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Cronyism, also known as corporatism, weakens the free market by using government influence to favor certain businesses over others.

Lobbying, subsidies, tax breaks, regulations, and legislation are all tools used by corporations and government agencies to give unfair advantages to certain businesses while harming their rivals. Meanwhile, small and medium businesses are shut out and consumers can pay the price for limited competition. This causes distortions in the market and weakens the moral framework that should hold together a free society.

Explainer cronyism

Essay Acton PowerBlog

For as long as there have been government officials, there have been economic cronies—friends, family, and associates who use their connections for their own financial gain. So what is crony capitalism and what are its implications?

The new corporatism

Essay Acton Commentary

Over the past two decades a “new corporatism” has emerged, a set of political and economic arrangements, that’s crippling economic growth while simultaneously creating a new set of “insiders” and “outsiders” in America.

How bad is cronyism?

Essay Acton PowerBlog

Cronyism is ugly. It hurts the economy, it’s unjust, and corrupts the core of democracy.  “The damage that cronyism has inflicted on the economy is considerable and creates significant political challenges that Western democracies are struggling to overcome.”