Small Government

The ref has to be more powerful than the players.

An ogrish figure standing at a podium. The podium has a lever in the shape of a gilded dollar sign. The ogre is yanking the lever. The ogre wears a tuxedo and top-hat. In one gloved hand, he dangles an old West sheriff with a long-gun in his hands and a gold star over his breast. The ogre chomps a cigar and sneers at the sheriff.


When neoliberal economists began dismantling the regulatory state under Ronald Reagan (a process that has continued without interruption under every president, Republican and Democrat, since), they insisted that they weren’t so much concerned with regulation, but rather, regulatory capture.

Today, the phrase “regulatory capture” gets thrown around by people of all political persuasions, and is understood in a colloquial sense, meaning something like, “a regulator who is beholden to its industry and therefor makes bad regulations that run counter to the public interest.”

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Pluralistic: 04 Feb 2022

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