Jonathan Rauch on the uncomfortable necessity of middlemen in transactional politics

In his recent work Jonathan Rauch has been writing about what I’ve unwillingly concluded are some uncomfortable home truths about politics. In a lot of places, especially the U.S., politics is more counterproductively fraught and fractious than it has been in the past century. This is true despite a near century of Progressive and populist … More Jonathan Rauch on the uncomfortable necessity of middlemen in transactional politics

Political economy and dealer franchise laws

Tesla Motors is doing more than shaking up the automobile industry by producing an exciting high-end electric vehicle and establishing a network of battery-swapping stations. Tesla wants to sell directly to consumers, bypassing established dealer franchising that dominates the industry. But such dealer franchising has not been a mere transaction-cost-driven Coasian outcome — it’s undergirded … More Political economy and dealer franchise laws

Book review: Mark Pennington’s Robust Political Economy

Lynne Kiesling There’s a lot of exciting work right now in political economy at the intersection of academic scholarship and application to public policy, ranging from law to public finance to regulation to development and beyond. Mark Pennington’s Robust Political Economy is one of the most exciting, thoughtful, and valuable of the recent work in … More Book review: Mark Pennington’s Robust Political Economy

“Economizing on Virtue” research bleg

Michael Giberson Quick question for academics in moral or political philosophy or political economy: Is it worth a little extra effort to turn up the Geoffrey Brennan/Alan Hamlin article “Economizing on Virtue”? The article appeared in Constitutional Political Economy Vol. 6, no. 1 (1995): 35-56. My library has easy electronic access to CPE back to … More “Economizing on Virtue” research bleg

Waxman-Markey is really a command-and-control energy bill? No, say it ain’t so!

Lynne Kiesling While we’re on a carbon note … [sarcasm] yeah, I’m shocked, really, totally shocked that, as Virginia Postrel notes, the 946-page Waxman-Markey House energy bill proposal is really a piece of command-and-control legislation.[/sarcasm] The WaPost notes that the “cap-and-trade” bill sponsored by Henry Waxman and Edward Markey is, in fact, loaded with all … More Waxman-Markey is really a command-and-control energy bill? No, say it ain’t so!