This is one of the frustrating things about people who I believe legitimately care about reigning in crony capitalism on what is called the “Left” in this country. They seem always to want more of the thing which enables crony capitalism – government.
Crony capitalism can not happen without government. Government is the lever which cronies use to expand their power and wealth.
The key is to decentralize. Diffuse the power in Washington (and other capitals) and move it as much as humanly possible back to real live humans.
We don’t really need much government at all.
Below are the things which I think most people want and which I believe they are willing to pay for with taxes. (This is not necessarily my list. Much of this can be done by the private sector on a voluntary basis but I am conceding some things here because we are talking politics not theory.)
2. Basic help for the truly indigent.
4. A system of courts.
6. I’ll even throw in schools – but not like the system we have now.
This is what a reasonable government looks like. This is what an inexpensive government looks like. This is what a vastly less crony system of government looks like. It’s probably 90% smaller than the one we have now and we could certainly do it without an income tax. How nice would that be?
But once we get into social engineering (pretty much all “modern” government) things go crazy. Because it is in the mucky muck of such engineering that large interests hijack money and regulations. It is a cardinal law. It simply happens – every time. Additionally a system of government concerned with social engineering is the kind of system which requires massive taxation of the citizenry to maintain.
I know it’s a lot for us to ask that our lefty friends abandon their love of the big G. I know that giving up on the welfare (crony) state is a huge leap. But please really consider it. We are headed down a rather nasty path. One I don’t think even many of our lefty friends are going to like.
The Road to Serfdom is real.
Warren isn’t wrong to complain that big business has too much influence over public policy. But that influence isn’t the result of insufficient government intervention. It’s the result of a government that is too massive and too willing to intrude in free markets.
To take just one example: Up until the mid-1990s, Microsoft had virtually no lobbyist presence in Washington, D.C., and gave almost no money to political campaigns. Then the Clinton Justice Department decided to sue Microsoft for antitrust violations.
By 1998, the company was pouring $3.7 million into lobbying and giving more than $1.4 million to political campaigns. Influencing Washington became part of Microsoft’s business strategy only after Washington decided to butt into Microsoft’s business.
Warren and her compatriots also fail to understand that big businesses like costly, intrusive regulations when they handicap new competitors.
*That is DEFENSE. Not the massive military we have now.