Monday, August 18, 2008

Suderman on Government Regulation

Peter Suderman, writing at the American Scene:

[T]he favor-state [that author of The Wrecking Crew Thomas] Frank seems to despise thrives best under the larger, more intrusive government he favors. . . . [B]ecause of the complexity and political considerations of the regulatory process, those who can afford to hire expensive lobbyists to bend it in their favor are most likely to support it. I’d be surprised, for example, if Frank didn’t support some sort of fairly strong action to address global warming; yet as Jim Manzi has pointed out, climate-change policy is rife with opportunity for corporate gaming (indeed, a lot of major corporations are already spending massive amounts trying to pass climate legislation they believe is in their favor). If Frank is really worried about the corporate-lobbying behemoth in Washington, it seems to me he ought to address the root of the problem: the government’s willingness to set up elaborate bureaucratic systems. The more power the government wields, the more influence rich corporations and individuals will seek over how that power gets used. Lobbyists and the selling of connections and influence are merely inevitable symptoms of a powerful regulatory structure.

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