> > "Whenever a government creates a body to regulate a trade 
> for the benefit
> > of the people, the trade gains control of the body for the 
> benefit of the
> > trade at the expense of the people."
> > 

Sorry for no help in the particular, but I remember a paper I
wrote 20 years ago making this point, and almost using those
words.

Let me here describe the individual mechanism (as I recall):
The new gov't body has a head regulator.  He's new, he's
important in DC.  Maybe he gets wined and dined by the
politicians, he certainly gets noticed by the politicians, 
and the news folk.

For about a week.  Then the news is covering something else,
the politicians have other crusades.
The few, low paid pro-consumer lobbyists are glad HE's
responsible, and trust him to do a good job.  Which he's
trying to do.

Of course, he HAS to talk with representatives of the regulated
industry, to get basic info.  He makes a lunch appointment
with "the enemy".

But they're SO NICE!!!  They buy him lunch, they are polite,
they are RESPECTFUL.  They care what he says, and agree he
has good points.  Plus, if he's not sure of some basic
data, they usually have the data, and provide it.

They mostly agree with all his principles, but on just this
one detail, they want the regulatory phrasing to be just a little
different, since it gets "virtually" all the benefits at less
cost, saving jobs, etc.  And nobody else knows or really cares
about THAT detail, certainly not at the detailed level of the
highly specialized experts, in the trade industry & the regulatory
body.  

And of course, the top politically appointed regulator prolly 
won't be a regulator FOR EVER, but his detailed, expert knowledge
of the industry, and its regulations, will SURELY make him very
valuable to a future employee.
...

The point is not so much that the "trade gains control of the body",
(true), but that the body is seduced by the only serious 
suitor -- the trade.

How could it be otherwise?  (I believed it true then, have been
libertarian since; and believe it now, too.)

Tom Grey



Reply via email to