George today

So, all of what\’s going on, all that\’s wrong in the world, is as a result of businesses buying regulatory favours through the political process.

I find it difficult to disagree with the basic thesis, although "all" seems a little strong.

And of course there\’s nothing remotely free market about such client capture of the regulatory State.

But George seems to think this proves that free markets don\’t work.

Eh?

If what we\’ve got isn\’t a free market then how do the problems in what we\’ve got show that free markets don\’t work?

3 comments on “George today

  1. Its due to all the propaganda from both sides claiming that we have free markets. Just like the EU is supposedly about free trade when its really a trading block with managed trade internally.

    I know way too many people who think that free markets need coercion and violence to sustain them, but that’s not exactly free is it?

  2. The fact that regulation can be evaded (in various ways–not only by means of graft, etc.)– is only one (or a “set”) way in which regulation
    diminishes total well-being.

    The fundamental reality is that regulation is an attempt to interfere with the “bedrock” of economics: the Law of Comparative Advantage (or as I, following von Mises, prefer to call it, the Law of Association). At base, the result of all regulation (other than fundamental criminal law intended to reduce aggression, theft, and fraud) is to relocate productive processes from places more favorable to those less so and discourage performance of productive effort by those most fit in favor of those less so.

    As I’ve tried to point out before, regulation typically yields consequences unsatisfactory in the view of its supporters, at which point they are faced with the choice of abandoning the regulation (returning to a freer state) or “tightening,” which, when proven unsatisfactory, presents the same dilemma anew. The choice is always the same, as Mises was first to point out in the ’20s and Hayek popularized in Road to Serfdom: freedom or totalitarianism–there’s no “middle” or “third” way even possible.

  3. The middlemen do even better, especially the companies spreading starvation by turning maize into ethanol, which are guzzling billions of dollars’ worth of tax credits.

    Oh, the irony!

    I wonder who was responsible for the scam that justified these tax credits in the first place?

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