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Monday, March 21, 2005

The Evil of Corporatism

Have some of you on the Left noticed the knee-jerk reaction that many of us on the Right have to criticism of big business? Have some of you on the Right been frustrated at feeling the need to defend big business in the face of outright corruption?

While many see the defense of big business as being a defense of capitalism, this is not necessarily the case. It is often a defense of corporatism. According to Wikipedia...
"corporatism or neo-corporatism is used in reference to tendencies in politics for legislators and administrations to be influenced or dominated by the interests of business enterprises ..."
Corporatism is actually anathema to capitalism. Corporatism doesn't aim to have a free market; it aims to use the government to protect its interests.

Let me give some examples of corporatism.

The Advanced Technology Program - ATP is a Department of Commerce program that funds R&D projects in partnership with the private sector. Why should the government take much of the risk in businesses that will keep the profits to themselves?

Economic development incentives - States often give tax breaks to companies that open large factories or offices in their state. However, there is much evidence to show that these tax breaks do not benefit the state.

Farm subsidies - Many people believe that federal farm subsidies help family farms. This is not the case. The vast majority of federal farm subsidies go to large corporate farms.

Why do those who champion capitalism not see the obvious problem with the government supporting business?