Cronyism

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Cronyism is the practice of partiality in awarding jobs and other advantages to friends or trusted colleagues, especially in politics and between politicians and supportive organizations. [1] For instance, this includes appointing "cronies" to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications. [2]

Politics refers to a set of activities associated with the governance of a country, or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to members of a group.

Contents

Cronyism exists when the appointer and the beneficiary such as an appointee are in social or business contact. Often, the appointer needs support in his or her own proposal, job or position of authority, and for this reason the appointer appoints individuals who will not try to weaken his or her proposals, vote against issues, or express views contrary to those of the appointer.

Politically, "cronyism" is derogatorily used to imply buying and selling favors, such as: votes in legislative bodies, as doing favors to organizations, giving desirable ambassadorships to exotic places, etc. [3] Whereas cronyism refers to partiality to a partner or friend, nepotism is the granting of favour to relatives. [4]

Kinship human relationship term; web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of most humans in most societies; form of social connection

In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated. Anthropologist Robin Fox states that "the study of kinship is the study of what man does with these basic facts of life – mating, gestation, parenthood, socialization, siblingship etc." Human society is unique, he argues, in that we are "working with the same raw material as exists in the animal world, but [we] can conceptualize and categorize it to serve social ends." These social ends include the socialization of children and the formation of basic economic, political and religious groups.

Etymology

The word "crony" first appeared in 17th-century London, according to the Oxford English Dictionary and is believed to be derived from the Greek word chronios (χρόνιος), meaning "long-term". [5]

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, and the largest city in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

<i>Oxford English Dictionary</i> Premier historical dictionary of the English language

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world. The second edition, comprising 21,728 pages in 20 volumes, was published in 1989.

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

A less likely but oft-quoted source is the supposed Irish term Comh-Roghna, which translates as "close pals", or mutual friends. [6]

Irish language Goidelic language spoken in Ireland and by Irish people

Irish is a Goidelic language of the Celtic and Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is spoken as a first language in substantial areas of counties Galway, Kerry, Cork and Donegal, smaller areas of Waterford, Mayo and Meath, and a few other locations, and as a second language by a larger group of non-habitual speakers across the country. A speaker of the Irish language is known as a Gaeilgeoir.

Concept

Government officials are particularly susceptible to accusations of cronyism, as they spend taxpayers money. Many democratic governments are encouraged to practice administrative transparency in accounting and contracting, however, there often is no clear delineation of when an appointment to government office is "cronyism". [7]

A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed upon a taxpayer by a governmental organization in order to fund various public expenditures. A failure to pay, along with evasion of or resistance to taxation, is punishable by law. Taxes consist of direct or indirect taxes and may be paid in money or as its labour equivalent. The first known taxation took place in Ancient Egypt around 3000–2800 BC.

Accounting measurement, processing and communication of financial information about economic entities

Accounting or accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entities such as businesses and corporations. The modern field was established by the Benedikt Kotruljevic in 1458, merchant, economist, scientist, diplomat and humanist from Dubrovnik (Croatia), and Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli in 1494. Accounting, which has been called the "language of business", measures the results of an organization's economic activities and conveys this information to a variety of users, including investors, creditors, management, and regulators. Practitioners of accounting are known as accountants. The terms "accounting" and "financial reporting" are often used as synonyms.

In the private sector, cronyism exists in organizations, often termed "the old boys club" or "the golden circle", again the boundary between cronyism and "networking" is difficult to delineate. [8]

An old boy network, or society, can refer to social and business connections among former pupils of male-only private schools. The term originated from much of the British elite having attended certain public schools as boys, thus former pupils are "old boys".

It is not unusual for a politician to surround him- or herself with highly qualified subordinates, and to develop social, business, or political friendships leading to the appointment to office of friends, likewise in granting government contracts. In fact, the counsel of such friends is why the officeholder successfully obtained his or her powerful position; therefore, cronyism usually is easier to perceive than to demonstrate and prove. Politicians with representatives of business, other special interests, as unions and professional organizations get "crony-business" done in political agreements, especially by "reasonable" and lucrative honorariums to the politician for making speeches, or by legal donations to ones election campaign or to ones political party, etc.[ citation needed ][ original research? ]

Cronyism describes relationships existing among mutual acquaintances in private organizations where business, business information, and social interaction are exchanged among influential personnel. This is termed crony capitalism, and is an ethical breach of the principles of the market economy; in advanced economies, crony capitalism is a breach of market regulations.

Given crony capitalism's nature, these dishonest business practices are frequently (yet not exclusively) found in societies with ineffective legal systems. Consequently, there is an impetus upon the legislative branch of a government to ensure enforcement of the legal code capable of addressing and redressing private party manipulation of the economy by the involved businessmen and their government cronies.

The economic and social costs of cronyism are paid by society. Those costs are in the form of reduced business opportunity for the majority of the population, reduced competition in the market place, inflated consumer goods prices, decreased economic performance, inefficient business investment cycles, reduced motivation in affected organizations, and the diminution of economically productive activity. [8] A practical cost of cronyism manifests in the poor workmanship of public and private community projects.

Cronyism is self-perpetuating; cronyism then begets a culture of cronyism. This can only be apprehended by a comprehensive, effective, and enforced legal code, with empowered government agencies which can effect prosecutions in the courts.

Some instances of cronyism are readily transparent. As to others, it is only in hindsight that the qualifications of the alleged "crony" must be evaluated. All appointments that are suspected of being cronyism are controversial. The appointed party may choose to either suppress disquiet or ignore it, depending upon the society's level of freedom of expression and individual personal liberty.

Examples

A recent example can be found in political activity in South Carolina, particularly in relation to Governor McMaster, who initially gained his position after becoming the first high level state official to endorse current President Donald Trump and subsequently rose from lieutenant governor to governor of the state when President Trump appointed Nikki Haley to be the United States ambassador to the United Nations. [9] [10] Governor McMaster then went on to attempt to force a vote for the President of the University of South Carolina ahead of schedule and for the benefit of his favorite candidate, Robert Caslen Jr., former superintendent of West Point Academy who was favored by President Trump and previously interviewed by the Trump administration for the position of National Security Advisor. [11] [12]



See also

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References

  1. "cronyism American English definition and synonyms - Macmillan Dictionary".
  2. "the definition of cronyism".
  3. Daniel Garza (March 12, 2012). April 2012 "Government Cronyism is Back" Check |url= value (help).
  4. Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman. "Favoritism, Cronyism, and Nepotism". Santa Clara University. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  5. "Oxford Dictionaries - Dictionary, Thesaurus, & Grammar" . Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  6. "Definition". askdefine.com. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  7. https://www.ced.org/cronycapitalism CED.com, official website of: The Committee for Economic Development (CED), "Crony Capitalism: Unhealthy Relations Between Business and Government"
  8. 1 2 Staff (2010). "Do Old Boys' Clubs Make The Market More Efficient?". The Free Marketeers. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  9. Delreal, Jose (January 7, 2016). "Trump picks up endorsement from S.C. Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster". Washington Post. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  10. "Trump names Nikki Haley as UN ambassador". BBC. November 23, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  11. Lucy, Catherine (February 18, 2017). "Trump interviewing McMaster, West Point superintendent Caslen and others for security job". Military Times. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  12. Daprile, Lucas (July 9, 2019). "McMaster forces vote on controversial USC presidential finalist while students are away Read more here: https://www.thestate.com/news/local/education/article232415817.html?fbclid=IwAR18Zd6MjmclERPH24wBWwCXRyYbyx3GTz5Rtdtu1BcMhwMFDMWrP36dzdA#storylink=cpy". The State. Retrieved July 9, 2019.line feed character in |title= at position 89 (help); External link in |title= (help)

Further reading