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A Good Week for Big Government, and Big Business

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Of course big players in the health insurance industry are happy with the Supreme Court ruling that preserved ObamaCare, and their stocks went popping like champagne corks. Coincidentally, some Supreme Court justices own healthcare stocks, but let’s not dwell on that. “Conflicts of interest” are only relevant when the State doesn’t get what it wants.

Big Government loves ObamaCare because it subjugates the middle class, making them dependent on handouts to purchase the “affordable” insurance they are forced to buy. It’s not often that you see millions of people in a supposedly free country grabbed by the seat of their pants and thrown head-first into welfare dependency.

As for Big Business, well, they’re happy about being able to dump so much of their health care responsibility on the State. They love the anti-competitive pressures built against small competitors, who have so much more trouble handling ObamaCare’s myriad requirements than the big players do. And the biggest insurance companies are happiest of all, because every one of those subsidized ObamaCare buyers is a direct pipeline into the U.S. Treasury.

Not every player in the insurance game is happy, mind you. Remember how the President – in between promising you’d save $2,500 a year on your insurance, and you’d be able to keep your existing plan if you liked it – boasted that greater choice and competition would be fostered by his health care scheme? The exact opposite is happening, as big insurance companies gobble up little ones, and lackluster ObamaCare enrollment in some markets knocks companies out of business. There are big pots of taxpayer gold out there, but not every company survives the slide down ObamaCare’s rainbow to cash in. Big Business doesn’t always like how its lucrative junior partnerships with Big Government work out, but the top guys at the company usually do OK in any event.

After Democrats nearly derailed President Obama’s Trade Promotion Authority, Republicans helpfully got it back on track for him, so outsourcing and offshoring are back in a big way, plus all those little side deals and backroom trades will add up to big money. The orchestrated collapse of the U.S. border and devaluing of citizenship means plenty of cheap labor. If Big Labor gets the minimum wage hikes it wants, that will hurt smaller businesses plenty, but the largest corporations will downsize, outsource, and perhaps smile ruefully when consumers find out how much a hamburger made with $15 per hour labor costs.

Back in the salad days of the Occupy movement, there were occasional efforts to find common ground with libertarians and conservatives, on the grounds of mutual distrust for politically connected Big Business. The insurmountable problem is that left-wing protesters generally see Big Government as the cop busting Big Business for its excess, not its partner-in-crime. It’s a completely reversed emphasis, because not only is Big Government the fountain of corruption from which well-connected private sector cronies drink, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with big business operations. They create products no smaller company could develop, and deliver low prices through economies of scale that do much to improve the lives of average folk.

We want business to grow large through honest competition, of course – in other words, persuading others to do business with them for mutual advantage and profit. We want government to police business for the illegal use of coercion in all its forms, from fraud to anti-competitive practices. It’s no irony that Big Business is eager to lease compulsive force from Big Government for its advantage. Politicians and bureaucrats are selling something Big Business can’t get anywhere else, at any price. No insurance company could force you to buy its products, and force other people to pay part of the inflated price, without Barack Obama’s help.

It’s profoundly childish to hope some noble socialist of pure heart will ride along and tame the Big Business dragon with the virtuous exercise of government force. It’s never happened anywhere, ever. There are always cronies, well-connected supporters feeding at the trough, purchasing either the deployment or suspension of coercive force from the ruling Men and Women of the People. A waiver from compulsory laws that hurt everyone else is worth its weight in platinum, and granting such waivers is a good way for corrupt collectivist overlords to posture as technocratic saints who know what the economy really needs.

This is a cynical era, made all the more so by loud demands that we must implicitly trust people who have lied to use repeatedly, without consequence. Somehow we’ve been duped into feeling more fearful and resentful of people who have no power over us than those who do. We’ve been made to view corruption as a demand-side problem, when the supply is a far greater concern. It’s no coincidence that as power accumulates in the hands of a small elite, they feel less motivated to be honest or consistent about its exercise, because they’re not afraid of the people any more. Even the elections we’re supposed to accept as virtually the sole measure of our “liberty” don’t mean that much any more, especially as the power of the legislature dwindles, and we’re told to accept that one binary choice of President every four years as the only election that counts.

You can make a lot of money in a land of diminished freedom and accountability, if you have the right connections. Before we set about resenting anyone for their “income inequality,” we ought to ask how much of that income they took by force, with the assistance of government. Are there many super-wealthy people who could honestly say that number is close to zero? That’s a problem, and it’s a problem of statism, not capitalism. An even greater problem is the growing number of middle-class people who cannot honestly say that none of their wealth was obtained by State-sanctioned force.

Big Government and Big Business have prospered too much at the expense of free and lawful people. With a great deal of effort, we might be able to collectively punish Big Government and reclaim what it has taken under fraudulent premises. We can individually withdraw our consent from lousy business operations at will. It’s not hard to see which of those predators is more fearsome.


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