February 25 2013
Carrie L. Lukas
Organizations like IWF and those who write in support of limited government are used to being called tools of corporations, in the pocket of big business, and the like.
So-called “Progressives” on the Left like to suggest that big government somehow balances out and serves as a check on big business. Yet the reality is that big government is big businesses very best friend.
That’s because when policymakers go to write the regulations that are supposed to “reign in” big business or to make government “investments” is politicians’ flavor of the month (green energy, high-tech infrastructure, etc.), they get to do so in a way that will benefit their friends. And big business knows very well how to be good friends with politicians.
The Wall Street Journal has an eye-opening piece today on Jack Lew, who has been appointed Treasury Secretary pending Senate confirmation. New York University (and yes, academia can pretty much be considered big business) and Citibank both gave him peculiar compensation packages, which you don’t have to be a cynic to see as a pre-payoff for favored future treatment once he’s in office.
Drudge also linked to yet another example of how the Administration’s “green energy” investments are used to syphon super-sized payouts to politically-connected individuals and businesses, and the results of these “investments” almost invariably disappoint.
The real “tools” of corporate interest, it seems to me, are those who try to consolidate money and power to a favor few in government who then get to distribute the money and write the rules to benefit all of their pals. Certainly Republicans have been guilty of this when they are in power, but it’s absurd for the Left to pretend that they are somehow different and are against “corporate welfare” when they stand in support of these green energy boondoggles and are turn a blind eye to corruption like the Washington/Wall Street revolving door.
Readers who are trying to make sense of the finger pointing between the Right and the Left and figure out who really is in the pocket of big business have an easy way to judge: Who is championing rules that create a level playing field for everyone and who is pushing for regulations and tax policies that can be easily manipulated by those in the political know?
What’s the solution to this? Surely it’s not giving even more power to Washington bureaucrats to regulate those companies who they are desperately hoping will one day welcome them with their own gold-plated compensation package. No – it’s returning power to the people so that corporations are held to account by consumers and stockholders.