Opinion: Open letter to Emil Lee

POSTED: 06/27/14 2:01 AM

Dear Editor,

When Mr.Emil Lee was president of the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) he was a staunch and big supporter of public private partnerships.

In his speech he again mentioned that one of his major goals is to work towards “a well managed economy based on balanced and sustainable development goals” with a “strong public private partnership.”

Public private partnerships, my dear friends, are crony capitalism. Crony capitalism and genuine capitalism, are opposites, and are fundamentally opposed to each other. Unfortunately the broader public, to date, is largely unaware of this. Crony capitalism is the marriage of the state and private special interests. Some people have called it corporatism, crony socialism, mercantilism, fascism, or even communism.

We will call it crony capitalism. By whatever name, it is phony capitalism. Over the years the public has been taught that many of the problems it faces on a day to day basis such as the lack of jobs, rising prices, corruption in government, and so on are a result of capitalism.

It is perverted capitalism. These unsavory realities are largely the result of government and private “partnerships.” Whether in banking, tourism, housing, healthcare, energy, transportation, manufacturing, or nearly any other facet of the economy, the “unsavory” parts are often the result of public and private collusion. When the state and powerful private interests collude the result is a cocktail of market distortion.

Genuine capitalism by comparison is quite simple. Capital is invested by individuals to further ideas and enterprises that the investor thinks will create a return on the money invested. If the enterprise in question is a good one, both investor and business owner win. If not, better luck next time.

It’s clear. It’s simple. It’s moral; however, invariably once the state gets involved as investor, or “regulator,” things start to morph and twist. As sure as the sun rises, coercion and corruption rear their heads; it creates unfair competition and disadvantages all small and medium-sized local businesses and entrepreneurs.

Lee’s support for big government public private collusion would be more of the same. He’s simply just another elitist enabler of cronyism. Also, “Government central planning of the economy is the cornerstone of Socialism.”- The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Crony capitalism is phony capitalism.  We want free markets not crony capitalism.

Peter Gunn



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