Government is inherently crony. That is its nature. It has an inherent tendency toward corruption. Crony entropy. Like water flowing downhill.
In Greece we see a relatively poor crony state languishing on the rocks while the Germans pick at its liver. And we pity the place. Yes, they’ve gotten themselves into this mess, but Brussels (and Berlin) are being stupid about things.
Not because they won’t give Greece another bailout. They are dying to give Greece more money truth be told. (The banks want to be paid on their Greek subprime portfolio.) But because they won’t just cut the Greeks loose with any dignity.
But hey, Greece does have nice beaches, got to keep access to those.
Greece has always been highly crony. The US has been historically less crony – this is why the US was able to become the wealthy country it has become. We still have lots of fat (created in less crony times) for the politicians and the other crony capitalists to live off of. Greece has no fat because it has pretty much always been a kleptocracy.
But we are catching up. Vince Smith at AEI has some good examples. One of which even means that hungry people aren’t getting food that is desperately needed.
(From US News)
The first concerns a food aid program trifecta: agricultural cargo preference coupled with mandatory sourcing of food aid purchases in the U.S. and what is called monetization. Cargo preference requires at least 50 percent of all food aid to be carried on U.S. ships that are about twice as expensive to use as other methods of transport. U.S. sourcing requires that almost all food aid provided by the United States is grown by U.S. farmers and then shipped from U.S. ports, which is not the quickest way to get food to, say, sub-Saharan Africa. As justification for this arrangement, some claim that this process allows the U.S. to maintain a merchant marine force, a fleet of ships that could be readily deployed during times of war to carry personnel and supplies for the military. It turns out that very few ships that carry U.S. food aid meet the defense department’s standards for ships that could serve during times of war.
In reality, what the food aid cargo preference/U.S. sourcing nexus mainly does is generate profits for a few shipping companies and jobs for a few merchant sailors while increasing the cost of delivering emergency food aid to desperately poor households by more than 40 percent. The result is that every year the U.S. food aid budget fails to deliver urgently required aid to between 2 and 4 million children and adults in dire need of help, with tragic adverse consequences.