Posts Tagged ‘regulatory capture’

Regulation Destroys Economies And Spreads Corruption

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016


Conservatism is what remains of the original way humans lived, which was by asserting leadership to ensure good results where merited; “good to the good, bad to the bad” was its yardstick.

What replaced it was the idea that we could save everyone because people were important just for being human. This notion, called egalitarianism but more properly individualism (or even solipsism) insisted that each person was the same because experience, learning and knowledge were universal. All we needed was a tiny spark of reason, or rationality, and we could understand all that we needed to, despite having radically different abilities.

Obviously, this is nonsense. But it is the controlling illusion of our time, and we might see a spectrum of this from mild (libertarians) through extreme (Communists), with the idea being the same between them: that a group of people acting in self-interest will, through reason, magically arrive at a good result — instead of the mob rule that has destroyed the West.

A somewhat dodgy article compiled a few good reasons why regulation is bad news:

In “The Logic of Collective Action” (1965), Mancur Olson taught us that, over time, most capitalist democracies develop “distributional coalitions,” aka special interest groups, which organize to get the government to provide them with special subsidies, laws, and protection from competition. The dispersed public, be it taxpayers or consumers that are footing the bill, will fail to overcome the free rider problem and lose in the democratic battle with those coalitions. As Olson states in a later book, this is what explains the decline, or sclerosis, of economies.

Stigler, in his “Theory of Economic Regulation” (1972), explained that regulation, which is presumably put in place to protect the public, will eventually be acquired, or “captured,” by the very companies, industries, or their trade unions that are supposed to be “regulated.”

Olson shows us that genteel corruption is the norm in the regulatory state. The regulations that we bourgeois cubicle sheep are told are good for us are in fact designed to protect industry, usually by making it harder for others to compete with existing industry, limiting their liability, or defining products at a cheaper level so they can make low-cost high-margin products (the industrial equivalent of a fast food cheeseburger).

Stigler points out a mechanism by which this occurs. Industries are limited in size and there are only so many superstars in them. When government acts, it does so by hiring or consulting these people, which means that the same group that is being regulated is also doing the regulation. You will see mention of this in some news stories about heavily regulated industries.

Conservatives oppose regulation for the same reason they oppose unions, capitalism and pacifism: these are means of reducing risk, which reduces the competence required by the humans involved, and also promotes the inept alongside the good. This is a form of degeneration that also adds massive costs, but its real threat is the destruction of our abilities.

More than cuckservative: the passive mentality

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Most of us at this point, if we were paying attention, know that our “elected leaders” are not just surprisingly weak but incompetent. This is the nature of parasites, who once they get elected view their job as an entitlement where they succeed by making happy feelings in other people in the way of salesmen, and actually getting anything done is secondary.

But what unnerves us is how comfortable the whole situation is. Government seems to work like an episode of The Office: people show up every day to pretend to hate on each other, make a lot of drama and accomplish very little. That one half of them claim to be “the Opposition” means very little because to them, it is a job. They show up to do job-things, act out the roles in which they stand, and make others like them. The consequences of this? Accountability? Responsibility? Those are not even on the menu.

I wanted to point out three parallel areas in which this process can be observed: cuck, the merchant mentality and the band-aid.

  1. Cuck: This simply means what happens when “regulatory capture” takes over on the level of personality. Guys and gals who go to Washington enjoy their coworkers and so they start a comfy little society where no one really rocks the boat. They also do not want to violate the moral pretense involved, to flatter the voters, that “equality” is anything more than the words of a salesman.
  2. The Merchant Mentality: When customers get used to being customers, they fall into a permanent passive role because (1) the attention flatters them and (2) someone else is responsible. The best of both worlds, right? You buy something because the nice salesman said such pleasing things, and then if it is not what you needed, you take it back and get something else. This is the mentality not just of voters, but of politicians to entrenched interests like minorities, foreign powers and big business. The goal of white politicians and voters is to keep signing the checks to buy off these entrenched interests, and if we step outside of that role, there will be hell to pay… or maybe not.
  3. The Band-Aid: You will notice as you go through life that any failing enterprise will have the same general tendency, which is to apply band-aids to broken things so it can avoid thinking about the process as a whole. If the pump keeps breaking, get a repair contract. Do not think about why the pump keeps breaking. When the repair contractor is not fast enough, get another contractor to compete with them. There, that’ll show ’em! If that doesn’t work, hire an intern… on and on it goes, never ending. At the bottom is the truth: something is out of place which keeps breaking pipes. The direct solution probably means a lot of pain right now, and then no pain after… but in the tried and true manner of humans, we will instead opt for the delayed monthly pain plan and avoid fixing the problem, and instead fix the public image.

When you wonder why government is dysfunction, in addition to to obvious appearance-over-reality failings of democracy, look for the above. They are all the same basic mentality, which is to compromise what one knows is true for the sake of what is socially popular, but they take such interesting forms.

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