The conservative platform that many know and love rejects government interference in the market. Indeed, free-market capitalism is what initially draws many to the right side of the political aisle. In his quick transition from life-long Democrat to Republican President-Elect, it appears that Donald Trump has missed this memo.
Though the public is not yet privy to specifics of negotiations between the President Elect and Carrier, his meddling sets two very dangerous precedents; the first concerning federal vs state powers, and the second setting the tone for future businesses looking to leave the United States.
The question must be asked, what happens when another business threatens to leave? Will our future president negotiate with each and every organization looking to set up shop elsewhere?
[display_quote align=right]”A true conservative champion would prop up a significant tax reduction for all businesses…”[/display_quote]Paying off companies who threaten to leave is not a good look, nor is it sustainable. While the exact details are unclear, on principle alone, one can admit that Mr. Trump has no business getting involved with individual companies. A true conservative champion would prop up a significant tax reduction for all businesses in order to spur prosperity and incentivize growth, but his dealing with a singular organization is inappropriate. And in the case of an individual tax break, not only does this elevate one company above others, but it then places a higher tax burden on its competitors.
To his credit, Mr. Trump is not the only conservative who has confused cronyism with capitalism. Unfortunately this misconception is not uncommon, and the GOP oftentimes accepts it at its own expense.
This acceptance of government giving corporate favors has habituated those who identify as progressives to dismiss critiques of their beloved socialism. They argue that socialist policies are available to all, whereas cronyism benefits only a few. Such an argument is not incorrect, and can only be combated with the reminder that private enterprise, too, is available for all.
However, when conservatives fail to draw the line between capitalism and cronyism, insisting the market should be free is a losing battle. The conservative compliance with cronyism is a messaging error the right has and will continue to pay for, and the price is not to be taken lightly.
Favoritism must be rejected by the GOP if a capitalist message is to prevail across the spectrum.
It’s been made clear that on the left, concepts of capitalism and cronyism go hand in hand. This is why many object to the merits of a free market. It is up to true conservatives to make the distinction and show that capitalism can exist in its own pure and fair way.
“In a capitalistic society, government knows it has no place playing favorites in the market.”
Make no mistake, it is delusion to parallel free enterprise with cronyism. As is typical with the Republican Party, acknowledgment of in-party flaws go by unannounced and marketing efforts go by ineffectively, with the core of our values lost in translation.
Though the exact details of Mr. Trump’s Carrier deal are unbeknownst to us, in a capitalistic society, government knows it has no place playing favorites in the market. If it slips, we are to hold it accountable. This sentiment extends beyond recent actions in government and is not to be dated by past, present, or future political occurrences.
This point remains the same: until capitalists vocally take a stand against any government hand in enterprise, their efforts for a free market are in vain. It is not enough to champion a set of beliefs if, in silence, a separate set of beliefs are tolerated, and by proxy, endorsed. In order to effectively spread a message of free markets and capitalism, conservatives must appeal to those on the left. If they fail to do so, they have succeeding only in preaching to the choir.
For too long, capitalism has been demonized as a system in which the elite are favored at the expense of everyone else, when in truth, it is an economic system which promotes liberty and opportunity for all.
This mischaracterization must end. Capitalists must vocally reject cronyism.