Wednesday, November 28, 2007

At least trees aren't cut down to have her words printed on them

There's a disturbing tendency to think that every problem is the result of inadequate regulation. In fact, America's bank industry is, as Tyler Cowen points out, one of the most heavily regulated in the world. And not every problem can be solved by better regulation--some things simply can't be regulated without causing bigger problems than they solve. There is no perfect regulatory state that will allow us all to live in a serene economic paradise, and the sooner we stop looking for one, the more effective our regulatory state will actually be.
This comes at the end of a post questioning what seems to be an established fact that defaults on subprime loans are having a bad effect on our economy. I don't know enough about the issue to know whether to take issue with Megan on it. What she says doesn't sound right to me, as 15% of any market is a significant chunk, but I have to admit my limits.
But the bit about regulation I can take issue with, because Megan's inner closeted Hayekian is showing. One of the many obnoxious things Megan does is to try and cloak her arguments with altruistic or pragmatic concerns. Megan isn't ideologically opposed to public schools, she's worried about the kids.
In looking for further regulations to match the new realities of our banking industry we're just dreaming of an impossible utopia, and Megan wants to save us all from the angst of seeking and failing. Why worry our pretty little heads when they're just going to find new ways around those regulations eventually? Let's everyone stop fooling ourselves and relax a little. Once you learn to love the regulations you're with, happiness will follow. There may be some bumps in the road, some account holders' savings lost, but isn't love worth it? Megan just wants us all to be happy, that's all.

1 comment:

M. Bouffant said...

Yes, but enough carbon is generated providing electrons for this sort of thing that I'm not sure there's a positive exchange here.