26 March 2011

Quotes for today: Soothscribe Matt Ridley and Adam Smith on Crony Capitalism

Great post on Ridley's The Rational Optimist about nuclear power. Here's the hook on crony capitalism (a.k.a. corporativism, the organizing principle of the EU):
The problem with crony capitalism, whether in finance or energy or anything else [is that the] 'market' and 'capitalists' are not on the same side and against 'government'. No, its government and capitalists colluding against the market, which is on the side of the people. The 'financial market' proved to be no such thing; it was a casino for favoured clients run by central banks. The `energy market' is no such thing. It is a scheme run by governments for favoured clients in the nuclear, renewable and environmental-pressure group industries.
Adam Smith, the Daddy of free market economics (see this fine compilation) wrote:
The proposal of any new law or regulation which comes from [businessmen], ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.

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