Conservatives, let's stop harping about 'socialism' and get more precise about crony capitalism and corporatism 

David Harsanyi, a Denver-based syndicated columnist has a good one today about Obama and crony capitalism. Here's a key excerpt:

"Right now, businesses across this country are proving that America can compete," Obama explained, listing a number of businesses that get it, such as Caterpillar, Whirlpool, Dow, and a company named Geomagic.

All of these phenomenal success stories (thanks to Ira Stoll at the blog "The Future of Capitalism" for pointing this out) also share, in one way or another, the privilege of feeding at gov'ment's welfare trough. Oh, yes, these exemplars of good corporate citizenry prove they can compete in a marketplace with taxpayer funds. Which will no doubt make them more compliant with the administration's wishes.

General Electric's CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, whom Obama recently appointed to lead his new panel on "job creation," understands this new reality. One of the nation's most effective cronies, Immelt's company has benefited from government bailouts, waivers, and lines of credit. A real icon of capitalism, Immelt.

I have been tring for a while to get conservatives and free-market types to stop harping about Marxism, redistribution, and welfare. Corporatism, crony capitalism, and corporate welfare are the problems here -- and they were problems under Bush.

Cheers to Harsanyi, who has always gotten this, and the growing group of conservatives and libertarians who get it.

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Timothy P. Carney

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