There is nothing better than free market capitalism.
It truly is the most amazing system ever devised. As with all great things in human history, everything has a dark side. The nefarious business dealings that is the scourge of our great system is Crony Capitalism. Two men I have written about illustrate just how wrong it can go when you mix big money with political power. The case studies are billionaires – “Bluffing Bill” Ackman and “Mountebank” Elon Musk.
Both have recently been exposed for being not all that honest with the American people. They both remind me of characters full of arrogance and consumed with pride found in the movies. Bill Ackman is an embodiment of Gordon Gekko while Elon Musk is the Tony Stark of our day minus the suit (probably in R and D).
“Bluffing Bill” Ackman has been exposed market manipulator. He is the founder of Pershing Square, and he has used his contacts in government in an attempt reportedly to destroy the nutritional supplement company Herbalife for huge profit. Ackman made a very public short $1 billion gamble that he could destroy the company. When you take a billion-dollar short and the plan falls apart, government cronyism is all there is left to save you. Recently, the Ackman plot was exposed showing just how far he went to destroy the company in his sights.
Ackman actually instigated a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation of Herbalife which resulted in FTC fines to Herbalife of $200 million. The settlement was even part of the elaborate fraud. Fortune reported on February 2, 2017 that checks written out went to happy Herbalife members, not victims at all! “In fact, of those who received the checks, the largest of which are more than $9,000, many are actually happy customers who still use the meal supplements. Some still work for Herbalife. Even members of the company’s president’s team, a special status that confers a larger product discount on high-volume distributors, have received a cut of the FTC settlement. What’s more, some check recipients say they plan to ‘flip’ their settlement payout, i.e. use the money to buy more products from Herbalife.” The entire investigation was for nothing other a clear example of a billionaire using government like a weapon.
Our second example of the incestuous business/government relationship is “Mountebank” Musk. He is another shining example of a billionaire who thinks he can outsmart President Donald Trump into adopting his liberal ideas. The term “Mountebank” derives from an Italian word “Montambanco,” and means to mount a bench. Much like the snake-oil salesman, it describes the practice of a fraudster mounting a bench in a public area to sell fake medicines or spin tall tales. Elon has mounted a bench to get the Trump Administration to adopt his climate change agenda. Musk needs government money like a junkie needs a fix and a new Carbon Tax is the way he intends to do it. Musk will use the Carbon Tax to punish those who don’t drive his electric battery powered Tesla cars and don’t heat their homes using SolarCity solar panels.
Musk intends to use the power of government to punish those who don’t purchase products from one of his companies.
Somehow “Mountebank” Musk has erased the Trump Administration’s memory that Musk raised YUGE amounts of cash for Crooked Hillary in California according to Bloomberg. Musk allied himself with liberals from Hollywood like movie maker Steven Spielberg and tree hugger Leonardo DiCaprio to help make California Great Again – for Hillary Clinton.
That’s not all, “Mountebank” Musk also wants the Trump Administration to funnel money to his SpaceX company to enrich himself further and to complete a childhood fantasy to send people to Mars. OTHER PEOPLE…the trip is far too dangerous for Musk to go himself and for him to risk his own money. He would much rather have others go and the government foot the bill on a mission that may result in death. He wants the federal government to pony up $10 billion to ensure that his star filled dreams become reality.
“Bluffing” Bill Ackman and “Mountebank” Elon Musk are two Crony Capitalists who are soiling the reputation of American style free market capitalism with the use of government power for profit.
It’s easy to be depressed when it seems like these kinds of guys always succeed. I’d love to see the Trump Administration kick these cronies to the curb. Both the free market and government would be better off. Enough is enough…drain that swamp.
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