From Critiques Of Libertarianism
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Regulation can protect important liberties, such as freedom from poisoning by pollution. Regulation can benefit by eliminating some bad choices or protecting from side effects. Complaints that regulation "destroys jobs" are laughable because ordinary productivity increases routinely destroy vast numbers of jobs. How many of us have farm jobs any more? Meeting regulatory requirements may even create new jobs.


Deregulation (35 links)
Libertarians routinely propose deregulating almost everything; mostly because they want to increase private power by limiting government, not because it makes sense. Deregulation may not solve the serious problems that initially led to regulation or it may undo regulatory capture. Most deregulation activity is part of corporate attempts at Obstructing Regulation And Regulatory Capture.
Craft Beer Is the Strangest, Happiest Economic Story in America [More...]
Regulation is what has made the craft-beer explosion possible, providing real competition with the beer monopoly. Proper regulatory structuring of markets prevents and reverses formation of monopolies.
Craft Brewing as a Model for Helping the Middle Class [More...]
There are other industries where the same regulatory approach should work.
Deconstricting the Administrative State [More...]
Regulation is an instrument of innovation and economic growth as well as a guardian of public safety and health. "Throughout America’s history, regulation not only has shaped the foundation of our modern economy, but has also advanced the values we’ve come to believe are vital to the functioning of “free” markets -- an insight that earlier policymakers fully recognized."
Designed to Fail: Why Regulatory Agencies Don’t Work [More...]
"... concentrating all legislative, executive and judiciary authority in one regulatory agency just makes it easier for it to be corrupted by the industries it regulates." Followed by suggestions for reforms.
Do Nordic Countries Really Have Less Regulation? [More...]
"The truth is that nobody has found a good way to measure the substantive regulatory differences between the Nordics and the US."
Hyping the Cost of Regulation [More...]
"Ultimately, the Crain and Crews “studies” prove nothing at all about the cost of federal regulation. But they do reveal the existence of a highly influential echo chamber of scholars-for-hire and industry-funded centers dedicated to driving deregulation by hyping the cost of regulation and peddling bogus findings to powerful lawmakers."
If fireproofing is a waste for the poor, it is also a waste for the rich [More...]
Matt Bruenig rips Megan McArdle a new one over a grotesque article about how fire regulations are dangerous.
Insight: How Compounding Pharmacies Rallied Patients to Fight Regulation [More...]
Lobbyists for the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists defeated legislation designed to close the FDA regulatory loophole created by the Supreme Court in 2002. (The loophole has finally been closed in 2013, after a huge meningitis outbreak.)
Libertarianism's Time Has Come and Gone [More...]
"Government actions can lead to more individual freedom, not less."
Minimum prices for alcohol should work [More...]
"Addicts may not respond to price incentives as we would expect. This problem, combined with the fear of disproportionally taxing the poor, makes it difficult to address the consumption externalities caused by addictive substances. This column reviews recent literature showing the efficacy of minimum pricing on alcohol, and the curious result that alcohol consumption now seems to be increasing in household income."
One hundred and fifty ways the nanny state is good for us [More...]
"Nanny state critics are almost always self-interested. They’re rarely motivated by the freedoms they purport to defend. And invariably their arguments crumble under scrutiny."
Preventing Regulatory Capture: Special Interest Influence and How to Limit it (book) (2 links)
An extraordinary academic book which surveys history, defining, measuring, and solutions to regulatory capture.
Profits and pandemics: prevention of harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, and ultra-processed food and drink industries (The Lancet) [More...]
"Despite the common reliance on industry self-regulation and public–private partnerships, there is no evidence of their effectiveness or safety. Public regulation and market intervention are the only evidence-based mechanisms to prevent harm caused by the unhealthy commodity industries."
The Deaths That Come When an Industry's Left to Regulate Itself [More...]
"The Consumer Product Safety Commission tried for 16 years to make portable electric generators less dangerous. Then a Trump-selected official took charge of the agency."
The Libertarian Who Accidentally Helped Make the Case for Regulation [More...]
"George Mason economist Alex Tabarrok set out to prove that federal regulations are strangling the economy. That’s not what he found."
Tragedy Of The Commons (3 links)
The tragedy of the commons is an economic theory of a situation within a shared-resource system where individual users acting independently and rationally according to their own self-interest behave contrary to the common good of all users by depleting that resource. But there is only a tragedy of an UNREGULATED commons, as history has shown. Regulation is an obvious workable solution.


As it happens, I was reading a book about my second-favourite period of UK history over the weekend. It’s amusing to note how many of the arguments of the kind “raising labour standards will close down the factories and send the poor into horrible scavenging”, are nearly word-for-word copies of similar arguments made in the 1830s against the child labour laws passed in England. They were wrong then …
Daniel Davies, "Globollocks, v2.0"
Between the strong and the weak, between the rich and the poor, between master and servant, it is liberty that is oppressive and the law that sets free.
Henri-Dominique Lacordaire, speech given at the 52nd Conférence de Notre-Dame, Paris, 1848.
It is really quite rare to find a buyer’s market for rented accommodation. Even if there is a slight oversupply of rental units for sale, time is almost always on the landlord’s side, because waiting is typically much more inconvenient for the party that has to wait without a house to do wait in. In general, when tenants and landlords are negotiating over the potential Pareto gain that could be made from renting the house, the landlord ends up capturing most or all of the surplus. The hot water and habitability laws are simply aimed at skewing things a bit in favour of the tenant and putting a floor on how bad a deal the tenant can end up accepting. It’s a standard game theory result that something which reduces your options can benefit you by reducing the number of bad options that you can end up agreeing to (most famously, the secret ballot has to be compulsory, because if you had the option to reveal your vote, you could be intimidated), and habitability laws are there for exactly this purpose.
Daniel Davies, "The correct way to argue with Milton Friedman"
The market fundamentalists of Technology Liberation Front and Silicon Valley would love you to believe that “permissionless innovation” is somehow organic to “the internet,” but in fact it is an experiment we conducted for a long time in the US, and the experiment proved that it does not work. From the EPA to the FDA to OSHA, nearly every Federal (and State) regulatory agency exists because of significant, usually deadly failures of industry to restrain itself.
David Golumbia, "“Permissionless Innovation”: Using Technology to Dismantle the Republic"