American Founding Quotes on Crony Capitalism

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest."

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"I am convinced that those societies (as the Indians) which live without government, enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under the European governments. Among the former, public opinion is in the place of law, and restrains morals as powerfully as laws ever did anywhere. Among the latter, under pretence of governing, they have divided their nations into two classes, wolves and sheep. I do not exaggerate. This is a true picture of Europe. Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions; and experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind; for I can apply no milder term to the governments of Europe, and to the general prey of the rich on the poor."

Thomas Jefferson
Henry Augustine Washington
The Writings of Thomas Jefferson: Correspondence
January 16, 1787
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"Perhaps the greatest, if not the only difficulty, which will arise against the adoption of this New Federal System of Government, will be made by those ambitious citizens, in the different States, who either now are in power, or who will practice their political wiles on the ignorant and unsuspicious part of the people, in order to obtain their own private purposes. It is a lamentable consideration, that men of this stamp too frequently, by the folly and blindness of the people, are put in the exercise of such offices as give them a very dangerous degree of influence – Hence the social compact is often violated, and sometimes dissolved."

Daily Advertiser
September 24, 1787
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"The well born, and highest orders in life, as they term themselves, will be ignorant of the sentiments of the midling class of citizens, strangers to their ability, wants, and difficulties, and void of sympathy, and fellow feeling. This branch of the legislature will not only be an imperfect representation, but there will be no security in so small a body, against bribery, and corruption — It will consist at first, of sixty-five, and can never exceed one for every thirty thousand inhabitants; a majority of these, that is, thirty-three, are a quorum, and a majority of which, or seventeen, may pass any law — so that twenty-five men, will have the power to give away all the property of the citizens of these states — what security therefore can there be for the people, where their liberties and property are at the disposal of so few men? It will literally be a government in the hands of the few to oppress and plunder the many. You may conclude with a great degree of certainty, that it, like all others of a similar nature, will be managed by influence and corruption, and that the period is not far distant, when this will be the case, if it should be adopted; for even now there are some among us, whose characters stand high in the public estimation, and who have had a principal agency in framing this constitution, who do not scruple to say, that this is the only practicable mode of governing a people, who think with that degree of freedom which the Americans do — this government will have in their gift a vast number of offices of great honor and emolument. The members of the legislature are not excluded from appointments; and twenty-five of them, as the case may be, being secured, any measure may be carried."

"Brutus" (Robert Yates)
The Anti-Federalist Papers, III
November 15, 1787
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"There is no provision for a rotation, nor anything to prevent the perpetuity of office in the same hands for life; which by a little well timed bribery, will probably be done, to the exclusion of men of the best abilities from their share in the offices of government.— By this neglect we lose the advantages of that check to the overbearing insolence of office, which by rendering him ineligible at certain periods, keeps the mind of man in equilibrio, and teaches him the feelings of the governed, and better qualifies him to govern in his turn."

Elbridge Gerry
Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, published during its Discussion by the People
Online Library of Liberty
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"With regard to Monopolies, they are justly classed among the greatest nuisances in Government. But is it clear that as encouragements to literary works and ingenious discoveries, they are not too valuable to be wholly renounced? Would it not suffice to reserve in all cases a right to the public to abolish the privilege at a price to be specified in the grant of it? Is there not also infinitely less danger of this abuse in our Governments than in most others? Monopolies are sacrifices of the many to the few. Where the power is in the few it is natural for them to sacrifice the many to their own partialities and corruptions. Where the power as with us is in the many not in the few the danger cannot be very great that the few will be thus favored. It is much more to be dreaded that the few will be unnecessarily sacrificed to the many."

James Madison
October 17, 1788
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"Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the Constituents. This is a truth of great importance, but not yet sufficiently attended to; and is probably more strongly impressed on my mind by facts, and reflections suggested by them, than on yours which has contemplated abuses of power issuing from a very different quarter. Whereever there is an interest and power to do wrong, wrong will generally be done, and not less readily by a powerful & interested party than by a powerful and interested prince."

James Madison
October 17, 1788
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"But the greatest obstacle of all to the successful prosecution of a new branch of industry in a country, in which it was before unknown, consists, as far as the instances apply, in the bounties premiums and other aids which are granted, in a variety of cases, by the ... nations, in which the establishments to be imitated are previously introduced. It is well known (and particular examples in the course of this report will be cited) that certain nations grant bounties on the exportation of particular commodities, to enable their own workmen to undersell and supplant all competitors, in the countries to which those commodities are sent. Hence the undertakers of a new manufacture have to contend not only with the natural disadvantages of a new undertaking, but with the gratuities and remunerations which other governments bestow. To be enabled to contend with success, it is evident, that the interference and aid of their own government are indispensable."

Alexander Hamilton
December 5, 1791
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"That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest. A magistrate issuing his warrants to a press gang, would be in his proper functions in Turkey or Indostan, under appellations proverbial of the most compleat despotism.

That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where arbitrary restrictions, exemptions, and monopolies deny to part of its citizens that free use of their faculties, and free choice of their occupations, which not only constitute their property in the general sense of the word; but are the means of acquiring property strictly called. What must be the spirit of legislation where a manufacturer of linen cloth is forbidden to bury his own child in a linen shroud, in order to favor his neighbor who manufactures woolen cloth; where the manufacturer and wearer of woolen cloth are again forbidden the economical use of buttons of that material, in favor of the manufacturer of buttons of other materials!"

James Madison
National Gazette
March 29, 1792
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"The courtesies of dinner parties given me as a stranger newly arrived among them, placed me at once in their familiar society. But I cannot describe the wonder and mortification with which the table conversations filled me. Politics were the chief topic, and a preference of kingly, over republican, government, was evidently the favorite sentiment. An apostate I could not be; nor yet a hypocrite: and I found myself, for the most part, the only advocate on the republican side of the question, unless, among the guests, there chanced to be some member of that party from the legislative Houses. Hamilton’s financial system had then past. It had two objects. 1st as a puzzle, to exclude popular understanding & inquiry. 2dly, as a machine for the corruption of the legislature; for he avowed the opinion that man could be governed by one of two motives only, force or interest: force he observed, in this country, was out of the question; and the interests therefore of the members must be laid hold of, to keep the legislature in unison with the Executive. And with grief and shame it must be acknowledged that his machine was not without effect. That even in this, the birth of our government, some members were found sordid enough to bend their duty to their interests, and to look after personal, rather than public good."

Thomas Jefferson
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 1
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"The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys."

Thomas Jefferson
The Writings of Thomas Jefferson
June 19, 1808
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"On this view of the import of the term republic, instead of saying, as has been said, 'that it may mean anything or nothing,' we may say with truth and meaning, that governments are more or less republican, as they have more or less of the element of popular election and control in their composition; and believing, as I do, that the mass of the citizens is the safest depository of their own rights, and especially, that the evils flowing from the duperies of the people, are less injurious than those from the egoism of their agents, I am a friend to that composition of government which has in it the most of this ingredient. And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."

Thomas Jefferson
Henry Augustine Washington
The Writings of Thomas Jefferson: Correspondence
May 28, 1816
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"The U.S. slid from the top ten most prosperous nations for the first time in a league table which ranked three Scandinavian nations the best for wealth and wellbeing."

Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, on a former cattle ranch and gypsum mine, NRG Energy is building an engineering marvel: a compound of nearly a million solar panels that will produce enough electricity to power about 100,000 homes.

"John Broder of The New York Times has an interesting piece on Al Gore’s financial profit tied to his global warming alarmism and push for renewable energy. Gore’s venture capital firm invested in Silver Spring Networks, a company that makes hardware and software to improve efficiency in the...

"Anyone who opposes ethanol subsidies, as these columns have for decades, comes to appreciate the wisdom of St. Jude. But now that a modern-day patron saint—St. Al of Green—has come out against the fuel made from corn and your tax dollars, maybe this isn't such a lost cause.

Welcome to the college of converts, Mr. Vice President. 'It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies...

Hamilton may indeed be worthy of this title; but lest we give him and his economic ideas undue credit, we should pause to consider exactly what kind of 'capitalism' Hamilton and his Federalist allies bestowed on the U.S. economy.

"Free markets depend on truth telling. Prices must reflect the valuations of consumers; interest rates must be reliable guides to entrepreneurs allocating capital across time; and a firm's accounts must reflect the true value of the business. Rather than truth telling, we are becoming an economy of liars. The cause is straightforward: crony capitalism."

"When the government-backed Solyndra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, policymakers supportive of the loan-guarantee program said variations of the following: 'If this were a venture capital firm and only one out of 10 projects failed, they would be a great success.' That would be fine if it were private money, not taxpayer money. But now a second company is going under."

"Armed with tens of billions in loans from the Chinese government, Chinese solar companies have scaled at a rate unthinkable only a few years ago. At the end of this year, there will likely be 50,000 MW of manufacturing capacity in place around the world, with much of that new capacity being developed in China and other Asian countries. (In the year 2000, there was only 100 MW of production...

"The United Auto Workers union urged senators on Monday to reject any attempt to block a “cash for clunkers” proposal designed to generate new auto sales.

The Senate is expected to consider the proposal this week to provide vouchers to consumers who turn in their gas-guzzling cars and trucks for the purchase of more fuel-efficient vehicles. Lawmakers secured $1 billion for the proposal...

"The Obama administration has just proposed a new fee — otherwise known as a tax — on the country's largest financial institutions.

The tax aims to recover the difference between the bailout funds provided to these institutions a year and a half ago and the amounts ultimately returned to the Treasury. In so doing, the tax will allegedly reduce the federal deficit by some $90 billion....

"The bankruptcy comes about two months after Solyndra -- a solar panel maker with a $535 million loan guarantee -- also filed for Chapter 11, creating a political embarrassment for the administration of President Barack Obama, which has championed the loans as a way to create 'green energy' jobs.

Beacon Power drew down $39 million of its government-guaranteed loan to fund a portion of a...

Federal employees whose compensation averages more than $126,000 and the nation’s greatest concentration of lawyers helped Washington edge out San Jose as the wealthiest U.S. metropolitan area, government data show.

"Many window-making companies struggle because of the recession's effect on home building. But one little window company, Serious Materials, is 'booming,' says Fortune. 'On a roll,' according to Inc. magazine, which put Serious' CEO on its cover, with a story titled: 'How to Build a Great Company'.

The Minnesota Freedom Foundation tells me that this same little window company also gets...

"It may be a difficult case to prove, but the complaint filed last month by the National Labor Relations Board against Boeing is a welcome effort to defend workers’ right to collective bargaining."

"Under John Browne, BP’s CEO from 1995 until a scandal forced him to resign in 2007, BP ventured into the leftist world of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), that trendy manifestation of 21st Century crony capitalism and creeping state-corporatism. Lionized from Hollywood to Harvard Yard for their unorthodox conversion to CSR and smitten with their corporate rock star status, Browne and...

"Big banks are bad for free markets. Far from being engines of free enterprise, they are conducive to what might be called 'crony capitalism,' 'corporatism,' or, in Jonah Goldberg’s provocative phrase, 'liberal fascism.' There is a free-market case for breaking up large financial institutions: that our big banks are the product, not of economics, but of politics.

There’s a long debate...

"As I’ve written here, Propublica must be recognized for their superb 'Buried Secrets' investigative work on the fracking issue. They put the story on the radar screen.

But, now that the paper of record – the New York Times – has weighed into the debate with a massive three part investigative series, the rats are scurying to cover their asses.

The Times...

"With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.

Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department's $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company...

"Reporting from Washington— Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work.

Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman,...

Remember the East Asia crisis? When the US Treasury and its IMF allies blamed that region's problems on crony capitalism, lack of transparency, and poor corporate governance?

To put it another way, this is a chance to save capitalism from crony capitalists.

"Insider trading is illegal — except for members of Congress. A Wall Street executive who buys or sells stock based on insider information would face a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and quite possibly a federal prosecutor. But senators and congressmen are free to legally trade stock based on nonpublic information they have obtained through their official positions as elected...

"It’s all the current fashion to dump on 'capitalism.'

It was the greedy free market, supposedly, that created both the housing bubble and the housing bust and led, inevitably, to the 'great recession.' Capitalism, according to most liberal pundits (and even Alan Greenspan in a bad mood), is an inherently risky and unstable system that requires government regulation to correct its flaws...

"New York gave us banks too big to fail. Washington bequeathed us Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Still, when it comes to crony capitalism, no one quite matches Chicago.

Soon the Illinois state legislature will meet in special session to consider the Chicago machine's latest favor: legislation designed to deliver tax relief to three of the state's largest companies. These tax breaks for the...

Despite the growing Solyndra scandal, yesterday the Department of Energy approved $1 billion in new loans to green energy companies -- including a $737 million loan guarantee to a company known as SolarReserve....

"Would a farmer who put out a trough of slop be surprised if it attracted a bunch of pigs? Then why are activists who promote enlarging the size and scope of government shocked when one program after another is hijacked by corporations that find it easier to seek favors in Washington than customers in the marketplace? And, knowing that such corruption is inevitable, why do mainstream media...

"Argentina’s ranking in The Wall Street Journal/Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom—now 135th out of the 179 countries ranked in the Index—has declined steadily in the seven years since President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, took power. It is by far the lowest ranked G-20 nation. Recently Charles Krauthammer neatly summarized why...

"In the summer of 2003, shoppers in Southern California began getting a break on the price of milk.

A maverick dairyman named Hein Hettinga started bottling his own milk and selling it for as much as 20 cents a gallon less than the competition, exercising his right to work outside the rigid system that has controlled U.S. milk...

President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are promising a climactic clash with Wall Street, but there’s a complication in their battle plan: The Democratic Party is closer to corporate America ... than many Democrats would care to admit.

"The growing narrative in Washington is that a decades-long unraveling of the regulatory system allowed and encouraged Wall Street to excess, resulting in the current financial crisis. Left unchallenged, this narrative will likely form the basis of any financial reform measures. Having such measures built on a flawed foundation will only ensure that future financial crises are more frequent...

"A privately held start-up that makes solar panels announced today that they would be filing for bankruptcy. The company, Solyndra Inc., received a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy in September 2009. This follows two other bankruptcy announcements by solar start-ups this month. The explanation for these closures has been that world prices for solar products have...

"Sen. Chris Dodd’s financial regulatory reform bill, on which the Senate is slated to take a cloture vote this afternoon, has been the subject of much criticism of late, primarily for what opponents say amounts to a de facto institutionalization of 'too big to fail' with regard to the biggest power players in the financial sector."

"Economic freedom in the United States is on the wane. Historically a standard bearer for freer markets, the United States has seen its economic freedom rating fall in the last decade according to the latest Economic Freedom of the World index, published by a world-wide network of institutes. In 2000, the U.S. was ranked...

When asked to pick my most frustrating issue, I could list things from my policy field such as class warfare or income redistribution.

"Thanks to CNBC, the Department of Energy has been caught removing references to 'SunPower,' a solar energy company that was given $1.2 billion in loan guarantees, from old press releases (H/T Hotair).

'The changes occurred in two press releases from the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program — the same program that has been the center of controversy surrounding the failed solar...

"The Environmental Protection Agency is offering thousands of taxpayer dollars and free publicity to whoever produces the most compelling pro-government-regulation propaganda, it announced on its website and in a YouTube video.


[Henry] Paulson has said downsizing the giants is the one thing that the next administration and Congress must do.

"First Solar, one of the world’s leading solar-panel makers, announced Tuesday that it will close its German manufacturing operations late this year, indefinitely idle four of its 24 production lines in Kulim, Malaysia, on May 1 [2012] and lay off 2,000 employees — about 30 percent of its global workforce.

The company, which with its thin film panels is the industry leader in...

"Renewable-loving Los Angeles is showing that even the power of billions of dollars in taxpayer 'stimulus' cannot overcome the dominant hand of government regulation, and ironically it’s costing President Obama more green jobs.

One of the darlings of the...

An elite Obama fundraiser hired to help oversee the administration’s energy loan program pushed and prodded career Energy Department officials to move faster in approving a loan guarantee for Solyndra....

'There has been a lot of talk lately about GE and what some call crony capitalism. Unfortunately, those same people don’t want the facts to get in the way of their political rhetoric.

"Hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions made by Goldman Sachs, the New York investment firm facing civil fraud charges, are becoming an issue in this year's congressional election.


"Goldman Sachs is launching an aggressive response to its political and legal challenges with an unlikely ally at its side — President Barack Obama’s former White House counsel, Gregory Craig.

The beleaguered Wall Street bank hired Craig — now in private practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom — in recent weeks to help in navigate the halls of power in Washington, a source...

"A few weeks before playing a central role in fraud charges against Goldman Sachs, hedge fund titan John Paulson invited colleagues to a fundraiser for Senator Chuck Schumer -- 'one of the few members of Congress that has consistently supported the hedge fund industry' -- according to a copy of the invitation obtained by POLITICO."...

"Former Vice President Al Gore thought he had spotted a winner last year when a small California firm sought financing for an energy-saving technology from the venture capital firm where Mr. Gore is a partner.

The company, Silver Spring Networks, produces hardware and software to make the electricity grid more efficient. It came to Mr. Gore’s firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers,...

"The defenders of free markets are often viewed as apologists for big business. Regulation of business is seen as necessary to the welfare of the public to prevent exploitation by selfish business people. Such a view would be hard to square with reality, with history both recent and distant.

In reality, business often welcomes regulation and openly lobbies for it. Business often doesn't...

Government’s job is to guard and protect us. But who will protect us from the guardians themselves, once they become corrupt? There is no certain recourse against a corrupt government.

"The 'partnership of government and business' is a new term for an old, old condition. We often fail to realize that the point of much of Big Government is precisely to set up such 'partnerships,' for the benefit of both government and business, or rather, of certain business firms and groups that happen to be in political favor.

We all know, for example, that 'mercantilism,' the...

"President Obama's Department of Energy helped finance several green energy companies that later fell into bankruptcy -- but not before the firms doled out six-figure bonuses and payouts to top executives, a Center for Public Integrity and ABC News investigation found.

Take, for instance, Beacon Power Corp., the second recipient of an Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009. In March...

The politically-connected win. Existing job-holders and companies lose. Home electric bills go up. Power also costs more for companies, making it more expensive to go into business or to stay in business.

"Mark Twain famously wrote, 'There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.' Peter Schweizer's new book, 'Throw Them All Out,' reveals this permanent political class in all its arrogant glory. (Full disclosure: Mr. Schweizer is employed by my political action committee as a foreign-policy adviser.)

Mr. Schweizer answers the questions so many of us have asked. I...

"Today, we are constantly being told, the United States faces a health care crisis. Medical costs are too high, and health insurance is out of reach of the poor. The cause of this crisis is never made very clear, but the cure is obvious to nearly everybody: government must step in to solve the problem.

Eighty years ago, Americans were also told that their nation was facing a health care...

"J.P. Morgan Chase for the first time convened its board in Washington this summer, calling the directors to a meeting at the downtown Hay-Adams hotel, then dispatching them to Capitol Hill for meet-and-greets.

Last month, a firm run by the billionaire investor Wilbur Ross hired the head of Washington's top mortgage regulator to pick through the wreckage of the housing bust looking for...

"As President Obama's push for a healthcare overhaul moves toward its final act, the oft-vilified health insurance industry is on the verge of seeing a plan enacted that largely protects its financial interests.

That achievement, should it stand up in the final legislation, would be the capstone of a sophisticated lobbying and strategic campaign that began even before Obama was elected...

Nevada Geothermal enjoyed significant backing from the federal government. It received a $79 million loan guarantee from the same Energy Department program that helped finance the failed solar company Solyndra.

"Vice President Joe Biden is an affable fellow, which sometimes makes his tendency to exaggerate the truth somewhat amusing. However, Biden’s latest tall tale is as unamusing as it is wrong.

From the New York Daily News:

'Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government...

"The collapse of MF Global, the brokerage dealer headed by former New Jersey Governor and Goldman exec Jon Corzine, may seem like just another case of Wall Street fat cats paying the price for their speculation (actually, though Corzine may have run the firm into the ground, he’s reportedly going...

"'Can capitalism survive? No. I do not think it can.' Thus opens Schumpeter's prologue to a section of his 1942 book, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. One might think, on the basis of the quote, that Schumpeter was a Marxist. But the analysis that led Schumpeter to his conclusion differed totally from Karl Marx's. Marx believed that capitalism would be destroyed by its enemies (the proletariat), whom capitalism had purportedly exploited, and he relished the prospect. Schumpeter believed that capitalism would be destroyed by its successes, that it would spawn a large intellectual class that made its living by attacking the very bourgeois system of private property and freedom so necessary for the intellectual class's existence. And unlike Marx, Schumpeter did not relish the destruction of capitalism. 'If a doctor predicts that his patient will die presently,' he wrote, 'this does not mean that he desires it.'"

"One of the law firms hired to provide legal work for the Treasury Department on a multibillion-dollar federal loan program also lobbied Congress for a private client pushing to expand the same government initiative, records show.

The Treasury Department retained Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal LLP more than a year ago to provide legal advice on the Federal Reserve’s Term Asset-...

"Remember the sloppily written 'for the children' toy testing law that went into effect last year? The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) requires third-party testing of nearly every object intended for a child's use, and was passed in response to several toy recalls in 2007 for lead and other chemicals. Six of those recalls were on toys made by Mattel, or its subsidiary Fisher...

GE is betting on climate change legislation, high-speed rail funding, electric car subsidies, embryonic stem cell grants, expanded federal health care spending, subsidies for renewable energy, defense contracts and continued financial bailouts.

"So, in an effort to stamp out corruption, which U.S. officials have prodded Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai to do, he orders his Central Bank to take managing control of the country’s largest private bank, which, I might add, 'also contributed to President Karzai’s reelection campaign last year.'"

"'Beltway Earnings Make U.S. Capital Richer Than Silicon Valley.' According to the latest Census figures, Washington, D.C. is now the wealthiest metropolitan area in the United States.

That's good news for local property values, but I can't say it fills me with hometown pride. After all, Silicon Valley's wealth was earned -- just rewards voluntarily given for producing innovations that...

"Main Street remains suspicious of government plans to buy distressed mortgage assets. Leading politicians and newspaper editorials are struggling to explain how the financial bailout will help Main Street. They see that the challenge is to get the American people to come around.

In fact, it is the elites who are badly misguided. The reality is that the Paulson plan is nothing more than...

The 'polluter pays' rhetoric is still often used, and most Americans probably think that current environmental policies make polluters pay. In truth, however, this approach is seldom embodied in American environmental laws.

"Green energy investments are coming from every direction. Whether it is the stimulus package or the cap and trade bills proposed in Congress, the government is eager to invest taxpayer dollars in renewable energy technology. As Americans become desensitized to the copious amounts of money the government is spending, clean energy investments are growing from millions to billions. And companies...

"Today the Bureau of Labor and Statistics released its monthly jobs report showing that the U.S. economy added only 103,000 jobs this December. With the unemployment rate now at 9.4%, this marks the 20th month in a row that the unemployment has been over 9 percent, a post–World War II record. You are going to hear a lot of noise from...

Christopher Helman favorably profiled Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser‘s 'green' energy agenda. Yes, solar-panel-maker Solyndra recently went belly up, leaving 1,100 people out of work and the federal government with a half-billion-dollar liability.

"As the once-formidable Enron Empire continues to implode--and new revelations appear daily about the inner workings (and apparent financial shenanigans) of this firm--we are treated, not surprisingly, to the wrong story by the mainstream news media and their associates from the political classes. It is bad enough to see a huge firm go bankrupt, but what makes this situation even worse is the...

George Soros ... is launching a new investment fund that plans to profit off of the 'green energy' boom, which is entirely dependent on government subsidies supported by the groups Soros funds.

"A year ago, a Reno clean energy businessman warned the Public Utilities Commission that if it didn’t set a few standards for NV Energy’s wind rebate program, its customers could end up footing the bill for turbines that rarely produce electricity.

One reason behind his concern: To be eligible for rebates, customers didn’t need to prove that the wind actually blows enough to justify...

"When President-elect Obama came to Washington in late 2008, he was outspoken about the need for an economic stimulus to revive a struggling economy. He wanted billions of dollars spent on 'shovel-ready projects' to build roads; billions more for developing alternative-energy projects; and additional billions for expanding broadband Internet access and creating a 'smart grid' for energy...

"The appointment by President Obama of Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric, to head the new President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness is just another sign of the commitment of the Obama Administration to 'Crony Capitalism'. For over 100 years GE was known for business innovation and manufacturing excellence. But long gone are the uplifting moments in our nation’s history...

"Despite frosty relations with the titans of Wall Street, President Obama has still managed to raise far more money this year from the financial and banking sector than Mitt Romney or any other Republican presidential candidate, according to new fundraising data.

Obama’s key advantage over the GOP field is the ability to collect bigger checks because he raises money for both his own...

"There are two capitalisms. There is mundane market capitalism and there is political capitalism. Markets regulated by the rule of law and governed by a freely functioning price system are post and beam in the architecture of prosperity. You step into a grocery and there in the freezer are your coveted waffles waiting as if someone knew you were coming for them. But no one is looking after...

"Beacon Power Corporation, which filed for bankruptcy late last week, was the recipient of a $43 million loan guarantee from the Energy Department. Campaign contribution information from Open Secrets shows that Beacon Power's CEO F. William Capp donated to both Barack Obama and two Massachusetts Democrats.

Capp donated $500 to to Obama's 2008 campaign, as well as $500 to...

"As 'Occupy Wall Street' continues to grow globally, many wonder what is causing the movement in the first place and what the outcome will be. The naming of the movement, related to Wall Street where it all started, does not do justice to the real issues. Yes, the original protests started with dissatisfaction at lavish bonuses and salaries in the financial sector, when seemingly little...

"This week's HHS proposed rule requiring everyone to carry contraceptive insurance and forcing insurers to cover the entire price is the latest bit of Public Policy Profiteering on birth control from the drug industry, I argue in my column today.

There's a rich history of Democratic politicians subsidizing Pharma through birth-control initiatives.

For instance, Schering Plough, a...

"President-elect Obama, you have been a strong and eloquent defender of property rights and the rule of law, recognizing that they undergird Americans' freedoms and protect us from unjust government actions. These protections may be most important to those of modest means, who are the disproportionate victims of government takings of property. As explained by the NAACP and other civil rights...

"President-elect Obama, you have been a strong and eloquent defender of property rights and the rule of law, recognizing that they undergird Americans' freedoms and protect us from unjust government actions. These protections may be most important to those of modest means, who are the disproportionate victims of government takings of property. As explained by the NAACP and other civil rights...

"If capitalism was the most influential single economic and social force of the 20th century (and continuing today), there is no better guide to understanding its power and complexity than famed economist Joseph Schumpeter, says Harvard Business School's Thomas K. McCraw. 'I think Schumpeter is the most penetrating analyst of capitalism who ever lived. He saw things other people didn't see...

Sen. Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) office is defending the majority leader's decision to hold a fundraiser with Wall Street executives just as Democrats worked to craft a bill regulating the financial industry.

"The lead story in today’s New York Times is a devastating look at solar and wind power subsidies. Too bad it appears on a Saturday when fewer people will read it (which may not be a coincidence). The print hed and sub-hed tell it better than the online version: 'Rich Subsidies Powering Solar and Wind Projects: Big Rise in Government Aid—Companies Are Virtually Assured of Profits.' It’s worth...

A calm has descended over the federal government’s initiatives in energy amid the furor over health insurance legislation.

"Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) has pledged to block a Bush administration proposal being steamrolled through Congress to grant the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve sweeping new powers. Slowing things down would allow Congress to debate the issue fully before approving measures that could put taxpayers on the hook for billions in debt incurred by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government...

"Government spending drives taxes, deficits, debt and inflation, so it’s at the core of our economic problems. What to do about runaway spending? The tendency is to imagine that it might be controlled by electing the right politicians, enacting a law like a balanced budget amendment, passing a spending limitation ballot initiative, establishing a super committee or coming up with some kind...

What is the 'fair' amount of taxation on high-income taxpayers?

"The White House faced mounting political complications as a second top fundraiser for President Obama was linked to a federal loan guarantee program that backed a now-bankrupt Silicon Valley solar energy company, and as two California lawmakers called for investigations of a state tax break granted to the firm.

Steve Spinner, who helped monitor the Energy Department's issuance of $25...

"To speed economic recovery in Asia and promote the economic well-being of the United States, the Clinton Administration should advance further liberalization in free trade with and investment in Asian countries. Liberalization would undermine the policies of "crony capitalism" that caused the recent financial panic in Asia and, at the same time, encourage Asian governments to adopt the...

"Many of the problems that forced solar company Solyndra to shutter operations threaten other businesses in the sun-power industry, with more upheaval likely in the coming months, analysts say.

The bankruptcy last month of Fremont, Calif.-based Solyndra comes as solar manufacturing undergoes a major transition. Prices of solar panels have plummeted, causing a supply glut and slicing...

The rolls of green energy subsidies show that beyond a few headline-grabbing cases, several well-connected Democrats obtained taxpayer assistance for environmentally friendly projects.

Solyndra LLC, the failed company that House Republicans said may have benefited from White House political connections, unsuccessfully sought a meeting with environment chief Carol Browner to argue for the use of solar panels on government buildings, e-mails show.

"Solyndra, the solar panel company whose highly publicized failure and consequent investigation by federal authorities has flashed across headlines recently, isn't the only business to go belly up after benefiting from a piece of the $800 billion economic stimulus package passed in 2009.

At least four other companies have received stimulus funding only to later file for bankruptcy, and...

"A company that served as a showcase for the Obama administration’s effort to create jobs in clean technology shut down Wednesday, leaving 1,100 people out of work and taxpayers obligated for $535 million in federal loans.

Solyndra, a California solar panel maker, had long been an administration favorite. Over the past two years, President Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu each had...

Solyndra, the now-bankrupt solar-energy company that was, before its demise, the poster child for America’s renewable-energy industry and President Obama’s 2009 Recovery Act.

The Obama administration urged officers of the struggling solar company Solyndra to postpone announcing planned layoffs until after the November 2010 midterm elections, newly released e-mails show.

"Three’s quite a bit of back and forth across the political aisle about Solyndra. Does throwing $500 million at a company that failed [to] show that all government tech pump priming is a waste of money? From the other side, well, sure, some will fail but the program as a whole is going to deliver just great results."

"How did a failing California solar company, buffeted by short sellers and shareholder lawsuits, receive a $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee for a photovoltaic electricity ranch project-three weeks after it announced it was building new manufacturing plant in Mexicali, Mexico, to build the panels for the project.

The company, SunPower (SPWR-NASDAQ), now carries $820 million in debt,...

"The Obama administration already undermined the rule of law by ignoring bankruptcy law to give Chrysler to the United Auto Workers union. Now they are again rewarding union workers at the expense of average Americans.

Sacrificing the rule of law and economic freedom to big labor...

"The three top U.S. tycoons on Forbes’s 'Green' billionaires list have received billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies for their clean technology companies, after they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for political campaigns and lobbying.

Two of the moguls, ...

"In a year where Solyndra became the face of the solar industry’s chronic failures, even the holiday season could not prevent one last flurry of layoffs in 2011.

The Mountain Enterprise (based in Frazier Park, Calif.) reported over the weekend that First Solar, Inc. – which the media sometimes identifies as the largest solar company in the world – laid off half its employees on Friday...

"After President Barack Obama entered the White House in 2009, U.S. embassies around the world apparently felt that foreigners still did not know enough about him, despite the unprecedented blaze of global publicity surrounding his election. As has been remarked, U.S. public diplomacy in the age of Obama often amounts to the same thing as publicity for the President himself, with American...

"President Barack Obama recently announced the appointment of 20 private-sector members to the President’s Export Council. Although the President promised to provide Americans an 'unprecedented level of openness in Government,' the White House announcement did not mention the numerous financial connections between President Obama and his appointees.

To correct that oversight, here is a...

"The Obama administration’s game plan for passing their financial regulatory reform plan is clear: ignore the details of their bill, demonize Wall Street, and cast conservatives as the pawns of big bankers. But as Politico reports today, there’s a complication in their battle plan: 'The Democratic Party is closer to corporate...

"Beware politicians whose legislation bears a grandiose title. You can be certain their schemes will accomplish the opposite of their purported intent. Such is the case with the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act signed into law one year ago today. The massive 2,300-page tome - commonly known as Dodd-Frank - promised to fix the financial system, streamline regulation and end...

"The Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA) proposed in the Clean Energy Financing Act would act as a 'green bank' to provide loan guarantees to energy and automotive projects that Washington deems worthy. Similar to President Obama’s proposed infrastructure bank, in effect, CEDA would distort the energy market by redirecting capital inefficiently and create unlimited taxpayer liability...

Energy Secretary Steven Chu appeared before a Republican-controlled House committee Thursday and immediately turned the tables on his GOP critics. Yes, it’s regrettable that a half-billion-dollar government loan to Solyndra went sour.

"As soon as the federal government announced its trillion-dollar bailout (for starters) of Wall Street plutocrats, defenders of the bailout pulled out what they apparently believed was their secret weapon: the myth of Alexander Hamilton as the alleged inventor of American capitalism. Hamilton, they said, would approve of the bailout. Case closed. How could anyone dispute 'the architect of the...

"Since the late 1960s, the steel industry has sought protection in the form of tariffs or subsidies from the federal government. Now the steel industry wants the US government to protect the market even further by applying tariff rates as high as 40 percent on steel imports. Furthermore, the industry is seeking a federal subsidy of $10 to $13 billion to fund its legacy costs, the pension and health care benefits of retired steel workers. The two most frequently cited reasons for this increased government intervention in the steel industry are for national security reasons and to counter 'unfair' foreign competition. But the justifications the steel industry offers for this increased government intervention amount to nothing more than myths and have no basis in reality."

"All the ire at banks and multinational companies by dangerous communists and anti-globalisation hippies is misdirected. They should reserve their venom for the rustic rich-world farmer living the life of Henry David Thoreau."

"In 1978, to the laughter of many and the derision of a few, I wrote a book called, 'The Downfall of Capitalism and Communism,' which predicted that Soviet communism would vanish around the end of the century, whereas crony or monopoly capitalism would create the worst-ever concentration of wealth in its history, so much so that a social revolution would start its demise around 2010. My...

"If you get someone to answer the phone at Evergreen Solar, chances are they'll sound pretty down. The few employees left are waiting to see what unfolds as the company goes through the death throes of bankruptcy.

The Massachusetts-based solar company's demise has escaped much national notice as Congress delves into the political controversy surrounding the industry's other big failure...

Interest groups have not always been as American as apple pie.

"Throughout the painful and paradoxical existence of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) we have been told by those in the mainstream media, as well as by sympathetic politicos, that at its root, at its genesis, the OWS Movement was both organic and legitimate. We were told that the movement was exclusively about a rebellion against high unemployment and crony Capitalism, even as those championing the...

"THROUGHOUT much of the 1990's, Washington had a standard and somewhat preachy -- message to the rest of the world: In an era when markets rule and military might is of limited use, a nation's influence rises and fall largely on its financial credibility.

That was easy to say when the country's markets were rising, its biggest companies were trusted to report the facts each quarter and...

"This week, Sarah Palin gave a terrific speech in Indianola, Iowa. In it, she tore into the Washington political class. Men and women in government get wealthy by 'bail(ing) out their friends on Wall Street and their corporate cronies...reward(ing) campaign votes via earmarks...And there is a name for this: It's called corporate crony capitalism...It's the collusion of...

"Through this special series on green-energy crony-corruption, we've been highlighting specific examples of green-energy loan guarantees and grants. What connects each of these cases is that they received fast-tracked approval from the Department of Interior (DOI) for their projects. Of course, they also have many other dots that connect, such as key players with White House visits, raising...

"Who's got the most juice on Capitol Hill? Here's a list of the top industries contributing to members of the 111th Congress during the 2009-2010 election cycle. The first list shows the overall 50 biggest industries. The other two highlight the top 25 industries giving to members of each of the two major parties. In all cases, the Top Recipient listed is the individual member of the 111th...

"The latest data on economic well-being show the biggest slide in entrepreneurship and opportunity. Businesses' start-up costs are rising in the land of pioneers and patents."

"Let's pretend that we have the political guts to expand economic opportunities for people at the lower end of the economic spectrum. What vested interests should be attacked, and what economic regulations should be targeted for elimination?"

"My post in the NYT's Room for Debate blog elicited a good number of comments and questions. So today I thought I might elaborate on the most-important of these questions: What exactly is economic freedom and what do we know about the way it affects prosperity?"

"For over four decades, Richard Posner has made major contributions to the case for limited government, particularly in the regulatory realm. He is one of the most economically literate lawyers in the law-and-economics movement. However, the financial shocks since 2007 have produced in him a crisis of confidence — and, apparently, a decline in his economic acuity.

He therefore did his...

President Obama and the Banking Committee Chairman, Chris Dodd, introduced 27 new regulations for the banking industry. The new regulations are based on the notion that the financial meltdown of 2008 was due to de-regulation of the banking industry.

"Over the next 75 years, the Social Security program will face a cash shortfall of more than $20 trillion (in 1998 dollars). If no changes are made in the program's design, bringing Social Security into balance will require a 54-percent increase in payroll tax rates, a 33-percent reduction in benefits, a big hike in the retirement age, or a combination of the three. Yet tax increases and...

Chart or Graph

Nevertheless, a large proportion of the winners were companies with Obama-campaign connections. Indeed, at least ten members of Obama's finance committee and more than a dozen of his campaign bundlers were big winners in getting your money.

A chart comparing the Index of Economic Freedom from the Heritage Foundation for 2010 to the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International.

"In four years, the solar manufacturing sector shifted from being led by a geographically-dispersed number of companies to one dominated by Chinese companies."

The most popular company in which members of Congress were invested in 2010 was General Electric, a company that spent more than $39 million on federal lobbying that year and ranked as the No. 3 top spender on lobbying.

"To correct that oversight, here is a breakdown of the $2.1 million in campaign donations provided by individuals associated with the business and labor interests now represented on the President’s Export Council, as reported at and"

Obama’s key advantage over the GOP field is the ability to collect bigger checks because he raises money for both his own campaign committee and for the Democratic National Committee, which will aid in his reelection effort.

Who's got the most juice on Capitol Hill? Here's a list of the top industries contributing to members of the 111th Congress during the 2011-2012 election cycle.

Venn Diagram showing the differences and commonalities of the views of government and corporations from the perspective of Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party.

These 400-plus groups represent a broad range of interests, but the No. 1 interest area among the clients with their sights on the supercommittee was the health sector. 

Analysis Report White Paper

"Since 2009, when the financial reform debate began in earnest, the industry has employed at least 73 former members of Congress, accounting for 47 percent of the 156 former members who have reported lobbying in the time period."

Defenders of the free market are often accused of being apologists for big business and shills for the corporate elite. Is this a fair charge?

We show that state corruption and political connections have strong effects on municipal bond sales and underwriting. Higher state corruption is associated with greater credit risk and higher bond yields. Corrupt states can eliminate the corruption yield penalty by purchasing credit enhancements.

" TIF takes money from schools, fire departments, libraries, and other urban services funded by property taxes. By eliminating TIF, state legislatures can help close current budget gaps and prevent cities from taking even more money from these urban services in the future."

"Since independence in 1948, Korea has seen a seemingly endless flow of corruption scandals bring down scores of elites."

"When their complaints are examined, however, what stands out is not anger at an actual free-market capitalist system, but frustration with the prospect of an almost insurmountable economic system of privilege based on cronyism."

"But at the heart of the meltdown were the financial industry's distorted incentives — created in large part by decades of misguided government policy — which caused bankers and investors to take enormous risks without due regard for their consequences."

"The national Congress is no longer a rubber stamp for the president's initiatives. And there is a growing sense among Mexican citizens that elected officials are there to serve the people rather than the other way around."

"I do not think there is a greater issue in all of our lives than the very message that we are going to talk about today - private property, free enterprise, free market principles, and employee ownership - popular capitalism, spreading the means of production to as many as possible, and the benefits therefrom."

Bandow concludes that "there is no reason for South Korea to continue being Washington's ward--much less to broaden and deepen that dependence.

In this report, the Center for Responsive Politics details the pervasiveness of former lobbyists working in some of the most powerful staff positions in the 111th and 112th Congresses.

"Time series evidence indicates that the 1969 Coal Mine Health and Safety Act, by imposing engineering controls, drove out smaller, less safe mines, thereby shifting production toward larger mines."

"The 2012 rankings of trade freedom around the world indicate that trade freedom in the world has remained constant or regressed slightly since 2011."

"Many attribute the differences in economic performance across countries to factors such as natural resources, climate, education, culture, colonialism, or just dumb luck. Although each of these factors is certainly important, many economists have come to believe that institutions are far more significant in explaining economic development."

Some argue that personal retirement accounts would be a mistake and that the government instead should set up its own investment fund to help finance future benefit payments.

"During the third quarter of 2011, more than 400 companies, unions, trade associations and other groups reported lobbying the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, popularly known as the debt supercommittee, according to a new analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics of reports filed last month with the U.S. Senate."

"Now, however, this claim is being replaced with a skepticism that is equally wrongheaded: a perception that the so-called Asian miracle had no substance, that it was a house of cards destined to collapse under the weight of cronyism and corruption."

"The Federal Estate Tax (aka, death tax) is currently repealed, due to a provision in the 2001 Economic Growth Tax Relief and Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA). However, on January 1, 2011, the tax comes back at the rate of 55 percent on all estates above $1 million."

"These days, being a millionaire typically qualifies you as part of the one percent. But in Congress, it only makes you average."

"I visited Moscow in mid-July, and although I saw some signs of the impending doom at that time, I was there before the devaluation of the ruble."

"With the goal of encouraging greater citizen involvement in government, the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota presents its first Government Transparency report. By analyzing data obtained through public records, we shed light on issues that receive a surprising lack of scrutiny. First up: municipal liquor operations."

Originally conceived as a means to prop up sagging crop prices to support American farmers, the Food Stamp Program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, has exploded into a welfare program that costs tax payers a record $75.67 billion in 2011.

"However, India continues to be hampered by poor business conditions and misgovernance. Almost a quarter of Indian districts have recorded some sort of Maoist violence, and corruption is a major issue. India ranks very low on ease-of–doing-business indicators."

"What did the founders of the United States see as the legitimate role of government? To answer that question we should turn to the rule book they gave us: the United States Constitution."

"However, in this paper I attempt to show that an adaptation of the standard AngloAmerican political and economic system can offer insights that help to explain numerous aspects of the Asian growth model."

"This study discusses how HUD officials operate within a highly politicized environment, which is heavily influenced by the groups that HUD subsidizes and regulates, including the housing industry, financial institutions, and community activists."

"Under the Obama administration, the influence and involvement of trade unions in government policy decisions has surged to unprecedented levels."

"Is government, through its banking and regulatory roles, the guiding hand that leads entrepreneurs toward socially and economically beneficial innovation? Or does government best support the growth of innovation by providing a non-intrusive institutional environment within which entrepreneurs create new things?"

"Economics is the scientific study of how humans adjust their behavior to seek happiness as they define it, in light of the fact that they can’t have everything they want. Unlike psychology, economics doesn’t attempt to explain the underlying preferences (tastes) that people have, but instead takes preferences as a given starting point."

Advocates of the free market including those considered 'right-wing' and 'conservative' believe it is wrong to violate property rights. Consequently, they oppose egalitarian measures to steal from the rich and give to the poor. Such 'income redistribution' represents naked theft and epitomizes the Founding Fathers' fears of unfettered democracy.


In this lecture, Rand discusses the universally accepted negative views of businessmen in general, and "[t]he injustice of the antitrust laws and the manner in which they penalize success for being success" in particular.

"Federal contracts are worth billions and billions of dollars. Those contracts are supposed to be awarded impartially, generally to the lowest and best bidder."

The Prosperity Index combines factors such as GDP, personal freedom, and safety to determine the overall prosperity of a country. This map offers a breakdown of the rating for each nation.

"Peter Schweizer, fellow at the Hoover Institution & author of Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy, on whether Super Committee pols had any put options premised on their own failure, and a detailing of the corruption uncovered in his new book, Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism that Would Send...

"Peter Schweizer doesn't have many friends on Capitol Hill these days. So few, in fact, that he was told not to even show his face at a congressional hearing on insider trading — even though that hearing was the direct result of his new book, 'Throw Them All Out.'

Schweizer, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, spoke at The Heritage Foundation this week about his research on the '...

" is a place to learn about the economic way of thinking through the eyes of creative director John Papola and creative economist Russ Roberts.

In Fear the Boom and Bust, John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek, two of the great economists of the 20th century, come back to life to attend an economics conference on the...

George Mason University economics professor Russ Roberts testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The U.S. used to have a mostly free market, but recently it has devolved into a highly mixed economy.

"Susette Kelo's legal battle with New London, Conn. brought about one of the most controversial and troubling Supreme Court rulings in many many years. But her fight also spurred a backlash among property owners and state legislatures. Susette Kelo now lives in a town across the river from New London."

"Though many (especially on the left) blame capitalism for so much of today's problems. But I believe what they are incorrectly calling capitalism, is actually what I call 'corporatism'. Many of my fellow libertarians call it 'crony capitalism', but I think that muddy's the issue by using the word 'capitalism' in a different context.

I'm basically responding to a request from a very...

As Steve Kroft reports, members of Congress and their aides have regular access to powerful political intelligence, and many have made well-timed stock market trades in the very industries they regulate.

From the General Motors bailout to subsidies for Solyndra, crony capitalism is as serious a threat to liberty, free markets and civil society as ever. Cato Institute Senior Fellow Tom G. Palmer recently discussed The Morality of Capitalism (...

Professors Don Boudreaux (George Mason University), Susan Dudley (George Washington University) & Bradley Schiller (University of Nevada-Reno) discuss the causes & solutions to Cronyism in America.

"How is our tax code influenced by special interests?

Randall Holcombe, Professor of Economics explains how cronyism in the tax code can benefit special interest groups, and he discusses how we can address this cronyism by reducing the spending power of the government."

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt appears in a commercial for Good Luck brand margarine.

"Thanks to CNBC, the Department of Energy has been caught removing references to 'SunPower,' a solar energy company that was given $1.2 billion in loan guarantees, from old press releases (H/T Hotair).

'The changes occurred in two press releases from the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program — the same program that has been the center of controversy surrounding the failed solar...

The term monopoly comes from the 17th century era of mercantilism where kings and queens would accept bribes from businesses in order to grant them the exclusive rights to sell goods in a certain area.

"'Fight of the Century' is the new economics hip-hop music video by John Papola and Russ Roberts at"

"Russian philosopher Leonid Nikonov explains the differences between socialism, cronyism, and free market capitalism. Nikonov is a contributor to The Morality of Capitalism, a new book that is being distributed worldwide by the Atlas Network and the Students for Liberty."

Milton Friedman discusses the free market and the role of government intervention in the first installment of the 1980 series "Free to Choose" which aired on PBS.

"President Obama's Department of Energy helped finance several green energy companies that later fell into bankruptcy -- but not before the firms doled out six-figure bonuses and payouts to top executives, a Center for Public Integrity and ABC News investigation found.

Take, for instance, Beacon Power Corp., the second recipient of an Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009. In March...

"It is clear big businesses wield great control over the federal government. How do we stop this so-called crony capitalism, or collusion? Professor Jason Brennan argues that while it may seem paradoxical the best solution is to limit government power. He provides two reasons for this. First, the power to 'regulate the economy' is really the same thing as the power to distribute favors, which...

"Former BB&T Chairman and CEO John A. Allison discusses how mandates like Sarbanes Oxley and the Patriot Act helped cause the housing meltdown and financial crisis. He spoke at the Cato Institute's 29th Annual Monetary Conference held November 16th, 2011."

"Crooked lobbyist Jack Abramoff explains how he asserted his influence in Congress for years, and how such corruption continues today despite ethics reform. Lesley Stahl reports."

This week I have to scream at the Capitol again. Despite our growing debt, politicians continue to expand government.

John Stossel discusses crony capitalism. Its definition, its symptoms, its effects, its causes and its solution.

Mark Calabria discusses the financial regulation reform bill and its effects on the markets.

Milton Friedman discusses the role of greed and political connections in capitalism.

"The Occupy Wall Street movement expresses valid frustrations, but do the protesters aim their accusations in the wrong direction?

Economics Professor Chris Coyne draws the distinction between crony capitalism and legitimate capitalism. Crony capitalism is government favoritism fueled by handouts and is responsible for the plight of the 99%. Legitimate capitalism, on the other hand,...

Paul Ryan discusses the causes and possible solutions of the financial meltdown, its relation to "too big to fail" and crony capitalism.

In response to the overwhelming demand for more Schiff at OWS, we're happy to release all the audible footage we've got - almost two hours worth.

In this lecture, Jeffrey Tucker discusses how government and private sector groups collude at the taxpayers' expense.

this video provides a good example of rent-seeking in action.

The American Idea belongs to all of us – inherited from our nation’s Founders, preserved by the countless sacrifices of our veterans, and advanced by visionary leaders, past and present.

How many more examples of green jobs failure do we need before we realize you can't centrally plan economic prosperity?

At FreedomFest 2011, Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with Barron's columnist Epstein to talk about his book Econospinning and the failure of what Epstein seens as widespread crony capitialism or 'crapitalism.'

"The triumph of crony capitalism occurred on October 3rd, 2008. The event was the enactment of TARP — the single greatest economic-policy abomination since the 1930s, or perhaps ever.

Like most other quantum leaps in statist intervention, the Wall Street bailout was justified as a last-resort exercise in breaking the rules to save the system. In the immortal words of George W. Bush, our...

"Featuring Tim Carney, Senior Political Columnist, Washington Examiner; Tyson Slocum, Energy Program Director, Public Citizen; and Rosario Palmieri, Vice President of Infrastructure, Legal and Regulatory Policy, National Association of Manufacturers; moderated by Mark Calabria, Director of Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute.

Some politicians claim to be both 'pro-business' and...

"Washington is riddled with corruption, much of which actually is legal. The politicians and other insiders claim that more ethics laws and lobbying rules are the solution. Some even say the only answer is campaign finance laws that restrict 1st Amendment rights to fully participate in the political process. This Center for Freedom and Prosperity video explores a different hypothesis and...

"'Regulations actually benefited the regulated industry at the expense of consumers.' Watch as Susan Dudley explains who really benefits from regulations and how that effects the economic freedom of individuals."

Primary Document

A Petition, also now commonly known as the Petition of the Candlemakers or the Candlemakers' Petition, is a satirical publication addressed to the French Chamber of Deputies. It illustrates the rent seeking concept by purporting to petition the Chamber to enact restrictions on the sun and the use of "all openings, holes, chinks, and fissures through which the light of the sun is wont to enter...

The result of the deliberations of the National Convention is now laid before the public, and I congratulate each patriot heart on the important disclosure.

Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009....

This economic classic is noted for providing us with terms for and expositions of such key economic ideas as the division of labor, "invisible hand," self-interest as a beneficial force, and freedom of trade.

President Andrew Jackson to his cabinet on public deposits from the Bank of the United States.

Yet these public-private partnerships are generally counterproductive. Despite their high-minded titles under the rubric of 'Corporate Social Responsibility' they often end up nourishing a culture of cronyism.

"This is comprehensive legislation to overhaul regulations in the financial sector. It would establish a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency to regulate products like home mortgages, car loans and credit cards, give the Treasury Department new authority to place non-bank financial firms, like insurance companies into receivership, regulate the over-the-counter...

Thirty years later, this crony capitalism is back with a vengeance, accelerated by an aggressive program by President Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership.

Henry Hazlitt's classic primer outlines a straightforward and accessible portrayal of free-market economics. An unshackled market, Hazlitt says, is the only path to "full production".

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was not the first stimulus bill passed in 2008, but it certainly was the largest at over $700 billion.

The 'new economy' is based on rapid growth in high-tech industries and on new technologies reshaping manufacturing, finance, medicine, and other sectors.

Over the past two years we have faced the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression. Americans across the nation are struggling with unemployment, failing businesses, falling home prices, and declining savings.

Nations, like men, are travelers. Each one of them moves, through history, toward what we call progress and a new life or toward decay and death.

An Act To provide greater transparency in the legislative process.

Mises explained economic phenomena as the outcomes of countless conscious, purposive actions, choices, and preferences of individuals, each of whom was trying as best as he or she could ... to attain ... wants and ... avoid ... consequences.

The little pamphlet herewith inclosed will give you a collective view of the alterations which have been proposed for the new Constitution.

On Thursday, November 15, 2011, ... the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing entitled ―"The Solyndra Failure: Views from DOE Secretary Chu."

We initiated this audit to determine whether the Department had implemented effective safeguards to manage the Government's risk of loss and to identify opportunities to improve loan processing activities.

This spreadsheet lists institutions which have received funds as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act from various government agencies, but failed to comply with the Act's stipulated reporting procedures. The document lists the names, the award amounts and dates, as well as the awarding agency.

"Written by Elbridge Gerry, member of the Philadelphia Convention from Massachusetts, and one of the number who refused to sign the Constitution, for reasons given in his letter to the presiding officers of the Massachusetts legislature ...." Gerry uses this document to present some of his objections to the Constitution, many of which centered around the lack of a Bill of Rights. Item number...

John Stuart Mill was a British political philosopher and politician. In this classic essay, he argues that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.... Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."

If the United States mean to obtain or deserve the full praise due to wise and just governments, they will equally respect the rights of property, and the property in rights: they will rival the government that most sacredly guards the former; and by repelling its example in violating the latter, will make themselves a pattern to that and all other governments.

The Secretary of the Treasury in obedience to the order of the House of Representatives, of the 15th day of January 1790, has applied his attention, at as early a period as his other duties would permit, to the subject of Manufactures....

Consider Solyndra, the now-bankrupt California solar panel company, which was once the poster child of the administration’s 'green jobs' initiative. Solyndra is proving to be Exhibit A in the case for why the president’s economic policies have failed.

"To prohibit commodities and securities trading based on nonpublic information relating to Congress, to require additional reporting by Members and employees of Congress of securities transactions, and for other purposes."

In these 3 vols will be found copies of the official opinions given in writing by me to Genl. Washington, while I was Secretary of State, with sometimes the documents belonging to the case.

In the fall of 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama made a campaign promise to jumpstart the economy with an influx of green jobs.

The Occupied Wall-Street Journal was a publication compiled and printed by the protesters and their supporting organizations in October of 2011 during the protests against corporate/government collusion.

The potential uses of public resources and powers to improve the economic status of economic groups (such as industries and occupations) are analyzed to provide a scheme of the demand for regulation.

Americans are angry about executive compensation.

Professor Tullock's 1967 article entitled: 'The Welfare Costs of Tariffs, Monopolies and Theft' is a widely cited classic that has generated a major ongoing research program in the political economy of rent seeking.

Thomas Jefferson speaks about the foreign perception of the United States.

Jefferson discusses the concept of a republican form of government.

The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys.

In the investigation of the constitution, under your consideration, great care should be taken, that you do not form your opinions respecting it, from unimportant provisions, or fallacious appearances.

Congress is missing its opportunity to restore accountability, transparency, and market discipline now lacking in our financial system.

"The answer to the question in the subject line is crony capitalism. What is crony capitalism? It's
something that looks like markets, except that businesses or unions prosper because of friends
in government instead of going out and doing the hard work of competition"