Nicholas Kristof–Crony Capitalism Comes Home

I’m as passionate a believer in capitalism as anyone. My Krzysztofowicz cousins (who didn’t shorten the family name) lived in Poland, and their experience with Communism taught me that the way to raise living standards is capitalism.

But, in recent years, some financiers have chosen to live in a government-backed featherbed. Their platform seems to be socialism for tycoons and capitalism for the rest of us. They’re not evil at all. But when the system allows you more than your fair share, it’s human to grab. That’s what explains featherbedding by both unions and tycoons, and both are impediments to a well-functioning market economy.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

3 comments on “Nicholas Kristof–Crony Capitalism Comes Home

  1. drummie says:

    This article mentions one thing that it seems no one else has the guts to mention, UNIONS. I live in a right to work state and union membership can not be a requirement for getting or keeping a job. I might not have made as much during my life as someone with a union job might have made, but life is not bad. What I wonder is what have unions done lately to help the American worker? It seems that most jobs that have gone overseas such as steel, automotive and other manufacturing have been in areas where unions can be compulsory. It seems that unions have priced the American worker out of their jobs while making the union bosses rich. If this is not the case, why is the “rust belt” even there? I know that unions are a touchy subject for many, and the unions have done great things for workers in the past, but what have they really done lately to make the worker whose job moved overseas better off? The job left because the companies can not afford to keep paying the union wages and more particularly the benefits and still make a profit on their investments. Besides that, why should anyone be required to “payoff” the union bosses to get or keep their job? Isn’t that what union dues are, a payoff? In what is considered a free country, why the payoffs? Additionally, why is it that so many times unions have been involved with corrupt politicians and organized crime? I’m just curious.

  2. IchabodKunkleberry says:


    You’re absolutely right. The jobs have been outsourced to
    places far away. Public sector workers have been organized
    by AFSCME (a union), and teachers have their unions. Here in
    Illinois, those groups are protesting because the governor has
    quashed some of their pay raises – this at a time when us
    non-unionized workers are happy just to have a job and
    don’t generally think about pay raises. Too bad we can’t
    outsource the teachers and the state, federal, county, and
    local public sector workers.

    Not only do they get pay raises when the rest of us can’t,
    many of the public sector workers have platinum-plated
    retirement pay and benefits. This is fundamentally wrong.

  3. Dan Crawford says:

    It may be fundamentally wrong for working stiffs, but for the politicians and the oligarchs they serve, it seems to be oh so fundamentally right. As for the joys of outsourcing so corporate and Wall Street magnates can spend their days counting their cash, I am reminded of how contemptuously corporate america treats those whose sweat and labor built the greatest economy in the world every time I have to speak with some “customer service” person in Mombai Central. And every time I look at the money deducted from my income to pay the bailouts and bonuses of the executives who have screwed the public every chance they could in the past 30 years. And then I remember if my father hadn’t been in a union and been able to bring home a living wage and provide with difficulty a home and education for his children, we would not have been able to experience what once made America great. Ah, but why argue with facts? (By the way, how come Ich doesn’t include cop and firefighter unions among his villains? Just asking.)