After years of fighting big business, some astute liberals have finally concluded that the way to advance liberal policies is to actually get big government to buy in.
In a controversial New York Times op-ed this summer titled: “How Liberals Win,” Bill Scher noted: “The necessity of corporate support for, or at least acquiescence to, liberal policies is not a new development in the history of American liberalism. Indeed it has been one of its hallmarks.”
Scher is correct. From FDR to Obama, liberals tend to achieve their policy goals when they find a way to co-opt big business. This is good for liberals, of course, but for conservatives, it’s a double-whammy. Not only does this give us more liberal legislation, but it also skews the free market.
Public-private partnerships might sound harmless, but as Luigi Zingales points out in his book, A Capitalism For The People, they ultimately undermine the meritocracy. (And a belief in the efficacy of meritocracy is vital for the general public to support capitalism, and its inherent income inequalities.)
When big companies like Walmart cut deals with government, they get special consideration. This obviously hurts not only Walmart’s current competitors, but also future competitors not yet on the horizon.