Crony capitalism is the idea that free enterprise capitalism has been subverted by large corporations through manipulation of the political system and government agencies. These Crony Capitalists or groups of Crony Capitalists, Cartels, are given advantages that other U.S. businesses do not possess.
A two-tiered system is created where main street businesses are engaged in real, cutthroat competition, where failure means bankruptcy. This is contrasted with global businesses where special advantages lessen or eliminate competition through favored contractual relationships, subsidies, tax breaks, company specific legislation, or bailouts.
Compounding this favored status is the reality that it is virtually impossible to generate new competitors for some industries. You simply do not start up a company in your garage to make jet airplanes for the military. Plus, because they are so large, they often become, or certainly maintain, that they are systemically important and can’t be allowed to fail. Crony capitalism doesn’t mean that no competition ever occurs, but rather that what competition does occur is very muted and does not possess the entrepreneurial spirit nor the creative destruction so helpful to society.
Further, this globalized crony capitalism honors no people, is not a citizen of any country, and doesn’t know how to value those things that it cannot quantify. People love the land they live on, the air they breathe, the water and food that gives them life, the animals they share this world with, and the ideas that motivate and give them comfort. Humans can appreciate the night sky, a beautiful sunset, a peaceful mountain stream, or a walk in the forest. But how does a soul-less global corporation view these same appreciations? Is it just more air to pollute? Is it just water rights to purchase? Is it just a mountain to move for the resources underneath it?
The small business owner on main street may seek a fair profit for his efforts, but he doesn’t forget that he lives in that same community where he earns his living. His view is not separable from his community’s view of the land, sky, water, creatures, and unseen hands that guide his community.