Conservatives and Liberals Agree: Crony Capitalism is a Problem

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A surprisingly productive meeting was held in Washington, D.C. last week. No, it wasn’t Congress. The American Sustainable Business Council presented a panel of conservative thinkers to an audience of business sustainability advocates. Sustainability is not the issue where polarized politicians and activists on opposite sides of the question might be expected to look for common ground, but this event yielded a consensus on several areas of concern, notably crony capitalism. Participants agreed that some of the most important industries in the U.S. no longer work efficiently or allow robust competition. These companies, often ones that dominate their industries, receive preferential treatment from the government in the form of tax breaks, subsidies, credits, regulatory leniency, and other favorable concessions. While both liberals and conservatives agreed that crony capitalism is a problem for a productive economy, they didn’t agree on how to deal with it. Liberals believed that it

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