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Friday, September 6, 2013

Scioto County -- A Land of Cronies

Cronyism is defined as "partiality to long-standing friends, especially by appointing them to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications." It denies merit, that is based on perceived intellectual talent measured through examination and/or demonstrated achievement.

Cronyism develops when the appointer and the beneficiary are in social, business, and political friendships. Often, the appointer is inadequate to hold his or her own job or position of authority, and for this reason the appointer commissions individuals who will not try to weaken him or express views contrary to his.

In addition, 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.

Of course, cronyism usually is easier to perceive than to demonstrate and prove. Nothing is inherently wrong in friendship among authorities in any organization. Indeed, bosses and employees must be congenial and interdependent to achieve performance standards. Yet, when cronies, self-serving friends, become all-powerful and one-minded manipulators, they abuse the liberty afforded to the general public. Equality disintegrates, and a better life becomes largely dependent upon "who you are" and "who you know," those who can put you "where you want to be."

I contend the "good old boys" in Southern Ohio fuel their system through cronyism. And, given crony capitalism's nature, cronies here have even burdened the populace with an ineffective legal system. As business, politics, and enforcement go to bed with the courts, the bedfellows coexist and flourish through intimate, often dishonest relationships cloaked as justice and referred to as "business as usual."

Scioto County is a place where a huge gap of "haves" and "have nots" are used to taking their appropriate place in a predetermined pecking order. The money here is "old money" -- protected and available as capital only to those who fit a mold of conformity. This has greatly contributed to private party manipulation of the economy by the involved businessmen and their government cronies.

The costs of cronyism take the form of the decline 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 decrease of economically productive activity.

Any desirable jobs here are often secured by cronies who perpetuate absolute control of the "good life." Many upper class individuals disdain the poor as ignorant, lazy, and incapable of social climbing. They see crime and drug use as infirmities of "those dirty welfare people" who breathe their "good air." They refuse to consider that social hierarchy has contributed to a general state of depression brought about largely by low wages and lack of jobs.

In an area that resigned itself to a gloomy future decades ago, positive movement and reform are virtually nonexistent, although occasionally ballyhooed and short-lived. Enticing flashes of good news usually fade into bureaucratic oblivion. And normally live goes without significant change: "who you know" usually lands an applicant a decent position.

So, at this point, I must ask myself if my words are truth or just "sour grapes" commentary emanating from personal contempt and inadequate observation. My heart, soul, and mind ache for change, so I am tempted to seek scapegoats for the pitiful state of health, justice, and economics in my county. I desperately would love to see some despicable, dishonest, lying individuals fall from the highest rungs of the crony ladder.

I think the vast majority of citizens know this report on the state of "good old boy" control is fair and believable. I also believe many know the names of the major crony culprits who continue to rape the public through this corrupt system. For whatever reason, those "in the know" choose to weather the storms of inequality, content to squawk and privately complain.  And thus, the cronies remain confident that not only "their system" but also "their subordinates" are sufficiently beaten down and unwilling to rise up. Why won't the good folks turn to action? Complacency? Fear? Complicity?

It would be a grand day if concrete evidence, most likely revealed through defectors from high ranks of the "good old boys" system, would prove the guilt of known evil associate lawyers, judges, enforcement officials, business leaders, politicians, and organized crime enablers. I say this because any system that holds innocent subjects at bay for their personal gain must cut "the cancer" to regain integrity and democratic nature. This is a difficult task where multiple layers of blight beg to be exposed and snipped.

The economic and social costs of cronyism are paid entirely by an oppressed society. In Scioto County, the wellness of life has been crippled by years of decline -- the decline of ethics as well as the destruction of the economy. In the meantime, cronies have conditioned citizens to live with imposed injustice and practice blind conformity. Dealings and lies have made the area a place where money and power, whether good or bad in nature, rule. Much good does exist while "bad apples" continue to spread decay.

And beware all. Cronyism is self-perpetuating. As we already know so well, cronyism then begets another 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. The problem in Scioto is that cronies would have to turn on cronies to prosecute those already known by the general public to be evil. This public has no influence on legal enforcement, and these cronies have no reason to aid underlings. The forecast: "business as usual with 99% possibility of stormy lies and shady deals."

"NEPOTISM, n. Appointing your grandmother 
to office for the good of the party." --Ambrose Bierce

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