25 November 2008

regulation we can live with

Yglesias has a fairly simple idea on the proper role of regulation, one that i happen to agree with.


  1. I both agree and disagree.

    Pragmatically, it makes sense. Limit any one player from getting too big, and the whole system stabilizes.

    There's a principle involved, though, that I'm not sure I buy into. Say, for instance, that no one person can make more that $100k a year, period, no matter what they do. Suddenly you take away the incentive for a lot of otherwise hard-working people.

    Maybe it would work. Dunno. But it sounds a lot like socialism to me. Or a recap of Harrison Bergeron.

  2. this is where i have to distinguish between a utopian pipe dream and the realities of american politics. i don't (utopian-wise) care for the idea of gubmint involvement in determining what's right for a marketplace, but if we take as a given there will be asshats throwing themselves in the ring (reality), what is a well-known rule for operating that a company can follow for keeping uncle sam the hell out of its shit?

    if we regulate, the rules should be well known and compliance easy and measurable. the bonus here is the idea that small companies (for whom compliance is generally more costly) wouldn't be subject to the same rules. it's a sliding scale. the downside of a sliding scale is that it becomes a political football, inducing a lobbying frenzy.