When Washington came to the rescue of wealthy and well-connected bankers, both progressives and libertarians objected to the inequity of favoring one industry over others. Beyond the philosophical objections, what happens when governments play favorites with businesses? What are the social and economic consequences of special privilege? In this essay, public-choice economist Matthew Mitchell surveys the various tools that governments use to favor one firm or industry over others, demonstrating that favoritism takes many forms. Well researched and tightly argued, this short essay demonstrates the extraordinarily destructive force of government-granted privilege. Citing both anecdotes and academic research, Mitchell makes a strong case that favoritism misdirects resources, impedes genuine economic progress, breeds corruption, and undermines the legitimacy of both the government and the private sector. Taxpayers, business leaders, and policymakers will profit from a close study of this provocative work.