Commentary, Free Markets

Jim Gray: End Crony Capitalism by Giving Small Businesses The Same Tax Benefits as Disney

It is truly a rare occurrence for anyone in either the legislative or executive branches of government not to have favorite constituents to whom they give public money and other favors.

Anaheim, California, gives great tax advantages to Disneyland. California Gov. Jerry Brown and officials from many other states and cities offer hundreds of millions of dollars in public incentives to Amazon.

Most left-leaning governments ensure that lots of extra tax money goes to public and private union workers. And none of this is to mention the numerous “humanitarian” and “environmental” laws that directly feather the nests of some plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Few politicians are willing to limit crony capitalism

This is one important reason to elect Libertarians. All of this crony capitalism is very much against their liberty-minded philosophy.

Let’s step back and consider this from first principles. Companies do respond to tax incentives. But to single out one as opposed to all the rest is simply wrong.

What is offered to one business or group of people should be offered to everyone in a similar situation. Otherwise, the offer is not only unfair, it lends itself to increased lobbying, cronyism and political polarization.

Certainly Disneyland is a plum attraction for Anaheim. A strong Disneyland attracts tourist dollars. Something similar might be said for whichever city and state lands the second Amazon headquarters.

Advantages given to certain big corporations should be given to all small businesses

But small businesses bring economic advantages as well. Just because they aren’t individually strong enough to hire lobbyists or to provide thousands of jobs does not mean that they should be shortchanged by government policy.

Tax and regulatory advantages are a great idea, and they work. So let’s all work together and help influence our governmental representatives to provide the same benefits from government taxes and regulations for everyone.

(Photo of wax statue of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney and Donald Duck by Bishnu Sarangi used with permission.)

Judge James P. Gray (Ret.) was a judge on the Superior Court of Orange County, California for 25 years, and was the running mate of Gary Johnson in the 2012 presidential contest, as well as the Libertarian Party’s 2004 candidate for the United States Senate in California. The author of multiple books and a play, he is a critic of current American drug laws.

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