Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Who Regulates the Regulators? --Mark Steyn

There was an old joke in Britain: "Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?" In fact, it's a profound observation about the nature of government. We wouldn't like it if there were only one automobile company or only one breakfast cereal, but by definition there can only be one federal government — which is why, "when the Government's monopolizing", it should do so only in very limited areas.

This isn't an abstract philosophical point, but a very practical one. Fans of big government take it for granted that Barack Obama, Timothy Geithner, Barney Frank, and a couple of other guys can "run" the financial sector better than 8,000 U.S. banks all jostling for elbow room like bacteria in a petri dish. Same with the auto industry, and the insurance industry, and the property market, and health care, and "the global environment." The skill-set required to run a billion-dollar company is the province of very few individuals. The skill-set required to run a multi-trillion-dollar government is unknown to human history.

No comments: