Cato’s Jerry Taylor Responds to My Provocation

Michael Giberson

Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute gives a thoughtful response to my criticisms of his editorial in the WSJ (with Peter Van Doren). He identifies two substantive arguments in my criticism and offers rebuttals, then he takes issue with my assertion that the editorial is little more than an implicit defense of the old status quo.

I’ll provide a more in depth response after I finish my “homework.” (I admit I hadn’t read Bob Michael’s Cato Policy Analysis on vertical restructuring, but now I guess it is time.)

In the meantime, I’ll give Taylor the last word:

While we do criticize the regimes produced by “restructuring,” we do not defend the old regime. In fact we do not defend any particular substantive market outcome at all. Instead, we defend an idea – that business owners – not politicians – should decide how market enterprises are organized and operated. If there is a more libertarian argument, then I have not heard it.


One thought on “Cato’s Jerry Taylor Responds to My Provocation

  1. Jerry Taylor does argue, properly, that business owners – not politicians – should decide how market enterprises are organized and operated. THer problem is that we are moving from a model that is entirely regulated and the market might need a little prodding. The lion’s share of these markets is owned by large congomerates that have been regulated by (as well as protected from competition by) utilities commissions. The current market structures have been entirely determined these statist institutions.

    Walking away today smells a little of the post-colonial principal “One Man One Vote One Time”. As I write this though, I feel a little uneasy, for as bad as I feel about the current business structures in energy, and the immense power they give to current rent-seekers, I fear that active intervention to create markets may be worse…

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