It’s one of the major problems in U.S. politics (and European politics) today: crony capitalism. In the crony capitalist system, business people and government officials have such a close working relationship that they’re difficult to distinguish from each other. Politicians bail out businesses, make sure they get government contracts, give them special tax breaks, and use the law to protect them from competition, while the businesses reward the politicians with large donations and high-paying jobs if they ever leave office.
The result: both the consumer and the tax payer are being sucked dry. The only ones who profit are multinational corporations and politicians.
Sadly — and despite Republicans’ supposed support for free trade, free markets, and real capitalism — crony capitalism is a bipartisan problem in America. Both parties play the crony capitalist game and are happy to do so because they know they’ll get away with it.
As far as the Libertarian Party is concerned, that ends come November:
Libertarian candidates running for U.S. Senate and U.S. House in November have pledged to end crony capitalism. Each of 43 candidates made the following pledge:
If elected, I will sponsor and work diligently to pass legislation to:
1. End government bailouts, grants, loans, loan guarantees, and other handouts to private businesses;
2. Eliminate unnecessary government spending, which fuels crony capitalism;
3. Open up bidding of government contracts; and
4. Require all government contractors and their employees to agree to abstain from lobbying or from promoting or opposing political campaigns.
Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee, explains:
You almost never find Democratic or Republican politicians willing to make bold, positive proposals like this, that would actually bring about change. That’s because they have no intention to end crony capitalism. They thrive on it. In contrast, Libertarians are committed to ending this outrage, and giving Americans back their money and their jobs.
You can find the list of Libertarian Party candidates for the U.S. House and Senate here, along with a list of the benefits of ending crony capitalism.
Of course, if Republicans were serious about conservatism, they’d start a similar campaign themselves, but I’m afraid that’s not going to happen; and if it is, chances are they’ll “forget” all about it once they’re (re-)elected. After all, crony capitalism is what makes them successful, powerful, and rich. The Mitch McConnells of this world aren’t going to give that up without a fight.
Still, considering the Libertarian Party’s strong ideological foundation I have little to no doubt that their candidates will actually follow through on this pledge. The only thing they need now is to get elected. And that means that voters have to vote them into office so they can clean up Washington, where the bipartisan crony capitalist coalition is close to bringing the United States down.