Why do elites support collectivism? That’s the million dollar question that has kept free market advocates awake at night.
At first glance, one would think that America’s wealthiest individuals would be against economically leftist movements. However, politics can get very complicated. We have to understand the nature of the regulatory state.
However, regulations can confer benefits to established corporations and oligarchs. These regulations impose massive costs on small-and medium-sized businesses, often pricing them out.
But for big business, these regulations are a dream come true. They reduce competition and allow established companies to maintain a safe hold in their respective market. Many unscrupulous businessmen like the idea of using the state to keep their competition down. It’s the ultimate way for legacy companies to maintain market hegemony.
Not all of the wealthy use the state to extract economic privileges. There’s a good portion of rich individuals who attained their wealth via legitimate means i.e. creating value and serving customers by running businesses and/or investing prudently.
However, the present set of elites — be they corporate or political — are much more collectivist than their predecessors. Hence, their attraction to the use of big government to crush their competition and make sure that no new entrants disrupt their privileged positions.
America will need a new political elite if it ever wants to move in a pro-market direction.