Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh For Dumb

David Brooks on regulation:
Nor is it clear that these additional regulations have had a huge effect on the economy. Over the past 40 years, small business leaders have eloquently complained about the regulatory burden. And they are right to. But it’s not clear that regulations are a major contributor to the current period of slow growth.
So even if the evidence doesn't support the complaints about "burdensome" regulations, he argues, people should complain. Why, you ask, because Brooks is an idiot. Recent events showed that the libertarian/conservative/neoliberal conceit about the genius of the market is simply wrong.

Brooks recognizes that the whingeing about regulations is over the top and, one assumes, realizes that a narrow focus on regulations as unnecessary obscures their salutary role in protecting us from the ravages of profit-minded sociopaths, yet he can't bring himself to admit it.

Why? He cannot think straight is why. If he could his conclusion would not be a generic
Obama’s regulations may be more intrusive than some of us would like. They are not tanking the economy.
But rather an example of an "intrusive" regulation. Bloomberg, galtian ubermensch and general all around authoritarian sludge pile, passes intrusive dietary regulations. Republicans pass intrusive laws about what medical decisions women can make and, if they could, they regulate which adult could marry which other adult and which adult can do what with some other adult. Those are intrusive regulations that limit liberty of action for no good reason. Telling an industry that they need to provide ramps for wheelchairs, or that pizza isn't a vegetable or that you have to stop dumping toxic waste in the river isn't intrusive; its the state functioning to protect individuals from unnecessary harm.

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