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I rcecall that last month Rep. Paul Ryan made an astute observation of American capitalism in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 19, 2013:

Ryan, who is Catholic, was asked about Pope Francis' recent sharp critique of capitalism. Ryan stood up for the free enterprise system as a way of alleviating poverty as well as being consistent with Catholic teaching...

"The guy is from Argentina, they haven't had real capitalism in Argentina," Ryan said. "They have crony capitalism in Argentina. They don't have a true free enterprise system."

One month later, the headlines really prove Rep. Ryan's point.

Reuters: Ex-governor of Virginia indicted on bribery charges

Former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell and his wife were indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury and charged with accepting bribes in the form of money and gifts from the chief executive of a dietary supplements maker...

They accepted gifts from the head of supplements-maker Star Scientific Inc including cash, golf fees and clothing and in exchange arranged for company executives to meet government officials who could help their business, the indictment alleges.

CNN: Hoboken mayor: 'It's true' Christie administration withheld Sandy funds
In another controversy surrounding New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said Sunday that Christie directly ordered the withholding of Superstorm Sandy recovery funds unless she backed a redevelopment plan he favored.

Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," Zimmer said she was told by a member of Christie's administration that Sandy relief funds hinged on her support for a real estate development project and that the directive was coming directly from Christie...

Zimmer said the Christie administration wanted her to approve a project by The Rockefeller Group, a real estate developer with ties to Christie's administration.

The Daily Beast, "Inside the Port Authority, the Corrupt Powerhouse Behind Christie’s Bridgegate Scandal
Unfortunately, the Fort Lee scandal won’t be enough to force any meaningful reforms at the Port Authority, because the governors of New York and New Jersey, who jointly control the agency, have no interest in cutting off the supply of easy money or the flow of jobs for their friends. An agency designed to be insulated from obstructionist politics in order to better serve the public has become a private bank and enforcement arm for the powerful, increasingly corrupt, and cut off from the public interest.
I'm shocked, shocked to find "crony capitalism" rampant in the land of the "true free enterprise system".
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Comment Preferences

  •  Our capitalism is as "True" as it gets. (7+ / 0-)

    What we are seeing is that our capitalism, as a system, is prone to corruption.  Even the government that seeks to police the corruption is itself corrupted.  This just may be human nature, or it may be a failure of the system.  Perhaps we need to think out of the box, and find ways that our current system can be improved upon.  I am not advocating socialism, as such, rather encouraging thinking of ways that our social and civil lives can be improved.  

    An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

    by Thomas Twinnings on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 06:33:34 PM PST

    •  A movement is building to get money out (0+ / 0-)

      of politics...  Of course those with money can still manage to get around laws with some work (see the pre-VP Lyndon B Johnson / Brown and Root 'partnership' for a great example).

      But if we have a system where our government is...literally...for sale to the highest bidder, then one high bidder or another is going to run this country.

      Lobbying and campaign funding need to be reined in big time...

      And then, MAYBE, we could have a government that represents the vast majority of us rather than just a few rich people/corporations.

      "It was clear that any research would be in the nature of a post mortem." - Rachel Carson

      by todamo13 on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 11:24:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Argentina and NJ have a lot in common (8+ / 0-)

    Politically-wise.

    Argentina has a corruption index of 36 and it ranks 102 among all countries;

    New Jersey is one of the most corrupt states.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 06:36:08 PM PST

  •  Ryan is a pathetic liar and a hilarious poseur. (9+ / 0-)

    I don't know about Argentina but Ryan should be called to explain the many direct US government subsidies of specific major corporations to the exclusion of their competitors, smaller corps in the same industry, or new entrants. Corporate welfare princes run this country.

    Every system is corrupting and corrupted - gov't, business, religions, churches, academia, states, cities, families - it's just a matter of size, scale, cost, benefit. We're in real trouble and it's worsen until we build a muscular, modern, automatic, transparent auditing process independent of people.

    There used to be a recognized common set of public virtues with an unarguable moral high ground which enabled regulations and oversight and oversight of the regulators. We were no less corrupted but the measure of corruption was visible and understood, ideologically, so we could keep up with the crooks.  Unless and until we create a reliable public sense of virtue and rule of law we manage to coexist and adapt along with our corruption.    

  •  FREE enterprise? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    walkshills, wader, Sandino

    Anyone who thinks that the good ol' US of A has genuine free enterprise is smoking something considerably stronger that Acapulco Gold.

    All of the enterprise markets which have any real profit potential have been locked up by major capital -- usually with the added sauce of purchasing protection from competition from corrupt politicians.

    Exhibit A: WALMART.

    Keep your Powder Dry and your Data Local!

    by thanatokephaloides on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 08:05:22 PM PST

  •  It's not exactly crony capitalism when ... (6+ / 0-)

    a regulator like then FCC chair Michael Powell makes a grotesque ruling that the Internet is not a common carrier, then goes through the revolving door into the express elevator and emerges on the top floor as head of the cable industry trade association.

    After all, how can he be his own crony?

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 09:41:15 PM PST

    •  Haha, Monsanto has that trick down to a science! (0+ / 0-)

      They are considerably better at getting their people into top government positions where they can influence policy and enforcement, and back again, than they are at 'engineering' food.

      By the way, wasn't Michael Powell behind some other disastrous media deregulation leading to the corporate-monopoly-propaganda-conglomerate mess we are in now?  Or at least he tried.

      A real helper, that one.

      "It was clear that any research would be in the nature of a post mortem." - Rachel Carson

      by todamo13 on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 11:31:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, it's a continuum. (0+ / 0-)

    Argentina is way more crony-capitalist than the US is.  In part that's because it is a smaller and more rudimentary (less diverse) economy.  But it's also because Argentina has a recent heritage of populism and dictatorship, and you couldn't pick two finer parents for crony capitalism.  The model was actually quite successful for a decade, getting Argentina out of a really deep hole that non-crony capitalism got it into, and even now it's hard for me to determine whether the model is in crisis or just experiencing a hiccup.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 07:14:42 AM PST

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