It’s time to put an end to crony capitalism, says huge beneficiary of crony capitalism.
Charles Koch, the CEO of the notorious Koch Industries, argues in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed that cooperation between government and business is a “destructive force” because it weakens businesses and the economy while undermining our political system.
“Rampant cronyism threatens the economic foundations that have made this the most prosperous country in the world,” he writes in the op-ed. “Put simply, cronyism is remaking American business to be more like government. It is taking our most productive sectors and making them some of our least.”
But here’s the thing: Koch Industries is not only a beneficiary of the close relationship between government and business -- as Koch discloses in the op-ed -- the company actually spends boatloads of money to maintain that relationship.
Among the many ways Koch Industries reaps rewards from what some might describe as crony capitalism: The company benefits from the government subsidies provided to firms that produce oil and ethanol, they reportedly asked Sarah Palin to bail out a failing oil refinery when she was governor of Alaska and they won huge government contracts under the George W. Bush administration, according to ThinkProgress.
In addition, Koch Industries has spent more than $5 million lobbying the oil and gas industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The company also set up a SuperPAC that’s raised more than $2.5 million so far this election cycle.
Despite Koch Industries’ lobbying efforts and government subsidies, the Kochs have made somewhat of a career of speaking out against an involved government. Charles Koch penned an op-ed in the WSJ just last year in which he argued:
“Crony capitalism is much easier than competing in an open market. But it erodes our overall standard of living and stifles entrepreneurs by rewarding the politically favored rather than those who provide what consumers want.”