In Bootleggers & Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics, economists Bruce Yandle and Adam Smith explain how money and morality are often combined in politics to produce arbitrary regulations benefiting cronies, while constraining productive economic activities by the general public.
Featuring Tim Carney, Washington Examiner; Scott Lincicome, White and Case, LLP; and John Magnus, TradeWins LLC; moderated by Dan Ikenson, Cato Institute.
You’ve heard of Solyndra, Government Motors, and the tens of billions of dollars transferred annually from U.S. taxpayers to America’s wealthy agribusinesses—including the occasional farmer living in Manhattan. Worldwide, government subsidies to chosen industries and favored companies are out of control, bankrupting treasuries, breeding cronyism, misdirecting and deterring private investment, distorting market signals, and undermining support for capitalism and free trade. Always demanding more, domestic subsidy recipients cite foreign subsidies as grounds for yet more largesse, and the cycle continues. How will this global subsidies race end? “Very badly,” according to experts who argue that policymakers must find a way to rein in this economically and politically corrosive process.