To some people, even some quite politically sophisticated people this still isn’t obvious. Industry not only “doesn’t fight regulations,” more often than not industry actively writes regulations. The big vested interests are more often than not in PARTNERSHIP with government. There is no government versus business. That dynamic is sold to people who want such a myth to be true, but the dynamic doesn’t exist. Big vested interests (industry, unions, other pressure groups) and the government feed off of one another in a sort of crony symbiosis. Of course this ball of corporatism and corruption is exploitive of taxpayers and others who are on the outside of the crony system, but hey, that’s “flyover country” stuff.
Axios also says; “It’s an easy political talking point to say industry opposes all regulations, but the real story is more complicated, and we’ve seen it unfold in dramatic fashion under President Trump.”
Under Trump? Now Trump is arguably as crony as any president, though on many things he’s been pretty good to date, but to imply some kind of blossoming of cronyism has happened under Trump is an uninformed assertion. Obama was a massive corporatist crony. Some have argued that Obama was fascistic in his efforts to fuse industry and government. (That’s what fascism is. It’s not necessarily goose stepping and swastika banners. It’s the partnership between business and government.) The “Greenrush” at the beginning of his presidency was one of the most blatant (and incredibly expensive) crony moves of our time. Every connected politician and large corporation that slapped the word “green” on their product got taxpayer money. (All while taxpayers languished through The Great Recession.) Of course the Greenrush was then outdone by Obamacare which was written in huge part by industry lobbyists. Obamacare was a massive vehicle for corporatism. Lots of vested industries and special groups got paid. The average taxpayer however got jacked.
Still, this isn’t a bad outline of some areas where cronyism is particularly obvious even if Axios doesn’t get the whole story. They seem to be trying at least.
Trump’s deregulatory push has got Washington lobbyists anxious and industries parting ways with usual Republican Party allies. Here’s why companies lobby for and against certain regulations, while changing positions over time.
It has to be noted that regulations are one of the chief ways big vested interests keep competitors from emerging. You think those taxi regs are there for YOUR benefit? Nope, they are there to keep Uber at bay. And why might a giant oil company be for carbon regs? Well, maybe it’s because the smaller oil companies won’t be able to comply with such regs but the big oil companies, tied in closely with government will be able to absorb the cost of such regs. In fact the regs are probably less costly than having to deal with emerging competition. And even better, maybe those smaller companies (and their drills) will be taken out completely by the regs and the big oil companies will then be able to come in a pick them up for a song.
See how this works?
There is no “good government” full of well meaning civil servants. That is a fairy tale. The bigger the government the bigger the cronyism. The only alternative to our current system of corruption is a reduction in the thing that makes crony capitalism crony, government. Generally speaking that is the ONLY solution.