Big Government-Big Cronyism?.and maybe a bit of corruption too?

Kim Strassels op-ed (The U.S.Department of Clinton) WSJ 8/25/2016 put her writing finger on the real HRC issue: there was no line between her activities as the Secretary of State and as Secretary of the Clinton Foundation. The crossovers are too numerous to catalogue, but will motivate ambitious expose journalists who will mine this story for all that its worth. And, it could be worth a lot, particularly if HRC succeeds in wasting her opportunity to become the first woman President.

After the slow but steady drip of importunate details of her many crossovers between pubic and private service, it becomes even clearer what Big Government has done to an electorate badly in need of no conflict of interest public servants. Hard to find, Harder to elect.

For many years, the SEC and the FCC and NLRB—along with all the other alphabet of Washington regulators has been a revolving door between public service and private emolument. For those who wish to endow their human capital with a fat rolodex and many shoulder-rubs with the powers that be, a few years writing papers for the higher ups, commenting on policy proposals, doing the case work on a forthcoming prosecution, etc. is an apprenticeship with fine rewards at the end of ones stay within the Beltway. Not only do the public service neophytes learn whos who in the power ladder, but they also learn the techniques of rolling their log in the tree pond in exchange for favors done by counterparts and higher-ups. Is it any wonder that these loyal knights of the realm have trouble finding the clear line between public service and private reward After all, they do their government apprenticeship with the firm belief that it will come in handy in the private sector. And it surely does.

The HRC affair has exploded because of her candidacy. Expose passes for election policy statements these days. This will be one of the dirtiest campaigns on record, but it is a mere mirror of the filth of private ambition coupled with government power.

The Clinton Foundation should get a marketing reward and acase study of how it managed to gather so many supporters worldwide. The case will be taught for years in Marketing courses for MBAs. The Pay for Play scandals in New York State wereonly the tip of the iceberg in comparison to the major access stories now seeping out. Pay for Play, has long been a staple in winning Municipal Bond underwritings, or in insurance contracts, etc. What is the real lesson for voters and citizens to take in from the HRC/Clinton Foundation tight linkage

Very simply, this is what Big Government comes to mean in a world of Big Industries, Big Banks, Big Insurance, Big MediaIt is well understood that Bigness produces Big Compensation in the corporate world and being a Big Person, puts you in line for the rewards that Big Government can throw out. Cronyism is the market response to regulation—to insuring that any new regulation does as little damage to your Big Firms interests as possible, or even better yet, your Big Firm gets a carve out exemption!

What is the difference between cronyism and corruption: the explicitness of the payment for getting the deal done But that is a very thin, almost unobservable line. In the HRC/Clinton Foundation case, draped as it is with the robes of Charity, it was clear that to get access, donations were the ticket. Become a friend of the Foundation and you got access. The quality of the access and what was paid for it still has to be measured, but that will come. Some enterprising journalist looking to make her bones will be able to compute the regression equation.

Our major point is that the bigger the government, the more intrusive government becomes in everyday life, the bigger the rewards for individuals who can blunt the charge of government regulation. Big Government provides the incentives for cronyism. and for corruption as well.