Surly Curmudgeon

   The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.
-- Robert A. Heinlein
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    Thursday, January 8, 2004


    Mad Cows and Moral Hazards

    So the "Mad Cow" scare has created a pretext for more socialistic tyranny. If the government didn't regulate it, who would? The markets, of course. Dr. Christopher Westley discusses the details.

    Only in the public sector can such schemes persist. If a private regulatory agency performed as badly as the USDA, it would go broke. Producers or consumers who demand regulation so as to allow the long-term success and safety of the market would insist on changes. Such automatic feedback mechanisms are one of the primary reasons why markets perform so much better than public sector bureaucracies. Suppliers of regulation that did not adjust would then be weeded out of the market.

    This process explains the vast majority of the economic development of the United States. To argue otherwise is to ignore the spontaneous evolution of private regulation that enables trades in venues such as eBay or Amazon.com. To argue otherwise is to be blinded by the role played by Underwriters Laboratories in the electronics industry for over 100 years. Indeed, to argue otherwise is to assume that it was purely by chance that the industrial revolution occurred during an era when most of D.C.'s real estate was marshland.


    Posted by Tom, 1/8/2004 8:53:00 AM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...