Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

Lynne Kiesling

Steve Horwitz, this morning, on the cronyism between the oil industry and regulatory agencies:

Despite the hopes of those who think this can be solved, as the AP report suggests, by better ethics laws or hiring “better” regulators, the revolving door that leads to capture is not a “bug” but a feature – the private sector benefits from being regulated and will always push to be at the table and influence the process.

The problem is not regulatory or ethical, but institutional.  If you want to change the pattern of outcomes, change the rules.  The only possible way to end the corporate control over the state is to reduce the state’s sphere of influence down to as little as possible and ideally nothing.  As long as there’s the dead animal of the state (really: the citizenry) to feed on, the vultures of the private sector will keep showing up to get their share.

Do go read it, and check out the links too.

One thought on “Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

  1. Steve: What about reducing the role of polity and the people with guns (including corporations) to nothing did I miss, other than to enjoy it along with its opposite? Effective Policing as implemented by Dr. Who? Zen Shinto could probably do the fix as you say, but I keep seeing the proverbial Tortoise (all the way down!)

    What cheap swindler should we be cheering and holding the football for again? Not voluntary regulation processes? Fine no-confidence vote in prix fixe governing liability (which comes in USA voluntary regulation processes as a kind of bargain package,) but I can only be so bullish about the market for jobbers, local governments and freelance engineers left holding the proxy company when liability hits or cleanly fails (because who has the court to file in but private armed forces?)

    Mattheus: Insurance covering externalities means free enterprise? Surely I misread an elided comma? Having in mind that e.g. refiners and certainly pharma plants commonly a) insure (in case the dodecahedral pill line blows up? etc. 5 ways), b) report (a,) and c) file federal insurance supplements (sometimes refundable) per legal outcomes, and e) take the fire department to quarterly luncheons (PRC,) how does creating d) an industry where researchers have to carry a quorum of data laity and legal representatives around on their backs to pull the trigger on (a)…(c),(e) (and those aren’t OR operators) and perhaps stay in the field sampling on the appropriate local office’s hours,
    going to help? Funding erstwhile canaries (as in coal mine; and pro lux buzzard) might be the way; so, I am calling out an externality on the margin too (that is, if you are a good neighbor, the number of people who would be affected by (an EPA regulated discharge, not to say the EPA is the first reported-to agency) goes up!)

    Additionally; innovation in Zero Emissions compliance is the usual margin on refining or even soap (not say tetrasodium EDTA,) whose overuse increases waste management costs little compared to dumping carboxyl-hardened micelles of…anything inedible, a likely side-effect…but after clogged sewer lines. Unclogging sewage with brains (and some to-do, I hope)…er, hooray? It’s not a salted desert, it’s just a great supply of water with more than 10 grains of hardness?

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