In the Calgary Herald, Mike Milke says that the Occupy protest movement was spot-on in their criticism of crony capitalism:
With the recent first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, consider one beef from protesters that was legitimate: crony capitalism.
In general, Occupy Wall Street types could be described as a little too naive about the downside of more government power, and too critical of people who exchange goods and services in markets.
But insofar as any protester was annoyed with politicians who like to subsidize specific businesses — corporate welfare in other words, and which is an accurate example of abused capitalism — hand me a protest sign and give me a tent.
When taxpayer dollars are given or “loaned” (wink, wink, nod, nod) to specific businesses, such taxpayer-financed subsidies are not cheap.
According to the OECD, in 2008, at least $48 billion was proposed for automotive companies alone. Annually, global taxpayer subsidies to the energy industry clock in at more than $100 billion. And in Canada, between 1994 and 2007, governments spent $202 billion on all types of subsidies to multiple corporations in all sorts of industries.