Wednesday, 26 June 2013

On the capture of government by special interests...


If we assume that the airline companies will try to capture the Civil Aeronautics Board, it makes sense to assume that professors will try to capture the National Science Foundation, teachers to capture the Department of Education, environmentalists to capture the Council on Environmental Quality, and civil rights activists to capture the Office for Civil Rights.  The plausibility of this assumption is sometimes obscured by calling agency-interest relations of which we approve “citizen participation” and agency-interest relations of which we disapprove “capture,” but the issue is very much the same whatever rhetorical label we choose to employ.

Absolutely - and public health lobbies will capture the Department of Health!And, of course, bankers the treasury.

We need to remember this at all times. Government and bureaucracy is never neutral, seldom innocent and is inevitably corrupted by the people and organisations it regulates. The solution isn't more government. The solution isn't some weird thing called 'better regulation'. The solution isn't more so-called democratic oversight (as if the people the democracy puts there are innocent, uncorrupted paladins).

The solution is less government, less bureaucracy and less regulation.


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