Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Lofty and wrong

Today's NY Times includes "Pope Urges New World Economic Order" (hat tip to Michael T.). A lot of it is the standard fare that one gets from pulpits and other lofty platforms.

In the choice between profit-seeking with arms-length rules-of-the-game enforcement vs. profit-seeking with bear-hug-close regulation and supervision, anyone ought to be able to see the contrasts. But the choices are usually framed in other ways. In the popular discourse (including much of what passes for "business" news), we are confronted with choices between "pro-business" vs. "pro-labor" or vs. "pro-environment" or vs. "pro-consumer", etc. interests. "Pro-market" is too abstract and beyond the ken of many.

We get the predictable conclusion that high-minded regulators and "elected officials" (politicians) are needed (and available) to keep an eye on shady (or much worse) business people.

And where was the SEC when Madoff was doing business?