Crony Capitalism

Perhaps I do not give Sarah Palin enough credit, because this is a really good passage, from one of her recent speeches (emphasis added by Mickey Kaus)

We sent a new class of leaders to D.C., but immediately the permanent political class tried to co-opt them – because the reality is we are governed by a permanent political class, until we change that. They talk endlessly about cutting government spending, and yet they keep spending more. They talk about massive unsustainable debt, and yet they keep incurring more. They spend, they print, they borrow, they spend more, and then they stick us with the bill. Then they pat their own backs, and they claim that they faced and “solved” the debt crisis that they got us in, but when we were humiliated in front of the world with our country’s first credit downgrade, they promptly went on vacation.

No, they don’t feel the same urgency that we do. But why should they? For them business is good; business is very good.  Seven of the ten wealthiest counties are suburbs of Washington, D.C. Polls there actually – and usually I say polls, eh, they’re for strippers and cross country skiers – but polls in those parts show that some people there believe that the economy has actually improved. See, there may not be a recession in Georgetown, but there is in the rest of America.

Yeah, the permanent political class – they’re doing just fine. Ever notice how so many of them arrive in Washington, D.C. of modest means and then miraculously throughout the years they end up becoming very, very wealthy? Well, it’s because they derive power and their wealth from their access to our money – to taxpayer dollars.  They use it to bail out their friends on Wall Street and their corporate cronies, and to reward campaign contributors, and to buy votes via earmarks. There is so much waste. And there is a name for this: It’s called corporate crony capitalism. This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts, of waste and influence peddling and corporate welfare. This is the crony capitalism that destroyed Europe’s economies. It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest – to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners – the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70% of the jobs in America, it’s you who own these small businesses, you’re the economic engine, but you don’t grease the wheels of government power.

So, do you want to know why the permanent political class doesn’t really want to cut any spending? Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done? It’s because there’s nothing in it for them. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed – a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along.


  1. Anon:

    It is impossible to have an fair and objective opinion of Sarah Palin. You just can't sort through all the media BS.

    I can't even get a decent bracket beyond that she's somewhere between "hopeless nincompoop" and "should be our next President."

  2. Evil Red Scandi:

    I think her proponents over-hype her immensely, and her detractors are completely unhinged. She's somewhere in the middle. My take is that she was grotesquely unprepared for a national candidacy when McCain tapped her as his VP running-mate, but she's learning very quickly and at least saying the right things. The problem is that while her rhetoric is vastly improved, there will be no track record of decision making and battles fought against the status quo to go along with it. So as far as I'm concerned she'll always be in that category of, as they say in Texas, "all hat and no cattle." Her quitting halfway through her term as Governor of Alaska doesn't do her much credit either.

  3. el coronado:

    Yeah, perhaps you - and so many many others, all blithely assured of their intellectual superiority over some mere rube from the sticks - perhaps you DON'T give Palin adequate credit. We've got a President and a VP who a)can't make a 15-second off-the-cuff speech without being backstopped by a teleprompter and b)is a profoundly stupid, perhaps even brain-damaged gaffe *machine*. And they both get noticeably, childishly angry when their BS is even *questioned*, much less challenged...... but yeah, PALIN is the out-of-control moron hick, we're told.

    More to the point, her statement is why I - & quite a few others - don't give a rat's arse about whichever bland gutless focus-grouped puppet becomes the GOP nominee in '12. Romney, Perry, Huntsman, Gingrich, even Cain....can you imagine any of them speaking plain unvarnished truth like that? I can't. No, what we'll end up with is a party-elite-approved updated version of the safely uncontroversial boredom machines the party routinely trots out every 4 years: Bush 1 & 2, Dole, McCain....mealy-mouthed candyasses who'd never, no never, not *ever* DREAM of criticizing the system that's served them and their corporate masters so well. (Next years's slogan: "Our guy has great hair!!") We'll end up getting exactly the president we deserve.

  4. Dan:

    This is good stuff. Was it truly off the cuff, or does she actually have someone writing this for her?

    The WSJ today had a great editorial about the evils of corporate welfare.

  5. me:

    Woah. Never thought that I'd ever agree *completely* with several paragraphs of text Palin produced, but here it is. Thank you for sharing.

    Then again, I found myself agreeing with quite a few things Obama said... too bad the actions never were aligned with the words, so I'll not hold my breath.

  6. Russ R.:

    I'm truly shocked to see this from Palin, since it's completely out of character with almost everything I've heard her say before.

    I suspect that she had a good speech-writer, who knew what would go over well with a Tea Party audience.

  7. DrTorch:

    Palin was always far better than most people understand.

    I heard a recorded NPR interview the day she was announced as running mate. It had been recorded several months prior, and she was very polished. Very solid in her positions and quite articulate.

    It's unfortunate that the media was too busy advocating for Obama, instead of providing news coverage.

  8. dad29:

    Actually, Palin has NEVER been nice to the Connected Money. She beat the crap out of them in AK (which is why the R bunch up there does not like her much).

    And it's why she aligns principally with the early TEA Party gang (not those who are (R)-painted).

    Paul Ryan, by the way, is her intellectual father on those matters. He carefully distinguishes between "free market" and "business-friendly" governance principles.

  9. Big John:

    Occupy rational thought !

    Crony Capitalism is a serious disease affecting civil society and citizens of all political persuasions resent the enrichment of a few though special access to governmental power.

    There are two ways to treat disease. One can treat the cause or one can treat the effect.
    Treating the effects or symptoms of a disease might temporarily make you feel better,
    but the underlying cause of the disease is still present and harmful.
    We must treat the cause of the disease and reduce governmental power to fund crony capitalism.

    Treat the causes and not the effects or crony capitalism and you may actually solve the problem.

  10. Brian Dunbar:

    The problem is that while her rhetoric is vastly improved, there will be no track record of decision making and battles fought against the status quo to go along with it.

    City council, mayor, governor.

    Nothing there to look at, I'm sure.

  11. Evil Red Scandi:

    @dad29 "Paul Ryan, by the way, is her intellectual father on those matters." - a guy voted for TARP and whose "big plan" is to fix the deficit In The Distant Future Blindly Assuming No Congress Changes It For Three Decades isn't exactly lending her credibility. I'm befuddled as to why anybody assigns any credibility whatsoever to that clown.

  12. Richard A.:

    I think this a is a million monkeys typing kind of thing, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

  13. Jeff:

    Wonderful speech. Too bad it doesn't matter.

    Sarah Palin has been successfully "Quayle'd". She was never as awesome as her supporters hoped or as dumb as her detractors claimed, but once the paint has dried, it's too late.

  14. effy:

    Mickey Kaus, Glenn Reynolds, and now you bring up Palin's speech in Iowa. It was also reported on in the NY Times recently. I believe the reason for this second look is the abysmal collection of Republican candidates we've got. Unfortunately, it is way too late for Palin, as a Republican, but not too late for a third party run. Remember that meeting and lunch she had with Trump in New York City? Nah, he couldn't be her money man.

  15. Will:

    that's what they all say before they get Into office

  16. Dan:

    This is great stuff, but there is very little chance that she wrote this or even truly comprehends what is contained in these words.

  17. Ian Random:

    Sounds like what Rush Limbaugh rails against almost daily. He keeps hoping that the newly elected don't get corrupted by the establishment Republicans. Glad to see others mentioning it. Too bad the government media complex only filters the news for people they like.

  18. DOuglas2:

    One can do date-range restricted news story searches using Google. Ms Palin was covered extensively in the press before being selected as VP nominee.

    The pre-2007 Palin seems much more intelligent than the McCain campaign Palin, but also much more fond of big-government solutions.

  19. Bret:

    The lady can speak!

  20. Ignoramus:

    I've sung Sarah's praises elsewhere. She's the real deal, but a voice in the wilderness. That doesn't mean she should be President necessarily, but she has something to say.

    She's been out ahead on several key issues for over a year now, but she's been ignored by the Establishment.

    Watch her help a lot of key people win Senate and House seats this cycle.

  21. Dwall:

    Let us hope Palin continues to talk truth to power and will disclose ALL of Obama's friends and associates. Sarah wanted to dig into Obama's background with McCain and he stopped her. He also went back to DC when he had momentum and looked like he could roll over the Obama disaster and would not let Sarah continue campaigning. Sarah said this will be an unconventional campaign year, we will see what happens.