15 Nov 2008

I Offer Constructive Advice at MarginalRevolution

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Over at MR, Tyler Cowen refers to the latest issue of Cato Unbound, where Matt Yglesias chides libertarians for claiming to oppose corporatism while not taking real practical steps to limit it. Tyler says:

In my view at the margin it would be better to have both less corporate privilege and less labor union privilege. Maybe we have no good theory (much less a strategy) for how to get there, but surely some marginal improvements are possible and who knows maybe more.

In the comments I offered this helpful remark:

Here’s a suggestion on strategy: When the former CEO of Goldman Sachs asks for $700 billion to dish out as he pleases, in light of an alleged disaster that he had no idea was coming just two months prior to the request, then all libertarians say “HECK NO!”

Seriously, I guess I can understand why some libertarians–especially those with “respectable” positions where they can’t come off as cranks–didn’t raise a ruckus when Paulson first asked for the money. But now that he has almost literally admitted he was lying through his teeth at the time, what’s the holdup, fellas? At the very least, please spare us all this faux hand-wringing over ‘how oh how can we limit corporatism?’

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