Thursday, August 26, 2010

Three very interesting links on regulation

The first two deserve a H/T to MarginalRevolution, the last is Scott Sumner
What is the difference between good and bad regulation?:
"This, I think, outlines a useful distinction between different kinds of regulation. I am perfectly capable of assessing for myself the risks of swimming across a small pond in Massachusetts, or the risks of swimming in the Amstel when lots of boat traffic is around. I don't need regulations to protect me; I have common sense. What I can't assess for myself is the risk that the water is contaminated by raw sewage. For that, I need a regulatory agency that stops households and businesses from polluting the river. To generalise: for risks I can assess myself, I don't want regulations that prevent me from doing as I please just because I might end up suing the government. For risks I can't assess myself, I do want regulations that give me the confidence to do as I please. One kind of regulation stops me from swimming in a pond in Massachusetts. The other kind lets me swim in a river in the Netherlands. One kind of regulation makes me less free. The other kind makes me freer."
A reasonably clear and interesting view on what health reform means for consumers.
Some interesting history on what liberals have been learning from libertarians over the years (painfully slowly, but still in the right direction).
choice quotes:
"1.  In the US, they believed the prices of goods and services should be set by the government.  Ditto for wages.  This took the form of the NIRA in the 1930s.  It took the form of multiple industry regulatory agencies like the ICC and CAB.  By the late 1960s and early 1970s they favored "incomes policies" which were essentially across the board wage and price controls.  Today they generally favor letting the market set wages and prices.  Very liberal Massachusetts recently abolished all rent controls.

2.  In the US, they believed the government should control entry to new industries.  They have abandoned that belief in many industries, and based on recent posts by people like Matt Yglesias, are becoming increasingly disillusioned with remaining occupational restrictions."


No comments:

Post a Comment