Crony Capitalism

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For the Day of Conversation - Crony Capitalism

Crony Capitalism Article

Crony Capitalism Overview, links to resources and conversation guide for the day of your conversation.
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Related Blogs:
* Co-founder of Tea Party Patriots and co-host a living room conversation on the role of business in government
* MoveOn, Tea Party find common ground

Cronyism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, etc. Cronyism is believed to arise when political cronyism spills over into the business world; self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals. In one of our first LRC's in January of 2013 Joan Blades co-founder of MoveOn, MomsRising and LivingRoomConversations co-hosted a conversation about Crony Capitalism with Mark Meckler a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots. The intent was to identify common ground. In fact the group was surprised by how much they had in common. There is broad agreement that the war on drugs is a failure, forfeiture laws are being abused and must be fixed and too many people are in prison at huge cost to all. Nobody believes prison is the right place to care for the mentally ill. Yet prison is currently our country's primary facility for the mentally ill. We also agreed that it makes no sense for citizens to insure the banks against losses when they gamble with the money entrusted to them and yet allow those same banks to take all the profits when their gamble pays off. It is time to reenact Glass-Steagall. Farm subsidies, stupid regulations and energy subsidies were also touched on as areas of potential common ground. We've found that crony capitalism is an issue area that was rich in opportunities for find right/left agreement.

Rounds/Questions: The Living Room Conversation Starts Here
A Living Room Conversation flows through 5 rounds of questions and the closing. During some rounds, each question will be addressed. In other rounds, the multiple questions are intended as conversation starters and you need only respond to the one or two that matter the most to you. In the event the conversation wanders off track, we will refer to this Conversation Guide to get it back on track.

Round One: Getting Started / Why Are We Here?
● What interested you or drew you to this conversation?

Round Two: Core Values
Answer one or more of the following:
● What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your personal and / or professional life?
● What would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you “tick”?
● What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country now and long-term?

Round Three: Cronyism
Cronyism is the practice of partiality in awarding jobs and other advantages to friends or trusted colleagues, especially in politics and between politicians and supportive organizations.
Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials.

Remember that the goal for this Living Room Conversation is for all of us to listen and learn about where we have different opinions and where we have shared interests, intentions and goals.
● When it comes to the relationships between business and government, what are you most concerned about right now?
● Where is it on your top-10 list? Why?

Round Four: Reflection
Answer one or more of the following questions:
● In one sentence, share what was most meaningful / valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation.
● What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on this topic?
● Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?

Round Five: Accomplishment and Next Steps
Answer both of the following questions:
● What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?
● Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

Closing – Thank you! Please complete the feedback form (attached) to help improve Living Room Conversations.