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A Defense of Crony Capitalism
CNBC.com | March 23, 2012 | 12:45 PM EDT

The New Republic has come out swinging in favor of one of the least popular things in America — Crony Capitalism.

You kind of have to admire the chutzpah of running a piece titled “ Why ‘Crony Capitalism’ is as American as Apple Pie .” The very notion is enough to invite the scorn of Tea Partiers and Occupiers alike.

Historian Michael Kazin explains that America does have a very long history of big government working together with big business. Many of the great fortunes made in America would never have been made if not for the support of the government.

Businessmen have often welcomed government intervention in the markets. More: businessmen are often the advocates and provocateurs of government action.

The odd part of Kazin’s article is that it’s framed around a charge that conservatives are somehow betraying their political philosophy by opposing the crony capitalist state.

“Conservatives are supposed to cherish tradition, to draw on customs and policies which worked well in the past to guide what office-holders ought to do in the future. So it is ironic, if not hypocritical, that they constantly peddle a notion about the separation of business and government that has no basis in American history,” Kazin writes.

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