What is the difference between "crony capitalism" and plain, old capitalism?

I get confused with how people differentiate between crony capitalism, because on the one hand you have people that say that crony capitalism is when the rich make a lot more money than the lower-waged people, but that's not crony capitalism, that's just capitalism. These are critics of the capitalist system, and the capitalist system inherently has inequalities embedded into it. Then you have other people that say when the economy is with the high unemployment rate and government is helping that this is crony capitalism, and that somehow the capitalism in Bill Clinton's America was somehow better. I disagree with this, I don't think there's a difference between capitalism of now and capitalism of any time. More people are unemployed now than in the Clinton years, but our population has also grown and more people are also employed. Besides, in the beginning of the Clinton years, unemployment was up to 7%, which is around where we are now, so what's the difference? There have always been unemployed people and the economy today still houses tens of millions of jobs. Even worse, is when you hear Libertarians talking about "crony capitalism," and again, is there some perfect version of capitalism that gives perfect results? I don't think that's ever existed, so why separate what happens in today's capitalism into a different category than the capitalism of the 1950's or 1900's, if capitalism is just capitalism.

Asked By: - 10/10/2012
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Laissez Faire or pure capitalism, existed in the 18th century and on the frontiers of the British, French, and Dutch Colonial Empires. Adam Smith the most famous describer of capitalism, he postulated this system could exist in the context of 18th Century Scotland among good Christian Gentleman acting lawfully and in... More
Answered By: BruceN - 10/11/2012
Additional Answers (3)
In plain old capitalism, the capitalists shit on the public through their own self-determination, in crony capitalism the govt helps them out a bit with programs such as corperate welfar.
Answered By: George - 10/10/2012
Crony capitalism is where businesses and corporations get political power and lobby for laws to be passed that keeps them big, usually in the veil of public safety or they're just honest about making money(tariffs, for example... More
Answered By: Obnoxious Cole fan - 10/10/2012
Nothing. There is no difference. The accumulation of wealth and power into the hand of a minority is the logical outcome of Capitalism. It hasn't been messed around with all that much, the tenants are still the same: Profits, Markets, Private Ownership. In fact, I've yet to see a detailed critique of these 'Corporatism... More
Answered By: The Gladiator - 10/11/2012
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