Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Insufficient opportunities for graft

Reynolds: Politicos put past before progress: "On Twitter, the other day, someone tweeted a quote from Will Spencer:  “When life gives you lemons, apply for a business license, a food service license, and a sales tax license and make lemonade.”

This cynical-but-realistic statement drew a reply in the same vein from Tennessee Sen. Frank Niceley: “Then hire a lobbyist to make lemonade consumption mandatory and subsidize it.”  Another cynic responded: “You then also need to require government approval to open new lemonade stands.”  And the final word in this little colloquy was: “Then lobby again for regulations you can handle, but will bury your competition.”

Cynical or not, these statements accurately describe why economic progress is so much harder today than it once was.  But why is it so much harder?  And why are so many politicians coming out against innovative new services such as Uber or Airbnb?  The answer, I think, is simple: Those new services offer insufficient opportunities for graft."