"[B]ig business and big government prosper from the perception that they are rivals instead of partners (in plunder). The history of big business is one of cooperation with big government."
That's Timothy Carney writing in a recent Cato Policy Report. He's the author of a new book, "The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money." Carney's book shows that government and business are not antagonists but allies. They've always been allies. Politicians like it that way because they get power and prestige, and businessmen like it because they get protection from competition.
There was never a time in America when big business didn't get favors from government, which means the taxpayers. Canal and railroad companies loved the big government contracts. Corruption was rampant, and work was often shoddy, but the contracts paid handsomely. The politicians prospered, too. Only taxpayers and consumers lost out.