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Cronyism vs. Capitalism

The Economist magazine has identified some 311 billionaires around the world whose riches largely stem from business dealings that have special access, monopolies, or privileges from the state.

For some odd reason, Joe and Hunter aren’t on the list.

By The Economist’s estimates, Russia is the most crony-capitalist country of the 43 surveyed. Only one-fifth of Russian billionaires’ made their money the old-fashioned way of earning it. The rest stole the money from the Russian citizens.

We think The Economist’s China estimates aren’t even close to accurate. Most Chinese billionaires run businesses that are in part functionaries of the state. The City University of New York finds that as many as 91% of corrupt officials were in the top 1% of income earners, owing to their ability to cash in on their insider government connections.

America is less prone to such sweetheart deals paid for by taxpayers. Last year, corporations lined up with their outstretched tin cups lobbying for the mammoth Biden “infrastructure,” Green New Deal, and semiconductor bills.

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