Socio-economic system in which large businesses exert influence over and benefit from government policies

Corporate capitalism is a term used in social science and economics to describe a capitalist marketplace characterized by the dominance of hierarchical and bureaucratic corporations.


A Hit Man Confesses, by Christopher Westley, Mises Daily, 12 Dec 2006
Comments and criticises John Perkins' Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
"The second [popular path to wealth in the private sector] is more nefarious. With this method, you work in an industry that stands to make billions of dollars through contracts for infrastructure development with foreign governments. ... We know of companies that would be shells of their present selves were it not for their hounding of contracts funded by such loans, and that these companies provide lucrative incomes to politicians when they are out of office."
Atlas Shrugged and the Corporate State, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 12 Oct 2007
Explains how Ayn Ran's Atlas Shrugged properly depicted some businessmen as privilege seekers, but some of her non-fiction was mistaken about big business being a "persecuted minority"
"This is the origin of the Progressive-Era "reforms" ... Well-connected corporate leaders favored measures that would cartelize their industries and inhibit competition in the manner of FDR's later, short-lived National Recovery Administration ... Who stands to gain most from the subsidies, tax preferences, and market manipulations ...? ... The energy companies, which have never stood on their own, independent of government. And who is pushing hard for deeper government intervention in medicine and pensions? Big corporations, which are competitively burdened by the obligations they've taken on over the years."
Barack Obama: Corporatist, by Sheldon Richman, 17 Apr 2012
Reviews Obama's corporate-friendly (and hypocritical) actions, particularly towards banks like Bank of America
"Like his predecessors, Obama has been a good friend to big companies, especially banks. Take Bank of America. BoA is what you'd expect of a financial institution coddled by government subsidies and privilege: inefficient, corrupt ... and a frequent corporate-welfare recipient. ... This is just one of the many ways in which Obama reveals himself as a friend of big, well-connected business interests — that is, as an advocate of the corporate state. Considering that Mitt Romney also favors having government as business's ally, we can look forward to an election between two variations on this corporatist theme."
Related Topic: Barack Obama
Bernie Is Not a Socialist and America Is Not Capitalist, by Marian Tupy, The Atlantic, 1 Mar 2016
Clarifies the meaning of various terms which young people tend to misunderstand, including socialism, communism, capitalism and corporatism, and then discusses the relative levels of economic freedom in the United States and other countries
"Capitalism is often confused with 'crony' capitalism—an odious nexus of corporate and political power that crushes the worker and cheats the consumer. Close linkages between big business and the government have existed before (e.g., fascist Italy, national-socialist Germany, Peronist Argentina, etc.). However, most academics do not refer to such systems as exhibiting 'crony capitalism,' but 'corporatism.' In any case, few would argue that the power of big business in the United States today is comparable to the power of big businesses in, say, fascist Italy, though it might be argued that 'crony capitalism,' if left unchecked, could one day lead to 'corporatism.'"
Big Business and the Rise of American Statism, by Roy Childs, Reason, Feb 1971
Originally a speech given at first convention of the Society for Individual Liberty, 15-16 Nov 1969
"In any case, we have seen that (a) the trend was not towards centralization at the close of the nineteenth century ...; (b) there was, in the case of the railroads anyway, no sharp dichotomy or antagonism between big businessmen and the progressive Movement's thrust for regulation; and (c) the purpose of the regulations, as seen by key business leaders, was not to fight the growth of 'monopoly' and centralization, but to foster it. The culmination of this big-business-sponsored 'reform' of the economic system is actually today's system."
Big Pharma and Crony Capitalism, by Wendy McElroy, 9 Jul 2012
Examines the ways in which pharmaceutical companies influence government agencies like the FDA
"Most of the time, the state and big pharma are in an uncomfortable partnership that benefits both of them. Adversarial events occur between them, but the bottom line is a partnership. They both act to suppress any drugs or people who compete with their monopolies. Both the state and big pharma promote specific products, with the state pushing drugs through various social-services agencies and programs like Medicaid. Both of them victimize anyone who wishes to have choice over their own medical care and drug use. They also victimize those who blindly trust the almost mystical authority that the medical world creates for itself ..."
Election 2014: The Good News and Bad, by Sheldon Richman, 6 Nov 2014
Sobering comments on elections, governments, democracy and why voting is of so little consequence to the individual voter
"Republicans talk about shrinking government, but don't believe it. They certainly have no intention of shrinking the American empire, much less dismantling it. Quite the contrary. And while they talk about freeing the economy, that usually means removing restrictions on privileged economic interests without also eliminating the privileges. Republicans give the free market a bad name, because too often their policies amount to unabashed corporatism. But, then, the Democrats are no different. Both parties have a vested interest in the essential status quo, whatever their differences at the margin."
Related Topics: Government, Voting
Karl Hess: Presidential Speechwriter Turned Homesteader, by Karl Hess, Anson Mount, Mother Earth News, Jan 1976
"The Plowboy Interview", shortly after Hess' book Dear America had become a bestseller, questions him about the switch from right wing conservatism to the New Left
"Corporate capitalism, in fact, is the worst enemy that free enterprise currently has in this country. To be quite blunt about it, the big guys are very deliberately using our 'free enterprise' system to stamp out the little guys. But don't take my word for it, look at the statistics: There are fewer and fewer independently owned businesses — per capita — here in the United States every day."
Libertarianism: Left or Right?, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Jun 2007
Examines the origin of the political terms "left" and "right" and makes the case that libertarianism is properly on the Left of the spectrum
"When state socialists attacked the market ('capitalism') ... the conservatives, defended economic freedom rhetorically (while usually ignoring the corporatist features of capitalism in order not to alienate their business allies). ... libertarians ... too often defend particular actions by particular businesses (oil companies, for example), forgetting that business today is the product of years of corporatism. ... The classic example is Ayn Rand's much-ridiculed essay, 'America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business.' (But it is clear from Atlas Shrugged that she understood what corporatism is.)"
Lincoln-Worship Overlays the Corporatist Agenda, by Kevin Carson, Future of Freedom, Mar 2014
Review of Rich Lowry's Lincoln Unbound: How an Ambitious Young Railsplitter Saved the American Dream — and How We Can Do It Again (2013)
"[Lowry] sees the corporate economy of our day, at least in its broad outlines, as a logical outgrowth of Lincoln's vision, and one Lincoln would very likely embrace if he saw it today. ... The American — like the global — corporate economy lives, moves, and has its being in dependence on government. It is a creature of the state ... the Gilded Age model of corporate capitalism were both part of the same grand bargain in 1877. The corporate capitalists secured their uncontested control of the national polity in return for giving Southern Redeemers a free hand in setting up an apartheid system in the South."
Road to Empire, by Justin Raimondo, 28 Nov 2007
Discusses the "Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship Between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America" signed on 26 Nov 2007, after the U.S. Congress went into recess
"What stands out is the stated intention of the Iraqi government to give what news accounts describe as "preferential" treatment to U.S. investment in the country, which presumably means the vital oil production sector. One imagines that the bidding process is already taking place, with all sorts of sub rosa agreements being made to divvy up the country's potentially lucrative oil reserves. For an administration ostensibly devoted to "free markets," this sort of crony capitalism is a disgrace. ... In return, favored American corporate interests will be allowed to strip the country bare. "
Smedley Butler and the Racket That Is War, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 27 Jun 2014
Reviews U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler's writings, particularly War Is a Racket (1935) and the constitutional "Amendment for Peace"
"[In] 1935 ... [Butler] wrote ...: "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism [corporatism]. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in ... I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.""
Related Topics: Foreign Entanglements, War
Taxation Is Robbery, by Frank Chodorov, Out of Step, 1962
Chapter XXII; starting with the historical origins of taxation, proceeds to examine its indirect and direct forms and the rationales behind it
"Any farmer can make whiskey, and many of them do; but the necessary investment in revenue stamps and various license fees makes the opening of a distillery and the organizing of distributive agencies a business only for large capital. ... Likewise, the manufacture of cigarettes is concentrated in the hands of a few giant corporations by the help of our tax system; nearly three-quarters of the retail price of a package of cig­arettes represents an outlay in taxes."
The Death of Politics, by Karl Hess, Playboy, Mar 1969
Discusses libertarianism, contrasting it with both conservatism and modern liberalism, including specific policy differences
"Big business supports a form of state capitalism in which government and big business act as partners. Criticism of this statist bent of big business comes more often from the left than from the right these days, and this is another factor making it difficult to tell the players apart. ... The left's attack on corporate capitalism is, when examined, an attack on economic forms possible only in collusion between authoritarian government and bureaucratized, nonentrepreneurial business."
The New Deal Made Them 'Right', by Damon Root, Cato Policy Report, Sep 2009
Discusses how various "prominent liberals" (Mencken, John T. Flynn, Al Smith, Burton K. Wheeler and Nock) found themselves categorized on the political right as a consequence of their opposition to Roosevelt's New Deal
"... the NRA [National Recovery Administration] sought to micromanage the economy through more than 500 wage-, hour-, and price-fixing 'codes of fair competition,' mandating everything from the price of food to the cost of having a shirt hemmed. ... historian Arthur Ekirch has pointed out: 'Little attention was paid to the fact that it was industry itself that had largely prepared the regulations governing prices and production. ...' ... [Flynn] had long worried about the growing power and influence of the big corporations. Now FDR and his so-called brain trust were climbing into bed with them!"
Variations on a Corporatist Theme: The people lose, by Sheldon Richman, 13 Apr 2012
Contrasts the rhetoric on both sides of the 2012 U.S. presidential contest
"Genuinely freed markets won't make the list of feasible options. That will leave us with mere variations on a statist theme, namely, corporatism. How will voters choose among them? Most of those who abhor 'socialism' (however they define it) will rally round Republican corporatism because of the pro-market rhetoric, while most who abhor the cruel 'free market' ('Look at the hardship it created!') will rush to Democratic corporatism because of its anti-market rhetoric."
What Is the Enemy?, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Apr 2006
Discusses why corporatism, mercantilism and Big Business are the "the great institutional threat to liberty"
"In other words, the great threat to liberty is the corporate state, otherwise known as corporatism, state capitalism, and political capitalism. (The Therapeutic State falls into this category, because the prime beneficiaries are corporate medical providers.) ... The foreign-policy component of the corporate system can't be elaborated here, but its importance cannot be overstated. Most of U.S. foreign policy can be understood only if one grasps that business interests have looked to the government to secure foreign markets and foreign resources."
When What's Costly is Cheap — and Vice Versa, by Kevin Carson, 6 Jul 2013
Explains how the corporate state programs subsidize big business at consumer expense, and on the other hand creates artificial scarcities to again benefit corporate interests
"Consider the share of industry's total inputs that are artificially cheap thanks to the state. The state preempts ownership of vacant land and gives privileged access to oil and coal companies, preempts civil liability for oil spills and pollution with its "environmental" regulations, fights wars to guarantee American access to foreign oil reserves on American terms, and spends many tens of billions on a Navy whose main function is to keep the sea lanes open for oil tankers — all to keep energy artificially cheap. It subsidizes long-distance transportation, artificially increasing market areas and firm size."
Related Topic: The State
Where Free-Market Economists Go Wrong, by Sheldon Richman, 1 Feb 2008
Discusses the economic stimulus proposals and the failure of many free-market economists to point out that the current economic system is not truly a free market
"What we have is corporatism, an interventionist system shot through with government-granted privileges mostly for the well-connected (yes, who tend to be rich). This system is maintained in a variety of ways: through taxes, subsidies, cartelizing regulations, 'intellectual property' protections, trade restrictions, government-bank collusion, the military-industrial complex, land close-offs, restrictions on workers, and more. As a result, people can get rich at the expense of the government's victims."
Will 2016 Be a Good Year for the Corporate State?, by Sheldon Richman, 13 Dec 2013
Considers the prospective 2016 U.S. presidential contenders, Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie, and how they line up with the aims of the corporate state, and further comments about South Africa under Mandela
"Who's surprised? The corporate state's roots go quite deep, having had a couple of hundred years to spread. It's easy to discount its pervasiveness because of the chronic public feuding between business, particularly big banks, and some politicians, but don't be fooled by this. The feud is more superficial than it appears. Roderick Long explains, '... the latter ["right-wing" statism] generally seek to shift the balance a bit farther in favour of corporatism and plutocracy. (In the U.S., the reigning versions of liberalism and conservatism are arguably both more corporatist than state-socialist ...)'"

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OK ... Every day you guys ah in heah complainin' about how corrupt politicians ah ..., by Wiley Miller, Non Sequitur, 26 Sep 2012

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Corporate capitalism" as of 12 Oct 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.