Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ah, No.

Matthew Yglesias doesn't like regulation. I agree with at least part of his point, it's silly to lock convicted felons out of jobs. There, for example, no reason why a murderer can't be perfectly good barber or lawyer. On the other hand, there is no reason why a convicted Ponzi Scheme operator ought be allowed to manage a hedge fund. The key to intelligent regulation is understanding if the danger outweighs the damage done to the pool of felons or other miscreants seeking employment in this or that field. Keeping people convicted of sexualized violence against children away from children, for example,  strikes me as a perfectly reasonable regulation. It isn't, obviously, going to end sexualized violence against children and, given the Neoliberal commitment to undermining the state's ability to protect its citizens from predators, it wont be perfect. Still, it's difficult to see how this kind of regulation is an example of a slippery slope. Indeed, I would worry more about the various housing rules that make all but impossible for some convicted of sexualized violence against children to find a place to live.

Relatedly, he observes that younger Americans and some other subgroups of Americans aren't graduating college in the same percentages of older Americans. He concludes:
No huge policy insight from me for now, but it’s a reminder that more high-skill immigration would be in our interest.
If we take his "our" to mean Americans, it is unclear why importing already educated people would benefit "us," at least some of whom are those of "us" who didn't graduate. The benefit to "us" comes from figuring out why these groups aren't graduate at the same rate as older Americans and then ameliorating those conditions.Yglesias seems not to understand that suggesting a change in policy is, in fact, a policy "insight."  Furthermore, there is right now a fierce competition for jobs among all categories of workers. The focus needs to be on the creation of decent paying jobs even if it violates on or another of the limitless Neoliberal nonsense based on economized language.

1 comment:

  1. When yglesias first started blogging he had some genuinely interesting stuff to say. Of course he did support the Iraq war and voted for Mitt Romney, but he is well on his way to becoming a slightly less creepy version of Ross Douthat.