While it's folly to expect too much introspection at a political convention, what's striking is that almost never do you hear about whether a program is actually working. Cost-benefit analyses are not required. It is enough to say, "There is a victim class or predatory corporate class, and we either gave them money or restricted their latitude." Good intentions are what matter, not performance.Here's an elaboration by Curtis Kalin, this time for Town Hall. Again, not unexpected.
Defenders of bygone bureaucracies claim that without the benevolent hand of government, Americans would be left “on their own,” abandoned, and bereft of aid or quality services. These assumptions stand on weak ground in the face of free market innovations like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb. These services prove that Americans are willing, if not eager to share with each other without the compulsion of a government bureaucrat.The ride- and room-sharing services might be covered under the "clothed with a public interest" rubric, and yet the existing car-for-hire operators (taxicab, primarily) and hoteliers have generated some rents as a consequence of Regulation in the Public Interest.
Big-government lawmakers underestimate Americans’ propensity to create new and innovative pursuits, particularly those that provide a necessary service to others. It is time for lawmakers across the country to allow the sharing economy to flourish and leave bygone bureaucracies back in the twentieth century.
But then comes Stephen Kinzer, long of the palace guard media, begging to be mugged by reality.
American elites are hardly the only ones who have cynically misled their people. The same happened in Europe. “Ever closer union” was another product of the dopey optimism that infected the West in the 1990s. It ignored the evident fact that most Europeans, like most people everywhere, feel loyalty to their own nation or group, and that this loyalty is not easily transferrable to diffuse and distant conglomerations. The EU has been run largely for the benefit of the business class. Ordinary Europeans have come to realize this, and it has angered them. The same anger is enveloping countries from Egypt and Nigeria to Brazil and Venezuela.No, Mr Kinzer, an interdependent world cannot be run smoothly by farsighted leadership. Complex adaptive systems tend to do what they d**n well please, and it's the application of Expertise, whether by an intellectual elite in a remote capital or by smart guys with algorithms at the trading houses, that midwived the disorder. But it's rare for a ruling class to recognize that the best thing for it to do is to rule less.
In our complex modern age, the interdependent world does not run smoothly by itself. It requires farsighted leadership that takes the fate of ordinary people seriously and favors diplomacy over coercive force. Blaming the masses for stupidly supporting demagogic politicians is mistaken. People quite reasonably resent what their leaders have done to them over the last quarter century. They demand something different, whatever it is. That is the central cause of the new world disorder.