Tony Plath: McCrory takes correct stand on Alcoa, Yadkin River

August 21, 2013 

McCrory right about Alcoa

Regarding Gov. Pat McCrory’s opposition to Alcoa’s relicensing of the Yadkin River dams: The governor’s decision is not at all anti-industry, as some have suggested. Rather, the governor’s position demonstrates that he knows the difference between free market capitalism, which he affirms in his decision, and crony capitalism, which he rejects.

Under crony capitalism, corporations seek to obtain unfair competitive advantage through monopoly protection, licensing restrictions or some other exclusivity arrangement granted by government that impedes open competition and results in excessive profits to the favored few who are able to win government protection.

In seeking to renew its licensing rights to the Yadkin River dams, this is precisely what Alcoa is attempting to accomplish. The firm wants to gain control of a valuable natural resource that belongs to all North Carolina residents, restricting the profits that result from control of this resource for the exclusive benefit of Alcoa shareholders.

McCrory’s action preserves the ownership rights of the people in the state’s public resources, thereby encouraging open, unrestricted and fair competition between all economic agents in the marketplace.

Tony Plath

Associate professor of finance, UNC Charlotte


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