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News Link • Philosophy: Political

What Is Cronyism and Why Is It a Cancer?

• fee.org by Daniel J. Mitchell

We know that a tax increase is when politicians take (or, given the Laffer Curve, try to take) more of your money based on your decisions to work, save, shop, or invest.

We know that protectionism is when politicians use taxes and other policies to restrict your freedom to buy goods and services produced in other nations.

We know that a minimum wage mandate is when politicians criminalize employment contracts between consenting adults, thus harming low-skilled workers.

We know that Keynesian "stimulus" is when politicians borrow from one part of the economy and spend in another part of the economy and pretend there's more money.

The list is potentially endless, but there's one statist policy – cronyism – that I haven't added to the list because I haven't thought of a simple definition.

Are bailouts cronyism? Yes, but it's more than that. Are subsidies cronyism? Yes, but it's more than that. Are favors in the tax code cronyism? Yes, but it's more than that. Are trade barriers cronyism? Yes, but it's more than that.

You're probably noticing a pattern, which is why this new visual from the Mercatus Center is helpful. It illustrates that there are many policies that should be considered cronyism.

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