How protectionism is hindering Puerto Rico relief efforts

A week after being devastated by Hurricane Maria, the citizens of Puerto Rico are as CNN points out, “suffering in primitive conditions without power, water or enough fuel.” Unfortunately, the recovery efforts are being impeded further by a nearly 100-year-old crony capitalist law. Continue Reading...

The J. Wellington Wimpy crony capitalist policy

“I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today,” was a catchphrase made famous by J. Wellington Wimpy, a character in the comic strip Popeye. But it also describes, with slight modification, the attitude of crony capitalist companies to American taxpayers: “I’ll begrudgingly pay you in the future for services provided today.” A couple of week’s ago I wrote about the greatest crony capitalist deal in Wisconsin history. Continue Reading...

What Pope Francis doesn’t understand about speculation

In a recent visit to a steel factory in Italy, Pope Francis said, “One sickness of the economy is the gradual transformation of entrepreneurs into speculators.” “The speculator doesn’t love his business, doesn’t love the workers, but only sees the business and workers as the means to make profit,” the pontiff added. Continue Reading...

Why it matters how ex-presidents make their money

Embed from Getty Images   The President of the United States makes an annual salary of $400,000 a year for doing one of the toughest jobs in the world. While the pay may seem relatively low compared to CEOs of major corporations, the real payoff for presidents comes once they exit the White House. Continue Reading...

What are the unintended consequences of American protectionism?

Protectionism is often associated with patriotic zeal and concern for America. While citizens should certainly have concern for their nation, protectionist measures do not necessarily secure the economic results desired. Acton’s director of research, Samuel Gregg, writes about the unintended effects of protectionism in a recent article for The Stream. Continue Reading...

Subsidies or tax breaks, both are cronyism

Last week, President-elect Donald Trump along with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who is the current governor of Indiana, struck a deal with United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier, in order to save over 1,000 jobs from being sent from Indiana to Mexico.  Continue Reading...

The constitutional problem with crony capitalism

Recently, when asked if intervention by the White House into private enterprise was presidential, President-elect Trump responded, “I think it’s very presidential. And if it’s not presidential, that’s okay … because I actually like doing it.” Writing for the Library of Law and Liberty, Greg Weiner asks, “On what authority is the President of the United States pressuring, which is to say intimidating, the leaders of private enterprise to determine where goods are made and sold? Continue Reading...

Samuel Gregg: Protectionism harmful in the long run

In a new article at The Christian Science Monitor titled “Can ‘economic nationalism’ keep more jobs in US?” Acton Director of Research Samuel Gregg is interviewed about President-elect Donald Trump’s stated goal of keeping jobs and businesses from leaving for foreign countries.  Continue Reading...