by Rick Lowe
Dr. Matthew Mitchell of the Mercatus Center does an excellent job of detailing some of the many problems associated with government granted privilege.
Government cannot grant privileges or favours without passing the costs on to other people like you and me in the form of taxes or loans that we will eventually be taxed to pay.
Beside that, I'm not sure government members are granted any special powers that help them pick winners and losers.
I realise it's a bit long, but do believe you will enjoy it.
Here are a couple of the opening paragraphs:
"The Pathology of Privilege: The Economic Consequences of Government Favoritism
"Despite the ideological miles that separate them, activists in the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements agree on one thing: both condemn the recent bailouts of wealthy and well-connected banks. To the Tea Partiers, these bailouts were an unwarranted federal intrusion into the free market; to the Occupiers, they were a taxpayer-financed gift to the wealthy executives whose malfeasance brought on the financial crisis. To both, the bailouts smacked of cronyism.
"The financial bailouts of 2008 were but one example in a long list of privileges that governments occasionally bestow upon particular firms or particular industries. At various times and places, these privileges have included (among other things) monopoly status, favorable regulations, subsidies, bailouts, loan guarantees, targeted tax breaks, protection from foreign competition, and noncompetitive contracts. Whatever its guise, government-granted privilege is an extraordinarily destructive force. It misdirects resources, impedes genuine economic progress, breeds corruption, and undermines the legitimacy of both the government and the private sector.