Welfare queens 

John Stossel has a column about corporate welfare. He quotes me, but it's still worth reading.

In America today, the biggest recipients of handouts are not poor people. They're corporations....

Businesses love to have government as their partner. There's safety in it. Why take chances in a marketplace full of fickle consumers and investors, when you can get secure money and favors from the taxpayers? It's an old story, and free-market advocates as far back as Adam Smith warned against it. Unfortunately, too many people think "free market" means pro-business. It doesn't. Free market means laissez faire -- prohibit force and fraud, but otherwise leave the marketplace alone. No subsidies, no privileges, no arbitrary regulations. Competition is the most effective regulator.

Left-wingers criticize corporate welfare until it's for something they like -- for example, "green technology."

I continue to hope, perhaps foolishly, that more politicians and scribes on the Right will see that Big Business is not their friend.

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Timothy P. Carney

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