This weekend (stay tuned for official airdate), I will air my new FOX News special. I call it: Freeloaders.
In America today, who are the biggest freeloaders? Panhandlers? Poor people?
You may be surprised that some of America’s biggest recipients of handouts are rich people, and well-connected corporations. The biggest corporate freeloaders may be the biggest industrial corporation in the world: General Electric.
I write about that in this week’s syndicated column:
General Electric CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt is super-close to President Obama. The president named Immelt chairman of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Before that, Immelt was on Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. He's a regular companion when Obama travels abroad to hawk American exports. (Why does business need government to do that?)
"Jeff Immelt is perhaps the CEO who is most cozy with President Obama," says journalist Tim Carney. "General Electric is structuring their business around where government is going ... high-speed rail, solar, wind. GE is lining up to get what government is handing out."
Businesses love to have government as their partner. There's safety in it. Why take chances in a marketplace full of fickle consumers and investors, when you can get secure money and favors from the taxpayers? It's an old story, and free-market advocates as far back as Adam Smith warned against it. Unfortunately, too many people think "free market" means pro-business. It doesn't. Free market means laissez faire -- prohibit force and fraud, but otherwise leave the marketplace alone. No subsidies, no privileges, no arbitrary regulations. Competition is the most effective regulator.
Full column here. Once we know when Freeloaders will air, we’ll post it on this blog.
***UPDATE: Freeloaders airs Friday, March 25th, at 10pm EST on the FOX News Channel.