21 December 2010

Same evidence, opposing conclusions.

The Atlantic | Megan McArdle | Questions Asked and Answered

Jonathan Chait asks:
Wilkinson is a libertarian. He thinks that regulation of business is generally perverted into the opposite of its intended effect. Okay, fine. Why would he expect that anybody who's left of center might agree with him?
I can't speak for WIll, of course, but I think that a lot of libertarians may have gotten that impression because when they're not advocating for new rules, progressives spend a lot of time complaining that rich people and companies are twisting, bending, or breaking . . . hell, folding, spindling, and mutilating . . . all the old rules in order to unjustly enrich themselves. If you google "Corporate loopholes" or "Citizens United' you can maybe understand how we could have gotten this misimpression.
To summarize: progressives are bullish on more regulation because established interested have perverted existing regulation.

Libertarians are bearish on more regulation ... because established interested have demonstrated they can pervert existing regulation.

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