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Crony Capitalism

News

Kushner’s Cronyism: Trump’s Son-in-Law Uses Corporate Connections To Secure Weapons For Saudis

The Trump administration is working diligently to make Saudi Arabia great again, having secured a weapons cache totaling over $100 billion for the Islamist kingdom. It was reported that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and his influential advisor, called up the CEO of Lockheed Martin to secure the deal himself. The New York Times issued a report yesterday describing Kushner’s “personal touch” on a $110 billion weapons deal brokered at the behest of the Saudis. Kushner called Marillyn A. Hewson, chief executive of infamous defense contractor Lockheed Martin, to persuade her to lower the price tag for his Saudi cronies. “The Trump administration is expected to frame the deal, worth about $110 billion over 10 years, as a symbol of America’s renewed commitment to security in the Persian Gulf. But former officials pointed out that President Barack Obama, whose arms sales to Saudi Arabia totaled $115 billion, had already approved several of the weapons in the package,” the Times report stated. Keep Reading

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Economics

Awkward: Trump’s Wall Is A Progressive Policy

‘This Congress is going to be the busiest Congress in decades — maybe ever.’’ With these words, President Donald Trump urged fellow Republicans in Congress to help him halt illegal immigration by supporting his plan to build a United States-Mexico border wall. But a wall that isn’t erected by the private land owners bordering Mexican land owners isn’t a wall. It’s government spending. And if government is spending, someone else is footing the bill. That someone is you and me. Keep Reading

Economics/Politics

Trump’s Deal Cutting Just Won’t Cut It

Last week, President-elect Donald J. Trump and his administration reached a deal with United Technologies, holding company of the air conditioner and appliance manufacturer Carrier, to keep around 1,000 jobs in the United States. Trump has promised on the campaign trail that he would keep those jobs on US soil since Carrier first announced that they would move their manufacturing from Indiana to Mexico in February. Outlets from Breitbart to The Young Turks have praised the deal. What a great power move! Trump isn’t even in office yet, and he’s already closing deals. But what if Trump’s latest deal is filling the swamp rather than draining it? Carrier’s decision was purportedly based on tax breaks promised by Indiana Governor and Vice President-elect Mike Pence in conjunction with Trump’s planned pro-business policies. There’s an issue with that narrative, however. The total in tax breaks is $7 million. The cost to keep those jobs in the States: $65 million. The incentives were offered months ago and subsequently declined by Carrier, so it’s… Keep Reading

Economics

James J. Hill And The Liquidation Of Malinvestment

James J. Hill is unquestionably one of the greatest entrepreneurs in American history.  This past weekend marked the 100th anniversary of his passing.  He is best remembered for the successful construction of the only transcontinental railroad to not go bankrupt.  He didn’t accept government subsidies, and argued eloquently against his competitors who did: “The government should not furnish capital to these companies, in addition to their enormous land subsidies, to enable them to conduct their business in competition with enterprises that have received no aid from the public treasury.” His endeavors can claim to be largely responsible for the settling and economic development of the upper midwest United States, and for making Seattle into the commercial metropolis that it is today.  For the best histories of the man and his legacy, these two articles (here and here) are unmatched. Countless business, entrepreneurial, and economic lessons can be learned from a detailed study of Mr. Hill.  One particular economic lesson stems from his entrance into the business of railroad ownership… Keep Reading

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