Will Hutton’s argument on regulation

The lack of regulation and legislation for which the business lobbyists press is rarely to support entrepreneurship; in most instances, it is a sophisticated form of corporate welfare.

Of course he’s right there. Much regulation and legislation is indeed corporate welfare. It protects the incumbent suppliers from the insurgents.

Which is, of course, why we’d rather have less regulation so that those incumbents can indeed be challenged.

Amazingly, that’s not the point that Hutton makes. Surprising, eh?

6 comments on “Will Hutton’s argument on regulation

  1. “Powerful lobbyists and fawning ministers are corroding society”

    He’s half right, unfortunately of course he gets the identity of the “powerful lobbyists” completely wrong.

    “Predatory capitalism”, and then he wants minimum prices and taxes. Who’s the predator here, Hutton?

    It is unbelievable that he can live to the age he has and still not understand that firms competing with each other for the customer’s business are not ‘predators’ and cannot ever be, except maybe on each other. We win. When there is a single predator, whether the State or State-approved monopoly, we lose.

  2. as ever with dear old Willy and his fellow travellers, he only approves of protectionism for people he judges to be sound or like him; for example, for all that he slags off crony capitalism, I had a *very* interesting conversation a while ago with a mate of someone who worked at the Industrial Society as it then was. Hutton is utterly loathed by the old hands as he took over, changed the name and the mission of the organisation into a overtly political campaigning club, hired a load of his mates in at huge salaries and then flew it into the mountainside at great speed before strolling away from the wreckage and saying “Who? ME?”

  3. Phew! For a minute there I thought I might be in danger of agreeing with ur Willy. That would have unswung my compass.

    But what does he want? As usual you can’t tell whether he wants them banned except in leafy Hampstead, taxed so the winnings are piffling, or regulated with social services provided by the betting shops themselves.

  4. Rob – “If you make gambling illegal no one will gamble. I think India illustrates this beautifully.”

    I am sorry but when has anyone but you ever made that argument? I think most people have noticed that laws against rape and murder have not ended rape or murder. Does that mean they are pointless and should be abolished?

    Perhaps we should try some harm minimisation? Safe rape rooms perhaps? I remember a nice story about someone who served a pre-sentence – if you did 15 years on a harsh colonial planet, you could come back to Earth and murder the person of your choice. I think that would be a sensible solution to reducing the murder rate – if everyone co-operated of course. Perhaps we should tax it? Allow people to buy a murder permit? Pay enough money and they can kill the person of their own choosing?

    Or why not go the whole hog and do what our Ruling Class has done for virtually all crime except smoking, racism and child abuse – admit we can’t be 100% effective in stamping any crime out, so there is no point trying and stop punishing anyone for anything. How is that working out?

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