Tim Carney, senior political columnist at the Washington Examiner and visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), joined the Leadership Institute and 129 guests earlier this week for LI’s monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast.
He talked to the crowd about the threat that the big business lobby poses in America and what conservatives can do to combat it.
Carney told story after story of times when big businesses pushed for regulations on their own industry, which would ultimately prevent competitors from entering the market.
“Obamacare would have failed if the drug industry and the healthcare industry had not gotten on board,” said Carney.
He reminded the crowd of several examples ranging from light bulb manufacturing to the current debate over the export import bank where the government is stepping in and helping big business keep the “little guys” out.
“Regulation isn’t the tool that government uses to protect the regular guys from big business; it’s the tool that government uses to protect big business from the regular guy,” said Carney.
Carney suggests that the misconceptions that some conservatives have come from the mainstream media insisting “that pro-business and free-market are the same thing.”
“It poisons the debate,” said Carney, “Republicans talk in the morning about free enterprise and then vote in the afternoon for corporate welfare and then they wonder why people think they just care about the rich.”
However Carney did bring good news on the topic, “the Republicans have started to wake up,” said Carney, and he believes there is something conservatives can do.
“The battle today is over the heart and soul of the Republican party,” said Carney
He urges conservatives and Republicans to re-adopt a true free enterprise system.
“In free and open competition, if you’re going to get ahead, you’re going to have to build up the trust of your customer, you’re going to have to develop the trust of your investors, you’re going to have to work hard, and you’re going to have to treat your employees well,” said Carney.
“Free and open competition fosters virtues and helps society,” said Carney.
When conservatives truly adopt these principles, “the average American can look at the free enterprise system and say ‘this is the system and the philosophy that best serves me.”
If America wants to see true economic prosperity again, we have to break down the barriers and regulations that big businesses lobby for to keep the competition down.
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For Tim Carney’s full remarks, click here.
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