Crony Capitalism

DEFINITION of 'Crony Capitalism'

A description of capitalist society as being based on the close relationships between businessmen and the state. Instead of success being determined by a free market and the rule of law, the success of a business is dependent on the favoritism that is shown to it by the ruling government in the form of tax breaks, government grants and other incentives.

BREAKING DOWN 'Crony Capitalism'

Both socialists and capitalists have been at odds with each other over assigning blame to the opposite group for the rise of crony capitalism. Socialists believe that crony capitalism is the inevitable result of pure capitalism. This belief is supported by their claims that people in power, whether business or government, look to stay in power and the only way to do this is to create networks between government and business that support each other.

On the other hand, capitalists believe that crony capitalism arises from the need of socialist governments to control the state. This requires businesses to operate closely with the government to achieve the greatest success.

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