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     Jul 29, '14


Business and free markets
By Martin Hutchinson

Traditionally, business was the most important political backer of free markets, which made sense because business needs markets in order to exist at all. However, in the last generation, the views of business, as expressed by the US Chamber of Commerce and other outlets, have increasingly diverged from the free-market ideal.

As crony capitalist ideas have come to dominate business thinking, so crony capitalism itself has come to dominate the US



economy, with dire results for productivity growth and the living standards of Americans.

In some respects, the Chamber of Commerce and domestic business generally remain committed to the remnants of free-market principle in an environment where they have been beleaguered. The Chamber vehemently opposes the efforts of trial lawyers to divert shareholder funds to their own pockets. It generally supports free trade; indeed it is especially adamant in supporting the freedom to offshore operations from the US to emerging markets where costs are lower. It supports the Keystone pipeline.

As might be expected, the Chamber also opposes a number of Obama administration initiatives that directly increase business costs. It opposes Obamacare in general and is especially vehement against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's lack of accountability and surplus of regulations. It also, as might be expected, opposes restrictions on atmospheric carbon and retains its historic opposition to the trade union movement.

The Chamber would naturally oppose legislation that imposed costs on business; in the same way, it naturally favors provisions that reward business with tax breaks not available to the public as a whole.

However, in general its anti-market positions bear only modest relation to the economic interests of business, and instead reflect a corporatist agenda that is thoroughly detrimental both to the interest of ordinary people and to the overall US economy. More ...

Martin Hutchinson is the author of Great Conservatives (Academica Press, 2005) - details can be found on the website www.greatconservatives.com - and co-author with Professor Kevin Dowd of Alchemists of Loss (Wiley, 2010). Both are now available on Amazon.com, Great Conservatives only in a Kindle edition, Alchemists of Loss in both Kindle and print editions.

(Republished with permission from PrudentBear.com. Copyright 2005-14 David W Tice & Associates.)





 

 

 
 



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