From the time of Alexander Hamilton's "Report on Manufactures" through the Great Depression, American towns and cities sought to lure footloose companies by offering lavish benefits. These ranged from taxpayer-financed factories, to tax exemptions, to outright gifts of money. This kind of government aid, known as "corporate welfare," is still around today. After establishing its historical foundations, James T. Bennett reveals four modern manifestations.

His first case is the epochal debate over government subsidy of a supersonic transport aircraft. The second case has its origins in Southern factory relocation programs of the 1930s--the practice of state and local governments granting companies taxpayer financed incentives. The third is the taking of private property for the enrichment of business interests. The fourth--export subsidies--has its genesis in the New Deal but matured with the growth of the Export-Import Bank, which subsidizes international business exchanges of America's largest corporate entities.

Bennett examines the prospects for a successful anti-corporate welfare coalition of libertarians, free market conservatives, Greens, and populists. The potential for a coalition is out there, he argues. Whether a canny politician can assemble and maintain it long enough to mount a taxpayer counterattack upon corporate welfare is an intriguing question.

Editorial Reviews
  • Prof. James Bennett's new book, Corporate Welfare, mounts a devastating, well-argued attack on corporate welfare policy in America. Bennett reviews the many appearances of corporate welfare in the US economy then proceeds to debunk the practice, expertly drawing on professional literature, informed commentary, policy analysis, and advocacy works. Bennett marshals interesting examples, case studies, and practices from across the field in an innovative framework. Bennett's work is especially timely as political leaders and some corporate magnates again look to corporate welfare policy in hopes of reviving moribund economies they arguably created in the first place. This book will be invaluable to general readers (taxpayers) who want to understand the issues and to policymakers and business leaders who want to do the right thing. Economists, policy analysts and commentators will also find fresh insights to relish in this interesting book.--Terry F. Buss, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Professor Bennett begins his excellent new book about corporate welfare with Alexander Hamilton's misguided schemes. Fortunately, those schemes were mainly blocked in the early Republic by the Jeffersonian party. The problem today--as Bennett skillfully documents--is that business subsidies are a bipartisan disease, chronic at all levels of government. Few politicians stand up for the taxpayer, despite citizen opposition to hand-outs from across the political spectrum. Hopefully, Bennett's stomach-turning stories will convince more people of the evils of crony capitalism.--Chris Edwards, DownsizingGovernment.org, Cato Institute
About the Author

James T. Bennett is professor of economics at George Mason University. He is the founder and editor of the Journal of Labor Research and has authored ten books with Transaction, including Mandate Madness and Corporate Welfare.

Ralph Nader is an American attorney, author, lecturer, and political activist.


Product Details

Author:  James T. Bennett
ISBN:  1412855985   
Publisher:  Transaction Publishers
Publish Date:  May 11, 2015
Pages:  237 pages
Dimensions:  0.8" H x 9.2" L x 6.2" W (1.0 lbs) 

Corporate Welfare: Crony Capitalism That Enriches the Rich

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