A Cultural Case for Capitalism: Part 7 of 12 — What have the capitalists ever done for Wendell Berry!

[Part 1 is here]. In Monty Python’s Life of Brian, the ring leader of a little band of first-century Jewish rebels asks, “What have the Romans ever done for us?” He’s sure the answer is absolutely nothing, but one of the rebels meekly pipes up with “The Aqueduct.” A moment later another rebel squeaks, “And the sanitation.” Then another, “The Roads.” The ringleader grudgingly grants all of this and then tries to wrench the meeting back on track. Continue Reading...

Which U.S. States are the Most Corrupt?

There’s an old saying that corruption is authority plus monopoly minus transparency. That combination makes state-level governments especially prone to the temptations of corruption. A new study in Public Administration Review, “The Impact of Public Officials’ Corruption on the Size and Allocation of U.S. Continue Reading...

How Enterprise Zones Lead to Cronyism

Barack Obama calls them Promise Zones while Rand Paul calls them Freedom Zones. But when they were first proposed they were called Enterprise Zones. In the 1980s, then-congressman and self-described “bleeding-heart conservative” Jack Kemp became the first lawmaker to popularize enterprise zones, which he supported to foster entrepreneurship and job creation. Continue Reading...

Small Business Owners Can Be Cronies Too

Politicians don’t come cheap. To buy one’s influence you generally need deep pockets, which is why crony capitalism tends to be the domain of “big business.” But a recent article in Slate by California restaurateur Jay Porter shows that some small business owners dream of being cronies too. Continue Reading...

Charles Koch on Cronyism

You are unlikely to find a pair of siblings who are both as admired and reviled as the Koch brothers. Charles and David Koch are billionaire philanthropists, heads of the nation’s second largest private company, and activists who promote libertarian causes. Continue Reading...

Evaluating Net Neutrality via Walter Eucken

On January 14, as Brad Chacos so perfectly put it for PC World, “a Washington appeals court ruled that the FCC’s net neutrality rules are invalid in an 81-page document that included talk about cat videos on YouTube.” Reactions have been varied. Continue Reading...