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Monday, October 02, 2006

 
Free Markets vs. Big Business

John Stossel reports some unconventional wisdom on how government favoritism benefits big business - but not in the way that the Leftists describe:

There was never a time in America when big business didn't get favors from government, which means the taxpayers. Canal and railroad companies loved the big government contracts. Corruption was rampant, and work was often shoddy, but the contracts paid handsomely. The politicians prospered, too. Only taxpayers and consumers lost out.

The history books say that during the Progressive era, government trustbusters reined in business. Nonsense. Progressive "reforms" -- railroad regulation, meat inspection, drug certification and the rest -- were done at the behest of big companies that wanted competition managed. They knew regulation would burden smaller companies more than themselves. The strategy works.

Regulation isn't the only form of protection that big business gets from government. Companies with political clout get cash subsidies, low-interest loans, loan guarantees and barriers to cheap imports.

Even foreign aid is a subsidy to big business because governments receiving the taxpayers' money buy American exports. Fans of foreign aid say those exports are good for the economy because they create jobs. Don't believe it. If the taxpayers had been able to keep the money, their spending would have created other jobs -- probably more jobs.

Read the whole thing - and find out which energy-based business supported the Kyoto climate treaty.




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