If something happens in politics or the political economy that doesn’t fit a textbook definition of a particular theory or model, terms such as “crony” capitalism or “socialism” are quickly attributed to the diabolical deed of dealing with conditions in the real world. Libertarians, classical liberals, and conservatives sympathetic to these tendencies are perpetually trapped within the errors of the reification fallacy.
Politics deals with situations taking place in reality, not a means to virtue signal every time something occurs outside of the confines of a favored ideology.
This brings me to the conservatives jumping for joy when sharing Sarah Palin’s article condemning crony capitalism in the context of the recent Trump/Carrier deal.
Here are a couple of key points that have not been highlighted from the article authored by Mrs. Palin:
- Sarah Palin states that we don’t actually know any of the details about what was said in order to convince Carrier to stay in the U.S. Palin says, “We don’t yet know terms of the public/private deal that was cut to make the company stay, but let’s hope every business is equally incentivized to keep Americans working in America.” This admission, however, doesn’t keep her from assuming that this is clearly the work of socialism throughout the rest of the article.
- Sarah Palin concludes her already admitted factually challenged article with this statement, “It’s beyond unacceptable, so let’s anticipate equal incentivizes and positive reform all across the field – to make the economy great again.” Indeed, let’s anticipate this possibility. What did Trump say to Carrier? Again, we don’t know. For all we know he could have stated that his first order of business in conjunction with Congress is to repeal Obamacare, which will most likely result in a reduction of company expenses. In addition to this, maybe Trump said that he is looking to sign a bill that cuts taxes and reduces regulations in order to incentivize manufacturing opportunities in the U.S. If this was something that was stated, maybe Carrier gave their previous decision a second thought and decided to stick around to see what happens.
This is the extent of the argument offered by Palin and her legion of virtue signaling sycophants:
- We don’t know what the details of the conversation were; all we know is that a conversation took place.
- Despite not knowing any of the details, this could be the first step towards a Stalin-esque centralized economy.
- After drumming up emotional support, deliver a sermon on the god-like mythos of the invisible hand along with a condemnation of the sinfully presumed socialism taking place, followed by a hope for policy change that could actually be coming in a few months.
This is nothing more than circus level showmanship for Jacobins disguised as conservatives. Now, something quite interesting is usually missing from these op-eds attacking “crony capitalism” and “socialism.” The missing element in these “principled” pontifications is a vigorous condemnation of the federal government “picking winners and losers” in the weapons development industry. This practice, pejoratively labeled military “Keynesianism” is some how transformed into virtuous government intervention into the economy, but when it comes to saving the jobs of Middle America anathemas must immediately be proclaimed. Until conservatives start to lose their mind on this militarist “interventionism” as well, they will show themselves to be either argumentative hypocrites or willfully ignorant of their own incoherence.
– Lucas G. Westman