Under Siege: How Government Centralization and Expansion Puts Democracy in the Service of Special Interests

In its first full year of business in 1998, the 99 Cents Only store in the north Los Angeles city of Lancaster did over $5 million in sales. This was welcome news to the city, given the space had been vacant ever since the new “Power Center” shopping development, where 99 Cents was located, opened…

Craft Beer and the Human Economy

Tom Philpott observes that not all alcohol regulations need necessarily be a bad thing: It’s true that Carter’s move on behalf of home brewers helped push along the craft-brew revolution, as did the state-by-state unwinding of rules preventing the opening of brew pubs, which largely happened in the 1980s and ’90s. But in both cases,…

Aging boomer trends

Here are a couple of interesting (and troubling) posts about what aging boomers are up to.  First, the LA Times reports that, as predicted, the nation’s 77 million boomers are beginning to dump their stocks as they prepare for long retirements.  Just as the economy rose during the boomers’ productive years, experts are predicting a…

Regulating the Crash

There was some very smart discussion in my Keynes vs. Hayek thread about the crash and whether or not previous efforts to deregulate the financial industry led to the 2008 crash. So my question is, if the crash was not caused by deregulation, is it still possible that finance was under-regulated and that certain regulations,…

Revolver

Peter Orszag’s new job at Citigroup is one of those under-discussed stories that makes me glad I read blogs. It also makes me depressed because I’m struggling to envision a plausible solution to the problems of regulatory capture and the revolving door between government and the financial services industry. You can imagine better policies arising…

Returning the House (and the President) to the People

In my recently concluded interview with Publius from ObsidianWings on the role of the administrative state, a central question was how citizens can better hold the executive and legislative branches accountable and prevent regulatory capture.  It seems clear to me (although Publius may disagree) that these issues are closely related to the issue of growth…

Publius Squared: The Regulatory State, Congress, and Democracy

As many people should know, Obsidian Wings is often a bastion of worthwhile discussion and debate combined with unapologetic opinion in the sea of hackery and straw men that is the political blogosphere.  Over the last several days, the site’s most prolific blogger, as well as an expert on communications law and a passionate advocate of…

It’s About Structure, Not Volume

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry has a good piece up that explores some of the same ground I explored in my self-critique of libertarianism, although he unfortunately does so without the assistance of Monty Python.  Gobry’s central point is one that bears re-emphasizing, though: “one thing that often bothers me about US defenders of free markets is how…

Correctly Political: Wealth Care, a Historical Note

~by jfxgillis Okay. So here’s the thing about the health care industry in the USA, especially the insurance sector. It stinks. Everyone knows it. Everyone feels it. We pay more for what we get, and we get less for what we pay for, than virtually any other developed country by any systemic measure. Even people with gold-plated…

A Realistic Health Care Alternative Going Nowhere

[N/B: See below for a significant update/clarification] One of the criticisms levied at the alternative health care proposals discussed by E.D. and I over the last few weeks has been that these proposals, which rely heavily on vouchers and/or subsidies, are irrelevant to the debate that is actually taking place.  Yet this is not really…

Equal Protection Under the Laws: The Libertarian Ideal

Thanks to John, I am pointed to these two rather strange arguments in favor of the Drug War and against libertarian use of statistics on race against the Drug War from Jonah Goldberg.  John does a pretty good job explaining why Goldberg’s arguments are so strange.  The only thing I’d really add is that the…

from my ink-stained hands

I found this post to be a good rundown of why the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is such a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad law. As someone who has been madly in love with books in general and old books in particular since as long as I can remember, a law declaring that…