Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

Go to first entry



<< current
E-mail address:
jhertzli AT ix DOT netcom DOT com

My Earthlink/Netcom Site

My Tweets

My other blogs
Small Sample Watch
XBM Graphics

The Former Four Horsemen of the Ablogalypse:
Someone who used to be sane (formerly War)
Someone who used to be serious (formerly Plague)
Rally 'round the President (formerly Famine)
Dr. Yes (formerly Death)

Interesting weblogs:
Back Off Government!
Bad Science
Boing Boing
Debunkers Discussion Forum
Deep Space Bombardment
Depleted Cranium
Dr. Boli’s Celebrated Magazine.
Foreign Dispatches
Good Math, Bad Math
Greenie Watch
The Hand Of Munger
Howard Lovy's NanoBot
Liberty's Torch
The Long View
My sister's blog
Neo Warmonger
Next Big Future
Out of Step Jew
Overcoming Bias
The Passing Parade
Peter Watts Newscrawl
Physics Geek
Pictures of Math
Poor Medical Student
Prolifeguy's take
The Raving Theist
Respectful Insolence
Seriously Science
Slate Star Codex
The Speculist
The Technoptimist
Tools of Renewal
XBM Graphics
Zoe Brain

Other interesting web sites:
Aspies For Freedom
Crank Dot Net
Day By Day
Dihydrogen Monoxide - DHMO Homepage
Jewish Pro-Life Foundation
Libertarians for Life
The Mad Revisionist
Piled Higher and Deeper
Science, Pseudoscience, and Irrationalism
Sustainability of Human Progress

Yet another weird SF fan

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Thomas Franks Touches Reality and Runs Away

Thomas Frank is starting to show a nodding acquaintance with reality:

It would be nice if we could blame all this on Republican administrations and be done with it. But it isn't so simple. Goldman Sachs, to name one protagonist in a recent version of the story, has always had prominent friends in both parties. It was the Clinton administration, with its scheme to "reinvent government," that made consensus wisdom out of the idea that markets should be the model for the state; it was the big thinkers of Democratic centrism who shunned adversarial regulatory strategies in favor of a more "entrepreneurial" approach.

The phenomenon I am describing is familiar to the point of nausea. The economists have a technical term for it, "regulatory capture." Our Gilded Age ancestors were fairly obsessed with it.

He then takes leave of his senses:

But today's consensus commentators, steeped as they are in the orthodoxy of markets, tend to regard the notion of regulatory capture as a conspiracy theory.

Saaay what? The term “regulatory capture” (and its near synonym “rent seeking”) are familiar enough to us wingnuts that I've used them to rate think tanks and berate self-congratulatory environmentalists.

I suspect Thomas Frank's excuse for regulatory capture (it's all the centrists' fault!) is an example of a phenomenon I mentioned a few years ago:

A few years ago, I posted that fundamentalism makes it easier to for a religious tradition to backtrack and give up mistakes. I just realized that the ideology of opposing profits fulfills a similar role in secular leftist ideologies. Any regulation or government program will make some people rich. If a government program formerly admired by the left turns out to be a mistake, opposition to profit makes it possible to blame everything on “the rich” and backtrack without admitting that yesterday's leftists were mistaken.


Post a Comment

<< Home

My Blogger Profile
eXTReMe Tracker X-treme Tracker

The Atom Feed This page is powered by Blogger.