Mark Ames butt-hurts libertarians by explaining that there is no rational free market system. In corporate America, well-connected executives loot publicly-held companies. Here are a few examples from his Meg Whitman polemic:
* In 2002, the same year she was slapped with shareholder lawsuit and targeted in high profile Congressional probe, Whitman lost $1 billion on eBay’s purchase of PayPal.
That same year, Whitman got eBay’s shareholder suckers to buy a $30-million corporate jet for their beloved CEO–a top of the line French three-engine craft with a carrying capacity of 19 and the longest flight range in its class, as well $3 million in annual upkeep fees. She then proceeded to rack up a $3.2 million bill jetting around the world over the next five years, spending nearly four times more than all of eBay’s executives combined. In 2005, the same year she lost over $1 billion on eBay’s acquisition of Skype, Whitman decided she needed a new corporate jet. In 2006, when eBay was losing revenue, shedding users and its stock price still sliding with no sign of hitting bottom, Meg Whitman ran up over $1 million in corp jet costs. Rubbing shoulders with Hank Paulson on Goldman’s board must have convinced Meg Whitman that flying commercial with common business types was now below her station.
* Take her oldest son, 25-year-old Griffith Harsh V. Admitted to Princeton on the heels of Whitman’s $30 million donation, Gruf was constantly being bailed out by his billionaire mommy. … The school decided not to punish Grif when he was accused of raping and savagely beating a female classmate in 2006. Just weeks after the Princeton let Grif off scott free, he was arrasted on felony battery charges for breaking a 22-year-old woman’s ankle in a Palo Alto bar near Stanford University. After nine court dates, the case was mysteriously dismissed. Case closed. Oligarch justice prevailed.
After graduation, Grif tapped mommy’s connection to Mitt Romney—she served as finance chair on his 2008 presidential campaign—for a job with Solamere Capital LLC, a private-equity firm founded by Mitt Romney’s son, Tagg. To return the favor, Meg Whitman has used her campaign to funneled money to Solamere, spending $96,000 with Solamere in four months.
There is no free market. There are insiders and there outsiders. The best most can hope for is the scraps that fall from the table.
Speaking of libertarian morons (perhaps this has become a redundancy?), Ames' biography of heroine to sexless beta male libertarians, Megan McArdle, is also a must-read.