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Crony caplitalism, American capitalism, and the Fourth of July

From Elizabeth Spahn at the FCPA blog:

Highly intelligent, sophisticated, successful. I think he was of Indian ancestry, or maybe Pakistani? A modern Canadian citizen; executive of a Fortune 10 corporation responsible for North American operations for the British based corporation, first in its market position. He is a major player.

“Crony Capitalism.” Isn’t that what American capitalism is? We were into our third glass of very fine red wine at the banquet following the training session. He was absolutely sincere. I was horrified. . . .

Cronyism is not capitalism, I replied. Cronyism is the opposite of capitalism. American capitalism is about markets, competition. “Rational” markets in which sellers compete; purchasers decide based on price, quality, service, brand. Cronyism, nepotism, elites reserving the goods for themselves — This is the opposite, the antithesis of American capitalism. This is why we revolted in the first place.

He looked at me. I looked at him. Ah, he said.

Happy Fourth of July.

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