Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and current GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina crafted and delivered a surprisingly stout case against crony capitalism at last night’s GOP debate.
In a brief, seemingly off-the-cuff response to a question about Internet sales taxes from CNBC moderator Carl Quintanilla, Fiorina decided to backtrack a tad and instead address comments made earlier in the debate about bank bailouts.
She took the moment to explain how the recession and the bank bailouts were a result of crony capitalism. Her comments perfectly articulated the role cronyism plays in the country’s economic system. Indeed, it’s rare to hear a politician make an easily understood, and reasonably coherent argument against the hydra-monster of big government and big business.
Her explanation was so edible, in fact, that most Americans watching the debate — whether they live and work in the high brow halls of academia or the working class streets of New Jersey — came away understanding better the linear line existing between big government and big business.
Great job, Fiorina! Refreshing.
What’s crony capitalism? Crony capitalism is what happens when government gets so big and so powerful that only the big and the powerful can handle it.
So why are the pharmaceutical companies consolidating? Why are there five even bigger Wall Street banks now, instead of the ten we used to have on Wall Street? Because when government gets big and powerful, the big feel like they need to get even bigger to deal with all that power, and meanwhile, the small and the powerless — in this case, 1,590 community banks — go out of business.
You see, folks, this is how socialism starts. Government causes a problem, and then government steps in to solve the problem. This is why, fundamentally, we have to take our government back.
The student loan problem has been created by government. Government trying to level the playing field between Internet and brick-and-mortar creates a problem. The FCC jumping in now and saying, “we’re going to put 400 pages of regulation over the Internet,” is going to create massive problems.
But guess who pushed for that regulation? The big Internet companies. This is what’s going on. Big and powerful use big and powerful government to their advantage.
It’s why you see Walgreens buying Rite Aid. It’s why you see the pharmaceuticals getting together. It’s you see the health insurance companies getting together. It’s why you see the banks consolidating.
And meanwhile, small businesses are getting crushed. Community- based businesses and farms are getting crushed. Community banks are going out of business. Big government favors the big, the powerful, the wealthy and the well-connected, and crushes the small and the powerless.
Peruse through the transcript of last night’s debate, here.
I haven’t seen a vivisection of cronyism like that since I watched the “Kronies” take on their arch nemesis, the “Entrepreneurs”, in that now classic YouTube video cheekily depicting politicians and their private sector cronies as super-hero action figures — something akin to an ad-mixture of Captain Planet and G.I. – Joe.