Would You Believe Because of Crony Capitalism? UPDATED

Would that really surprise you if I said that one of the reasons why I am Catholic is because of Crony Capitalism? Well it shouldn’t, if you think about it. Perhaps you haven’t read Caritas In Veritate, or looked into the the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church. Maybe you skipped over all of those posts I wrote when I was being a Rand Buster™.

The truth is, Catholic thought on economics shines a very harsh light on the economic system in place today in our country. That’s because it isn’t one based on free markets and free enterprise any longer. Hadn’t you noticed? And I’ll put this to you bluntly too: I’m a citizen of the United States, but not a supporter of The Thing That Used To Be The Free Enterprise System. So in the free market of ideas, when I discovered the thoughts of the Catholic Church on economics, another light went on and I knew I was home.

So I’m going to do something foolhardy now, dear reader. I’m going to post an hour long video from the eevil librul (I haven’t trademarked that yet, but I might) named Bill Moyers from his show which aired on the PBS affiliate in my area this evening. It’s all about Crony Capitalism. What it is, and how over the last 30 years our system has morphed into this crazed monster that is no longer recognizable as the economic system we used to have in the United States.

In the show, Mr. Moyers interviews David Stockman. Remember him, Bueller? His ideas were called “voodoo economics” by President Bush I. He was Ronald Reagan’s “supply-side” economic advisor back during the glory days of It’s Morning in America. Mr. Stockman lays it all out in this interview, so if you think Ron Paul is crazy, he’s starting to have some really good, and crowded, company. Especially when Stockman notes that the high-end mucky-mucks running the financial show in the Obama Administration are the poster children of Crony Capitalism. Shocking (um, Not!). But the real eye opener is when he blasts the Federal Reserve System and its machinations to try to heal our system with the drugs of cheap money instead of the radical surgery needed to save the patient.

Also interviewed in the show is author Gretchen Morgenson, who will warn us that the Obama Administration has also done nothing to prevent another meltdown like the one we experienced over the last several years from happening again. Obviously, not many folks have been prosecuted or jailed for what took place. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac figure prominently in her discussion with Moyers too, and seeing how the winner of the South Carolina Republican Primary, Newt Gingrich, was all eat up with Freddie Mac lobbying money, you might think twice about jumping on his bandwagon.

So sit back, relax, grab a beer, and some popcorn, and watch the surreal experience of Moyers explain why he no longer identifies with being a Democrat, and David Stockman saying the same about the Republican party. See, they didn’t say it but it’s because the Demoblican/Republicrat Juggernaut is not the parties that they recognize any longer. Neither do a lot of us, at home and abroad. That’s because it is the Plutocracy Party.

Happy learning!

Moyers & Company Show 102: On Crony Capitalism from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

UPDATES: Crony Capitalism is all about profits, not patriotism. And Devin Rose asks, why not distributism? My short answer would be that distributism sounds good, but what with the massive amount of “rent-seeking” behavior going on, the force of law, and law enforcement, needs to roll back the Cronies first. Meanwhile Nicolas Nassim Taleb and Mark Spitznagel late last year expounded on The Great Bank Robbery that has gone down and ways to reign the banks in.

UPDATE II: 11 stunning revelations from Larry Summers’ secret economics memo to Barack Obama.

  • Ed

    Crony Capitalism isn’t capitalism, but more closer to fascism. Please show me where in the bible there is a passage that condemns capitalism per se, in it’s truest definition, and not your understanding of what it means. If anything, the Bible embraces being fruitful, and the Lord Jesus instructs us to put what is entrusted to us to good use. (a.k.a “investing” & “making money.) A requirement to tithe is not a mandate for “redistribution of wealth” or “social justice”. (I understand there may be a difference between what is actually in the pages of the Bible and Catholic Doctrine.)

    Some thoughts on money and stewardship in the bible. (I did not read in its entirety)
    http://www.slideshare.net/tatianasimpson/jesus-parables-about-money

    • Frank Weathers

      I’m not against capitalism, Ed. But that ain’t what we have nowadays in this great land of ours. What we have is unbridled “rent-seeking behavior.”

  • Jim Haslam

    I can see why the politicos on both sides of the aisle in Washington were so against the funding assistance of PBS in recent months. Seems they don’t like informative programming like Bill Moyers, and the whistle blowers he invites on his show, to tell the other 99% of us just how it is.

    Thanks for sharing this video to help get the word out.

  • M. Thomas Murray

    This is a comment on the TV interview of David Stockman and Bill Moyers on “crony capitalism”:

    Near the end of the interview Moyers said something like: It is interesting that there is a basic tension between (the ideas of) capitalism and (the ideas of) democracy.

    Stockman replied along the following line: Bill, in saying that you should be sure to put the word “crony” in front of capitalism.

    If every nuance were recognized in this short colloquy, there would become apparent a gulf so wide that the normal viewer would have been astonished at how far apart the Moyers position and the Stockman position really are.

    I would expect that if Stockman had been offered time to respond completely he would have made the following point (which for complete elaboration, could have been exended to book length as it is what goes to the heart of the matter):

    Bill, Stockton could have said, your last statement gets the matter entirely backward. The inherent tension is between democracy and a socialist form of economy. In such a mixture, economic decisions are made, by definition, by folks who have the political power. Without care, unalloyed democracy can become tyranny. Our founders understood that and, accordingly, included numerous checks and balances in the American Constitution.

    Human nature is corrupt, as a “Moyer Christian” is well aware. One defect in human nature is selfishness.. If certain citizens have, without restraint, the power to make the economic decisions of society, those decisions are bound to reflect their personal, individual interest. Only a “market economy” provides the discipline necessary to keep governmental economic decision-making in favor of the powerful.

    Consider the current public discussion of government economic policies. Inevitably, it seems, the discussion deteriorates to a determination of what “class” benefits from a specific governmental decision. Not what is in the overall long-term best interest of the country—what is best for a class is the issue. That focus perhaps is endemic to unrestrained democratic government but it is not endemic to the type of government our framers provided in our Constitution.

    A careful study of the cash flow in the Solyndra case demonstrates this point beautifully –those with the power (the current “cronies” of crony capitalism), made a bad decision and they were nonetheless able to arrange things so that they personally profited from that decision while all of its negative effects are falling on the public (billions in wasted subsidies). The TARP decision to bail out the banks is finally being seen as exemplifying this fallacy in spades.

    To put a touch of theory on the point, the heart of a effective democracy must be the rule of law. Representation of current public desires is not sufficient. A market economy is not only consistent with, it is also necessary for the rule of law. In socialism the politically powerful reign.

    My criticism is that the viewer of this Moyer’s interview did not have the benefit of the strength and importance of the debate between socialism and free-enterprise. Maybe that can be supplied at another time.

  • http://devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog/ Devin Rose

    Frank,

    Interesting perspective. I hadn’t heard the term “rent-seeking” before but looked it up and it makes sense.

    Personally, I’m going to seek to live in a distributive way and promote it as I am able. What little I can do against crony capitalism and related maladies, I will endeavor to do, but I think our current system is causing its own self-destruction. Hopefully I and others can demonstrate that there is an alternative that is better and which people will see the goodness of when things go downhill.


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