Today’s WSJ had an interesting article on crony capitalism in Illinois:
Soon the Illinois state legislature will meet in special session to consider the Chicago machine’s latest favor: legislation designed to deliver tax relief to three of the state’s largest companies. These tax breaks for the lucky few come just 10 months after the Illinois legislature approved what has been described as the largest tax increase in the state’s history. It’s no
coincidence that both have been supported by Gov. Pat Quinn and other top leaders of the state’s Democratic Party.
In so doing, Chicago is giving America a window into the logic of crony capitalism: Raise taxes on everyone—and then cut side deals with those big enough to lobby for special relief.
This sort of thing should disgust Tea Partiers and Occupy Wall Street people alike, but where they would diverge, I think, is in who they’d blame: the companies or the politicians.
Businesses (and banks) will always try to seek profit. The OWS crowd wants to limit the amount of profit businesses can take – but if government is the limiting factor, there will be ways around for the rich and the powerful and you’re just expanding the role of government further. Personally, I’d rather limit the power of government to give out free candy. If politicians have no valuable favors to give, then there’s nothing for lobbyists to take.