Crony capitalism is not a new phenomenon. Throughout American history it has jockeyed for position alongside free market capitalism. Free market capitalism stimulated the first great boom in the American economy in the 19th century. Great capitalists like James J. Hill built and operated transcontinental railways all throughout the American continent.
At the same time, crony capitalists were doing their best to promote their interests and undermine the growth of a nation. If the crony capitalists had their way, America might not have built a transcontinental railroad but rather a transcontinental canal.