tightly restrict their markets in order to advantage those in the ruling class who control the capital.

      Witness ace_lasher, above, who came here to argue specifically in favor of cronyism and against free markets in the name of “Capitalism.”

  24. True dat: the worst enemy of free enterprise is big business.

  25. This is an article about RENT SEEKING and Cronyism, not Capitalism or Socialism

    1. Yeah… but this is reason.

    2. Yeap

  26. Everyone is their own worst enemy

  27. ” I surveyed 500 American business leaders. What we found was that capitalists who benefit from government favoritism are more likely to accept interventions into markets. ”

    If you had wanted to know what capitalists thought, why ask business leaders? They are clearly not the same thing. It seems to be the case that those who oppose government intervention most vociferously, like our commenters here, are hardly business leaders, but essentially their stooges, apologists, and minions.

  28. “New research shows that business leaders who benefit from government favoritism are more comfortable with government intervention into markets.”

    Every body say DUH!

    Seriously, someone needed “research” to figure out that crony capitalists like big government?

    1. But it’s small governments like those of the Cayman Islands that are most well disposed towards money laundering and tax avoidance. Clinton, Trump, Putin, Trudeau and the rest prefer to keep their money in small government places like Panama rather than big government places.

      1. “Clinton, Trump, Putin, Trudeau”

        The only person who can be in any sense described as a capitalist is Trump.

        You have to understand that crony capitalists are a different breed. The get most of their income by feeding at the trough of tax money from the government.

        1. You’re engaging this guy:
          mtrueman|8.30.17 @ 1:42PM|#
          “Spouting nonsense is an end in itself.”

          He’s full of bullshit, sophistry and nothing else.

        2. “The only person who can be in any sense described as a capitalist is Trump.”

          Trump is a politician like the rest of them. They draw a salary (or feed) from the taxpayers.

  29. There is no place for principles in capitalism.

    Doing whatever brings you the quickest buck is the only criteria.

    Why should a capitalist care if those bucks come from government intervention?

    1. I think that’s the point- they’re ok with govt intervention if they can win. But that just turns off quite a few people from capitalism itself.

      1. Thing is, as soon as you deviate from absolute greedy capitalism, “you’re a socialist”.

        That’s what the sheeple have been brainwashed to believe anyways.

        Then a society needs to agree on lots of principles, values and laws. But without a single overriding principle that we agree on all we do is bicker, flip flopping between two arbitrary and opposing “cable bundles” of principles.

        Truth, reality, is the single overriding principle that we only need to recognize, value and accept. All elements of society need to pass the acid test of truth, and we will agree on the details.

        But the greedy, fearful, uncivilized, lying and doomed will never give up their undeserved control and accept truth. Because the truth will demonstrate that their control is undeserved.

  30. Are there any True Scotsmen in Libertopia?

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