Press "Enter" to skip to content

Palin Decries Crony Capitalism, Threatens My Worldview by Speaking Credibly

I must be woozy from all this thin mountain air (o.k., hills air). I think Sarah Palin just said something intelligent:

I want all of our GOP candidates to take the opportunity to kill corporate capitalism that is leading to this cronyism, which is ruining our economy [Sarah Palin, quoted in Danny Yadron, "Palin's Attack on "˜Corporate Crony Capitalism' Spotlights Gap in GOP Field," Wall Street Journal: Washington Wire, 2011.09.05].

Dippity Sarah sings with stopped-clock serendipity. Expect Sibby to chime in shortly with similar rhetoric about the plutocratic fusion of big-money Republicans and Democrats. I can't help agreeing, to some extent: both parties must stop putting corporate profits above the rights of real people. (Yes, Mitt, please do keep doubling down on your "corporations are people, too!" cheer. A national conversation on that contention would be quite fruitful.)

In related news...

Gov. Dennis Daugaard and Lt. Gov. Matt Michels plan to make personal visits to nearly 40 of South Dakota's largest employers over the next several months.

The trips are part of an effort to keep businesses in the state and help them grow. Daugaard says nearly three-fourths of business expansions tracked by the Governor's Office of Economic Development come from established companies.

Economic Development staff will conduct an additional 400 business visits as part of the campaign ["Daugaard, Michels to Visit Nearly 40 Businesses in SD," AP via Mitchell Daily Republic, 2011.09.01].

Sibby, the floor is yours....


  1. Steve Sibson 2011.09.06

    Thanks Cory, the source of crony capitalism is central planning via governments. The SDGOP is about central planning and tying South Dakota to the "global economy" [New World Order]. The big will get bigger via monopolistic power controlled by their "crony friends" [that includes members of both parties] in government. Want to spread the wealth? Then switch to free markets where the only role of government is to remove force, fraud, and coercion. It was refered to by the anti-federalists of our founding as "limited government".

  2. Roger Elgersma 2011.09.06

    When someone iritates both sides they seem to be right at least some of the time or they are totally troublemakers.
    What the republicans seem to forget is that it has always been true that small business has hired more workers than big business ever has.

  3. Troy Jones 2011.09.06

    Forget? It is my observation the GOP is much friendlier to small business than the Democrats while the Dem's cave to big business all the time, espeically with regard to special favors.

  4. Bernie Hunhoff 2011.09.06

    Troy, could you give me some examples in which the GOP is friendlier to small business in SD than the Dems? Or are you referring to the parties on only a national level?

    Here in SD, I think my fellow Dems have constantly stood up for small business time and time again -- fighting the trucker's tax, stopping the lifting of unfair sales tax exemptions that the administration advocated. ... not just this year, but through the years .... insisting (through the referendum of HB 1230) that small businesses not be discriminated against on the contractor's excise tax .... the list goes on and on. I'm not saying, mind you, that the state's GOP legislators have been anti small business, but that when the "political machine" in Pierre has stepped on small business interests, it has been the Democrats who have fought back most aggressively and oftentimes won the fight.

  5. Steve Sibson 2011.09.06


    Governmental central planning benefits Big Business and their political hacks. It hurts small business, taxpayers, and consumers by eliminating competition to foster monopolies. My research shows that the Fabian Socialists believed monoplies would be kinder to labor. That is false and it goes to show that the socialist Democrats and the capitalist Republcians are playing the same game with different labels.

  6. Steve Sibson 2011.09.06

    I will support Bernies premsie with the point that the populist Democrats, like Bernie, support small business as much as the conservative/libertarian limited goverment advocates who are in the Republican party, but not part of the GOP Establishment's leadership.

  7. Troy Jones 2011.09.06


    My comment was directed at the national parties and their policies. In SD, the small business distinction is less pronounced.

    This is a generalization and there are exceptions on both sides. And, I will say for all to see, I've noticed you have been pretty good on small business issues. :)

  8. Michael Black 2011.09.06

    If the state was truly small business friendly, they would create a booklet/pdf that outlined the requirements of starting a business in SD.

  9. Troy Jones 2011.09.06


    I believe it is available at the SBA's Small Business Development Centers which are partially funded by the state. Or it was 20 years ago.

  10. Wayne B. 2011.09.06

    Hrm... when it comes to the discussion of Big vs Small business, if we exclude banks and health systems, isn't everything in South Dakota worthy of the "small business" monicker? How many places actually employ more than 50 people? 100? 500?

  11. Michael Black 2011.09.06

    Troy, I am talking about a detailed list of requirements, everything from getting an EIN and sales tax license to county and city zoning rules.

    Cory could put together something in a day. The government would take FOREVER.

    [CAH: Thanks, Michael, for the vote of confidence in my organizing skills. I developed my knowledge, skills, and efficiency in the public sector.]

  12. Troy Jones 2011.09.06

    I think they have it. They used to.

  13. Bill Fleming 2011.09.06

    I agree, Troy. The SBA used to be a great resource. Haven't been over there for years, but they were really, really helpful to us years back.

  14. Steve Sibson 2011.09.06

    "Hrm… when it comes to the discussion of Big vs Small business, if we exclude banks and health systems, isn’t everything in South Dakota worthy of the “small business” monicker? How many places actually employ more than 50 people? 100? 500?"

    Menards, Walmart, Kmart, Shopko, Home Depot, etc.

    And why should we exclude the banks and health systems?

    Isn't the growth of Sioux Falls and the drying up of rural South Dakota of concern to us small business populist minded folks?

  15. Bernie Hunhoff 2011.09.06

    Troy, thanks for the clarification. I think both parties stink on the national level. I agree that the corporate interests seem to have bought them both.

    As far as the split between big and small in SD, I asked for some info on sales tax licensees during our summer study on sales tax exemptions.

    We have about 60,000 businesses with sales tax licenses. The biggest 60 collect about l/3 of the sales taxes. The top one percent collect 2/3rds.

    That wouldn't include our big banks, hospitals, etc., because they don't collect much if any sales taxes.

  16. Bill Fleming 2011.09.06

    Bernie, I don't understand your statistic. 1% of 60k IS 60, right?

  17. Steve Sibson 2011.09.06

    Bill, 1% of 60K is 600.

  18. Bill Fleming 2011.09.06

    Oh. Right. Thanks Sibby. My lys-dexia is acting up today. Now I get it.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.09.06

    Troy, if we're talking national level, the GOP is friendlier to small business than the Dems are only if you assume that complete anarcho-capitalism is good for small business... and it's not, because the big sharks will eat the small sharks.

    If we're talking local level, the GOP-controlled economic developers in Madison totally favor big business (or, as Wayne might correct me, the bigger small businesses) over really small business. The one- or two-man shops can't get the time of day from the crony capitalists; the tax breaks go strictly to the local big guys (e.g.: Custom Touch Homes gets a million-dollar sales tax kickback; smaller contractors and other contributors to sales tax revenues get no such favors).

    Bernie: fascinating statistic! Is there any instability in revenues or other problem that arises from such concentrated sources of sales tax revenue?

    I would be interested to see that sales tax revenue broken down by source not by business, but by customer. Who buys the most stuff in South Dakota?

  20. Bernie Hunhoff 2011.09.06

    I was reciting from memory earlier, but now I'm home and I found the exact figures. Actually, the concentration is even greater than that.

    We have 64,504 licensees.

    Those who collect greater than $ 1 million each
    63 businesses collect $223.6 million in taxes, or 32% of the total $700.3 million

    Collecting $500,000 to $1 million
    66 businesses collect $44 million, or 6.3%

    Collecting from $100,000 to $500,000
    802 businesses collect $155 million or 22%

    Collecting from $10,000 to $100,000
    7,293 businesses collect $216 milliion, or 31%

    Collecting from $1000 to $10,000
    14,762 businesses collect from $1000 to $10000, or 7.68%

    Collecting less than $1000
    41,518 businesses collect $6.6 million, or .95%

    Obviously because of our very broad sales tax, we have a lot of very small businesses registered with the Dept. of Revenue. Do your own analysis as you wish, but any way you figure it there is a huge concentration of sales being done by a few handfuls of businesses.

  21. Michael Black 2011.09.07

    How much money in revenue are we losing from online sales?

  22. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.09.07

    Fascinating numbers, Bernie. Are numbers like that available on the Dept. Revenue site? And does DR provide a list that shows the names and exact revenues of each of those businesses?

  23. LK 2011.09.07

    Representative Hunhoff,

    Is each big box store listed as a separate entity on the list? For example, is Hy-Vee listed as one business or are the Yankton Hy-vee and the Sioux Falls Hy-vees listed separately?

    If each big box store is separate, then I would bet that South Dakota’s WalMarts and stores in major grocery chains make up a large number of the 63 main collectors

  24. Steve Sibson 2011.09.07

    "Troy, if we’re talking national level, the GOP is friendlier to small business than the Dems are only if you assume that complete anarcho-capitalism is good for small business… and it’s not, because the big sharks will eat the small sharks."


    And the big sharks control the government and BOTH political parties. The solution is to reduce government to the limited scope advocated by the anti-federalists. And in case you don't know American history, one of the leaders of the anti-federalists was Thomas Jefferson, a Democrat.

    The populist Democrats are being mislead by those controlling the Democratic Party, and the limited government conservatives of the GOP are being mislead by those controlling the GOP. And the current scenario could not have come about without the media withholding the truth. And why? Because they are also controlled by the big sharks.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.09.07

    No, Steve, reducing government only reduces the one major potential check we have available on the power of the private sharks. The solution is to reclaim government from the sharks and fight like heck to keep that power in our hands so we may keep the business playing field as level as possible.

  26. Steve Sibson 2011.09.07

    Cory, government regulations are designed by the Big Sharks to set up barriers that eliminate competition coming from the little sharks. Do some research on railroads.

    It is illogical to use governemnt to control the big sharks when the big sharks control the government. Big Governemnt creates Big Business.

    Besides, you admitted the above truths with:

    "If we’re talking local level, the GOP-controlled economic developers in Madison totally favor big business (or, as Wayne might correct me, the bigger small businesses) over really small business."

    The Democrats are doing the same with wind energy. GE backed Obama, and are the big winners in wind energy. The SDGOP implemented Obamacare (SB38&SB43) that benefits Big Insurance.

    You need to look beyond party politics and understand that the SDGOP is implementing the big government agenda of the Democrats.

  27. Bernie Hunhoff 2011.09.07

    Cory, I don't think the DOR makes any such info public, but they willingly got the info when I asked the question. I would suspect that individual store info might be considered proprietory.

    LK, I've wondered too if the 10 or so Walmart stores in SD count as one or 10, etc. I will ask DOR ... my guess is that each store needs its own license, however.

  28. LK 2011.09.07

    Rep Hunhoff

    Thanks for the answer. I am guessing that the Walmarts and other discount chains take in the lion's share of revenue because they actively work to eliminate smaller competition, and the bad economy prevents people from shopping elsewhere.


    You write, "It is illogical to use governemnt to control the big sharks when the big sharks control the government. Big Governemnt creates Big Business."

    I'd seriously like to know your solution. I am not unsympathetic to the notion that government and the "too big to fail" corporations have an incestuous relationship. That being said, the "smaller sharks" that you refer too will not be able to take down the business "big sharks" who have more resources. I've never seen small businesses take down a bigger business.

    In my way of thinking, the conflict between the various American government branches offers some protection that boardroom collusion never can.

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.09.07

    Steve, we're talking past each other's first principles. You say "It is illogical to use government to control the big sharks when the big sharks control the government." I'm saying that we need to reclaim the government from the big sharks. We can do that, can't we?

    Steve, you may have fallen too hard for the GOP establishment strategy of "Undermining Americans' belief in their own institutions of self-government." I haven't lost that belief yet. We can govern ourselves. We can make democracy work. We can prevent special interests, corporations, etc., from taking advantage of our institutions for their benefit to the exclusion of everyone else. It won't be easy (neither was the Revolution, or the Constitutional Convention), but we can do it.

    But if we give up on democratic government, then we become Russia. Neither of us wants that.

  30. Steve Sibson 2011.09.12

    "I’m saying that we need to reclaim the government from the big sharks."

    So now you are the one following the Religious Right's Dominion Theology.

    We are becoming Russia because of the democratic government we have become. The Constitutional Convention created a "Republic". It created a "limited government", something that you are not in favor of. It is the Big Government Democrats who create the means for crony capitalism. And Cory, your side plays that game too.

Comments are closed.