Friday, January 16, 2009

Anthony Gregory

discourses on Reaching Out to the Left:
One thing that the Left should understand, but which we need to understand too if we want to explain it, is the profound ways in which big government actually advances big business and tramples over small entrepreneurs, fixed-income earners, and the working poor. An important book by leftist historian Gabriel Kolko, The Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretation of American History (1963), explains how corporate leaders in industry pushed for new regulatory agencies so as to help entrench themselves in a regulated market and bust their competition. This was also true during the New Deal (the head of General Electric was instrumental in the design of Roosevelt’s infamous National Recovery Administration, for example), during the Great Society, and today as well. Often, it is the very interests being regulated who benefit most from the regulation.

One of the greatest big-government tools of corporatism is central banking. By inflating the money supply and giving the freshly printed dollars to its cronies in big banking, big business, and the military-industrial complex, the government effectively redistributes money from the poor and middle class to certain segments of the rich, who get the money first, before prices can adjust. By the time the people lower on the economic ladder get it, prices have gone up. Inflation is therefore a hidden tax and a regressive one at that.

There are other blatant ways big business benefits from big government. Eminent domain has increasingly and famously been used to seize private homes and businesses and give the property to big stores such as Costco. The local governments get more tax revenue and the companies more profits — again illustrating the connection between government power and corporate privilege. Minimum-wage laws and other regulations tend to benefit bigger businesses, which is why such corporate fat cats as the Wal-Mart CEO often favor them. Bush’s prescription-drug program, the biggest expansion in welfare benefits since the Great Society, has also amounted to an explosion of corporate welfare for the pharmaceutical industry.

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