Weblog - Crony Capitalism

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Our modern society is hooked on growth, an addiction that is difficult to cure. People get used to extrapolating growth and success - they become part of crony capitalism. When growth stops many start to fudge, which can quickly turn to lying, and then extend to cheating. Few people start off being dishonest - most drift into it through insidious wealth addiction.
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Weblog Comments - Crony capitalism

Lou Heavner [Lou.Heavner@EmersonProcess.com] wrote on Thursday, May 30, 2002 :

"Came across an interesting book review. I haven't read the book, but the review was intriguing. It is "Bowling Alone" by Robert Putnam. It deals with human capital and "social" capital and the notion of how a capitalistic social order secures for itself an adequate supply of public goods. As you surely know, I am pretty hardline libertarian, philosophically, but your recent commentaries and discussions on the practical implications of personal selfishness in the modern world of vastly unequal outcomes and widespread television are quite thought provoking. Don't know when or if I will get a chance to read it, but thought I'd pass it along anyway.

"Also, as a staunch libertarian, I frequently recommend to people that they look at the political spectrum in more than one dimension as described by Gary Nolan. Perhaps you have seen the cute little quiz at: http://www.self-gov.org/wspq.html which helps you identify where you fit with the rest of the world. Now there is an even cuter version of the quiz at: http://www.politopia.com/index.htm just follow the link to the quiz.

Benedetto Delle Piane [dabeat25@yahoo.com] thought that "Crony Capitalism" applied to Italy:

"I am an Italian ex-accountant. Today I gave up my job in the fiscal branch of Italian PriceWaterhouseCoopers (Big Five company). I was really amused to read your article on Crony Capitalism on the same day that I left PwC. I left because when working here, our only goal is to find ways (inside the law, if it's possible) to pay fewer taxes.

"Italian fiscal rules are enormous, complex and basically created to create big ways for public administration to cause trouble for small companies, while they allow big companies to do what is best for their cash flows. As things started to change, and public administration comprehended that big companies should have been paying more taxes, the role of accountancy and fiscal consultants has seen a strong growth in Italy.

"Basically the problem is that, as in USA for the Enron case, we are starting to see the same problems. For example, an Italian PWC partner is now having a lot of trouble for having covered some losses on credits in a little bank for something like $27m.

"So I thought that, first of all, I wanted to find a better place to work because I really did not like the work I was doing; it was better to go away before things get really bad. I'm leaving PWC, and probably the field of accounting.

"My question is: do you really think that some really honest accounting company exists? Personally I do NOT think so - not in Italy!"

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