Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The beginning of Corporate Capitalism

From National Review Online: My man Larry Kudlow

An old friend e-mailed me this week about how to characterize Obama’s economic interventions into the banking and auto sectors (with health care next on the list). He says it’s not really socialism. Nor is it fascism. He suggests it’s state capitalism. But I think of it more as corporate capitalism. Or even crony capitalism, as Cato’s Dan Mitchell puts it.

It’s not socialism because the government won’t actually own the means of production. It’s not fascism because America is a democracy, not a dictatorship, and Obama’s program doesn’t reach way down through all the sectors, but merely seeks to control certain troubled areas. And in the Obama model, it would appear there’s virtually no room for business failure. So the state props up distressed segments of the economy in some sort of 21st-century copy-cat version of Western Europe’s old social-market economy.

So call it corporate capitalism or state capitalism or government-directed capitalism. But it still represents a huge change from the American economic tradition. It’s a far cry from the free-market principles that governed the three-decade-long Reagan expansion, which now seems in jeopardy. And with cap-and-trade looming, this corporate capitalism will only grow more intense.

As always, Larry Kudlow makes some fine points and doesn't break down into mass hysteria or ridiculous populism. Although I would make one point. With the EPA designating carbon dioxide as a green house gas and impending cap-and-trade(which more than likely will not pass in it's current incarnation; I hope)the government will have a dictatorial hand in the day-to-day operations of business. Now, of course this is not a dictatorship in the everyday vernacular; however, what we are seeing is a "market" created and administered by the FEDS which will be oppressive to economic growth. There must be risk that comes with whatever "reward" our new titans of industry in Washington D.C deem is ok. Government should be equalizing the market by setting rules for business to work within that will not stymie growth. That doesn't appear to be the case.

Kudlow; as always a great read here.


  1. Here is an interesting piece on what is WRONG with the free market. Supposedly.

  2. an interesting debate with stephanie at almost diamonds. Thanks for reading my schlock