Liberalism and Cronyism: Two Rival Political and Economic Systems
(Mercatus Center at George Mason University)
A leading justification for the growth of government is the supposed need to control the power of big business and to spread the benefits of the liberal economic order to the greatest possible number of beneficiaries. However, according to Randall Holcombe and Andrea Castillo, the expansion of government results in a different concentration of power: cronyism, in which some people — typically the wealthy and the politically well-connected — have access to privileges that are denied to the rest of the population. Please join us for a discussion of real-world manifestations of big-government cronyism, ranging from central planning to environmentalism and industrial policy, and an exploration of how they invariably enable small groups of individuals — the cronies — to gain at the expense of everyone else.