Business: Handout or Helping Hand?

Few issues in American public life raise more passion than federal aid for corporations. In his memoirs former Treasury Secretary William Simon wrote indignantly: "I watched with incredulity as businessmen ran to the government in every crisis, whining for handouts or protection from the very competition that has made this system so productive." The Administration's proposed $1.5 billion Chrysler loan guarantee will add fuel to the old debate about whether public aid is proper for ailing private enterprises.

Actually, the arm's-length relationship between the private sector and the Government, which is widely believed to be an American tradition, has been more myth...

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