October 30, 2015
By Jared Meyer
Participants in this week’s Republican debate had their differences, but all agreed that government needs to get out of the business of picking economic winners and losers. This predicable byproduct of expansive government has come to be known as cronyism, and politicians rightly attack it.
Some businesses choose to compete on Capitol Hill rather than on Main Street. When this happens, established industries benefit from government protection and special treatment, but consumers and the economy suffer.
Cronyism is seen throughout the economy. Here are three particularly egregious examples.
The sugar industry receives a variety of costly government benefits. In one major program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture makes loans to sugar farmers that can be repaid with sugar when the commodity’s price falls. Including loans that were not repaid, the government spent $170 million on this program in fiscal year 2013, and $280 million the previous year. The United States also levies tariffs and quotas on imported sugar, limiting the supply of cheaper imported sugar. Talk about a sweet deal.
Read the full article at Economics 21: GOP Candidates Condemn Cronyism