'Negotiating the Best Deal' with Government - Is Almost Always Cronyism, Not Capitalism
A Heaping Pile of Cronyism
A very fortunate part of my very fortunate gig is - I get to do a lot of radio interviews.
Thanks in no small part to Rush Limbaugh (re-)creating political talk radio - Marconi job opportunities have been created throughout the land. Under the Limbaugh banner are thousands of nationally and regionally syndicated - and thousands more local - hosts plying their radio wares.
And as the Jurassic Press angrily, incessantly reminds us - it is a medium dominated by conservatives and less government types.
Now admittedly, much about which I speak on-the-air - is with and for receptive, agreeing hosts. But not always. There are times when I receive push back to what I proffer.
These instances did in fact increase during the rise of now-President Donald Trump. I was a fairly enthusiastic Candidate Trump fan - quite a few hosts…not so much. To their credit: As the Trump Administration became the most conservative since at least the Calvin Coolidge Administration - much of the hosts’ resistance bled into varying degrees of support.
But I certainly still receive opposition to my unerring, eternal correctness. One such instance last week was really emblematic of a tipping point we’re way past - but way too many conservatives haven’t yet noticed.
The Second Era of the Robber Barons has arrived - and it is way worse than the first.
But this time round is way worse - mostly because governments everywhere are SO much larger now than then.
“Back then, the size, scope and sphere of influence of our nation’s governments was exceedingly small. They weren’t capable of being used against us as anything more than pea shooters. Sure, businesses bribed governments into cronyism - but their tininess made it an almost wholly ineffectual practice.
“Today’s behemoth bloated bureaucracies - are nuclear bombs. Eminently worth today’s Robber Barons bribing them into action.
“We now have a HUGE federal government - and thousands of state and local government hugenesses - all bulling their way through our china shop economy. And all steerable in your direction - with just the right amount of crony cash.”
And perhaps no Big Tech Robber Baron monstrosity has better bent government to its will - than Amazon.
In that piece, we explored the rapid ramp-up of Amazon’s massive lobbying efforts - in DC and in government centers all around the country. And we looked at the incredible local-government-cronyism success Amazon has had - including the tens of billions dollars in government-money-bribe offers it has received to locate their new headquarters here or there.
But of course Amazon is suffering no shortage of federal government cronyism. And it was one instance thereof - about which I received talk radio pushback last week.
I cited this:
This is the federal government giving our money - to $1 TRILLION Amazon. Which is absurd on its face. And decidedly unfair to private sector package delivery competitors to the government Post Office - like FedEx and UPS. Who as private companies do not have trillions of dollars in tax revenues in which to dip - to bribe Amazon for its business.
The radio host in question defended this ridiculous $1.46-per-package-subsidy cronyism - under the auspices of “Well, Amazon just negotiated a better deal.”
This isn’t a good private sector deal negotiated between private parties to the betterment of all.
This is $1 TRILLION Amazon bribing government - and getting back exponentially-more-than-their-bribe-money in our money…via government-package-delivery cronyism.
There is nothing free market about that. There is nothing fair trade about that. It is absurd cronyism on stilts.
And lest we think that is the only slathering of federal government cronyism Amazon receives - DC’s just getting warmed up. There is, perhaps most importantly, this: The MOAC (Mother Of All Cronyisms) :
“‘(O)n July 26, the Defense Department issued a request for proposals called JEDI, short for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure. Whoever winds up landing the winner-take-all contract will be awarded $10 billion – instantly becoming one of America’s biggest federal contractors.
“‘But when JEDI was issued, on the day Congress recessed for the summer, the deal appeared to be rigged in favor of a single provider: Amazon.
“‘According to insiders familiar with the 1,375-page request for proposal, the language contains a host of technical stipulations that only Amazon can meet, making it hard for other leading cloud-services providers to win—or even apply for—the contract.’”
Get all that? The government drafted a contractor proposal for a massive $10 billion gig. And carefully contorted its language in such a way - so that only Amazon can qualify for what is putatively an “open bid process.”
We less government types have pushed for more government outsourcing - and open bid processes. And we succeeded.
Unfortunately, DC corruption has successfully poisoned this attempted un-poisoning effort.
And so it is with the Defense Department’s $10 billion cloud computing bid process.
Thankfully - the deal ain’t yet done.
Here’s hoping someone (and more preferably - several someones) besides just massive-crony $1 TRILLION Amazon gets the gig.
You want to Drain the Swamp?
Stopping this nonsense - is exactly what Draining the Swamp looks like.
This first appeared in Red State.