Notes From Babel

Regulation Doesn’t End Greed, It Just Requires More Gladhanding

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Steve Bainbridge provides some good explanations why more regulation doesn’t make greed go away, it just modifies the way in which it is expressed, i.e., through rent-seeking. The “invisible hand” is no longer such — it’s just busy in back rooms making deals.

Putting the government’s spanner in the works is unwise for another reason. Used to be the government would shake its fists at the private sector in moral outrage, but ultimately recoil to its own domain. With an effectively limitless federal jurisdiction, finger wagging is now followed by swift, comprehensive, and mindless reform. Government would be better off had we left a few teeth in the Commerce Clause: the economy can’t be your scapegoat when you can claim control of it at whim. Kind of reminds me of the image of the dog chasing the car who wouldn’t know what to do if he caught it. Except there are probably more things a dog can naturally do with a car than our federal government can do with the economy.


Written by Tim Kowal

July 2, 2009 at 5:18 am

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