Chris Rufer is founder of The Morning Star Company, which employs approximately 2,500 people in food processing and agribusiness. He’s also an Advocates Board member.
Last week Chris had an excellent opinion piece published in the New York Times, explaining why the federally run Export-Import Bank is a rip-off and boondoggle that should be shut down.
The article is entitled “End This Corporate Welfare.” There’s a brief excerpt from it in this issue’s They Said It column, and you can read the full article here.
Chris does a great job of making this seemingly obscure and esoteric issue clear, interesting and important to the average reader.
One phrase in particular jumped out at me. Describing how corporate welfare works, Chris writes: “It’s private gain at the expense of public pain.”
That’s a great phrase! I love the populist feel of it, and how it makes the injustice of such things as the Export-Import Bank instantly clear. “Private gain at the expense of public pain” can be used to describe all kinds of corporate welfare and crony capitalism boondoggles: professional sports subsidies, licensing laws that protect politically connected businesses from competition, taxes on imported goods… and many more.
I also like another phrase Chris used. He notes that the Import-Export Bank gives huge private businesses taxpayer-backed loans, guarantees and insurance.
The results: “When a company profits from the bank’s support, it pockets the money. If it defaults, taxpayers’ pockets get picked.”
That, too, is a clever and catchy way to describe the essential unfairness of corporate welfare, how it protects politically connected companies from the risks and consequences of their actions — at the expense of the rest of us.
Consider adding these two phrases to your liberty communication vocabulary.