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.