Larry Anderson writes for American Thinker, Venture Capitalism Not Crony Capitalism, 1/20/12:
The moral difference between a Governor Keith and a Thomas Denham (venture capitalist) is staggering. Keith made lavish promises (not just to Benjamin Franklin) based on the use of money that Keith did not have or that did not belong to him. People were seduced into Keith’s “investments” because of his position in the British government. Spending someone else’s money is easy, painless, and risk free — for both the “lender” and the recipient. (Benjamin) Franklin described Governor Keith thus, “He wished to please everybody, and, having little to give, he gave expectations.”
Denham, on the other hand, could not afford to tarnish his reputation by making promises he could not keep. Like many entrepreneurs, Denham was a venture capitalist and a retail businessman. He loaned and borrowed real money to and from real people. Franklin admired Denham..
Venture capitalists take risks with their investors’ money, voluntarily placed at risk; crony capitalists use taxpayers’ money. Venture capitalists do not make money buying companies and then shutting them down. Politicians use taxpayer money to buy votes and enjoy the fruits of their political power long after their Solyndras have paid their executive bonuses and shut down.
Crony capitalism is to capitalism what National Socialism (Nazism) is to socialism.