Friday, January 21, 2011

Civil Discourse Revisited

Tibor R. Machan

We were having lunch and the topic of how to frame a friendly, productive holiday conversation about politics and such came up. I had been thinking about what role a host might play in upholding standards of civility and what one can do if things get a bit ugly. For that they surely can get, especially in the current atmosphere which appears to contain very little in the way of argumentation and analysis and a whole lot of venting, name calling, besmirching, ridiculing, and caricaturing even by the most erudite of commentators.

One reason for the abundance of heat in and the absence of light from most discussions on TV, radio and even the dinner table appears to be that nearly all the moves have already been made by all the sides championing their cause, so what then is left? Few of the parties seem to be upgrading their stance, improving their evidence, honing their reasoning, probably because ofter years and years of believing as they do and repeatedly mulling it over, there seems to be no use for going through the exercise again and again. Grandma will remain true to her faith whatever the grand kids bring back from college bull sessions or even their courses in the way of challenges to her ideas. And the same would seem to go for grandpa and mom and dad and brother and sister, even. So mostly the family sticks to trivia or play--sports work well, since there is little at stake and the passions would tend to be shallow. (Why get all bent out of shape about Auburn’s various rivalries or the next Superbowl?) And even if one holds views one considers quite sound and important to promulgate, who has the time for this? On TV and radio the objective appears to be mainly to keep the floor, learn how to speak without breathing, wearing down everyone else, since the time limit is normally quite onerous.

But in fact it could be much better than this, from the Thanksgiving dinner table to the talk shows, if only a few points were kept in focus. Here is my own list, by no means complete:

* Recall that there is always time to go through the reasons why one holds one’s views and to gain the benefit of critical objections and insights from thoughtful friendly others, even if in the end one wants to be triumphant. It really isn’t about subduing one’s interlocutors but about making a decent effort to reach sound conclusions, to get at whatever truth is available to us.

* Recall, also, that while on some topics--religion, politics, child raising--one may different quite seriously with one’s friends, colleagues, relatives and neighbors, there is much more to life than just these areas of interest. There are people one knows who fervently disagree with one’s political views, even may dislike one for holding them, while they are congenial when it comes to great many of other concerns. I have learned over the years that even some of those I most sincerely and seriously find objectionable in one area can turn out to be, quite surprisingly, candidates for comrades when it comes to other issues. (Parents, especially, may find that people whose politics or economics they disapprove of share their own ideas about raising children and handling the household budget.) One’s politics or religion isn’t everything about the person, at least in most cases. So if time is limited, perhaps talking about movies or traveling can be a friendly territory.

* Often when we dislike others it isn’t anything dire or morally important, merely a matter of a difference in style and taste. And it is quite OK to insist on one’s style and taste for oneself without insisting that everyone else share these--they can all be quite swell people but not like what you like. I do not like baseball or football or even basketball but am very keen on tennis. Others in my circles do not share this but it would be serious folly to be critical of them for this. My favorite color needn’t be anyone else’s, nor my favorite food or even restaurant or make of car. Indeed, some people just rub me the wrong way even though there is nothing I can identify that would deserve condemnation. We don’t all have to get along on all counts, despite some Utopian thinking along such lines.

* There is much more but let me just add one idea that I have found very useful: If one wants to bring up a testy topic, one that’s pretty likely to sit badly with one’s companions, it usually helps to do what I call some meta-talk, or preparatory talk. Something like, “I will make some points now that may very well be objectionable to some of you but please bear with me and let’s run through them gently.”

So, have a good dinner visiting the folks and do not focus so intensely on how much you disagree. And heed the advice of one of my daughters: you can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.
The Insanity Defense Debate

Tibor R. Machan

The New York Times blog featured a debate recently, in the wake of the Tuscon massacre, among several people on the insanity defense. One of the debaters, Kent Scheidegger, wrote a comment that included a point that’s often proposed but that needs some amendment.

Scheidegger said "The traditional test [of criminal responsibility] is whether the defendant was able to understand the nature of the act and understand that it was wrong. This test ... remains the proper legal and moral test. A person who understands what he is doing and that it is wrong but does it anyway is morally responsible for his act."

There’s a problem with this idea, namely, that at times culprits place themselves into a position of being unable "to understand that nature of the act and understand that is was wrong," as when they voluntarily become severely intoxicated by drugs or alcohol or some other behavior that leads to mental incapacitation. So strictly speaking while the crime is being committed, the understanding Scheidegger says is required for culpability is indeed missing; so by his account perpetrators cannot be held criminally or even morally responsible for what they have done. Yet, arguably, such persons would still be fully responsible since they ought to have been sufficiently prudent or careful prior to becoming unable to understand and embarking on conduct that requires care. Thus, if one sits at home alone (or with family likely to offer care if needed), and imbibes to a point of mental incapacitation, that's one thing; but if one does so just before undertaking tasks where the effects of alcohol or drug consumption can reasonably be expected to lead to a crime, that's another. Ignorance of those effects at the time of the commission of the crime should be no excuse--one ought to have known!

Of course these days there are innumerable reasons being offered for not holding anyone responsible for anything one does, be it criminal or noble or whatever. The most influential grounds for this come from some experiments conducted recently in which it has been determined that an agent of conduct is most often motivated un- or subconsciously. Reported cat scans of the human brain have shown that prior one’s conscious awareness of what one is intending to do, the action in question has already commenced in the brain, with consciousness coming only later. So what one is doing is in fact not in one’s conscious control. Such experiments were conducted by, among others, the famous neuro-scientist Benjamin Libet. Libet himself, while casting doubt on consciously willful conduct concludes one of his famous essays, “Do We Have Free Will?”--included in Benjamin Libert, et al., eds., The Volitional Brain, Towards a neuroscience of free will (Imprint Academic, 1999)--with the observation that free will’s “existence is at least as good, if not a better, scientific option than is its denial by determinist theory.” Yet he regards the hypothesis of free will’s existence “speculative,” but does the same with the determinist position. As he puts it, “Given the speculative nature of both determinist and non-determinist theories, why not adopt the view that we do have free will (until some real contradictory evidence may appear, if it ever does).”

Since the time Libet carried out his studies there has been considerable work on the issues involved in the free will and conscious willing controversies (work that’s continuing as I write these lines--for example, at the recently established Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies at UC Santa Barbara, which, as its web site states, “is dedicated to interdisciplinary research and education to advance understanding of the nature and potential of consciousness.” Libet’s earlier work has sparked much further work and debate but a good many neuroscientists contend now that it and further work has indeed lead to the conclusion that conscious willing is not very likely--see, for example, Daniel M. Wegner, The Illusion of Conscious Will (MIT Press, 2002).

I am not going to be able to chime in very fruitfully on this topic in a short column but I do wish to call attention, briefly, to a line of argument favoring freedom of the will that seems not to be addressed much these days when only experimental science is trusted to handle the issues involved. This line of argument basically holds that the existence of free will is undeniable or on strictly conceptual or logical grounds--that is, axiomatic--since scientific knowledge itself depends on it.

Basically the point is that knowledge must involve independent, unprejudiced observation and thinking but determinism denies this since it holds that everything one does is controlled by various impersonal causes impinging on one’s conduct, including one’s observations and thinking. If that were so, then no conclusion about anything, including about the free will issue, could be considered sound since all of it would be simply imposed on us. We would not in fact be concluding from unprejudiced reasoning and observation but merely exhibiting behavior imposed on our brains and caused by such imposition.

So it is best to conclude that if science is possible, including about the human mind, free will must exist.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Confessions of a Refi Junkie

Tibor R. Machan

No, I am not actually a junkie of any sort but I sometimes feel like it when I reflect upon my history of borrowing funds against the estimated value of my home.

You see, I have been trying to encourage my and my children’s various endeavors, just as many other parents who somehow think they can are wont to do. Helping with down payments for a home, chipping in a bit with rent, or, and this is the biggie, subsidizing a love for a serious extracurricular activity, not to mention the more immediate help with daily expenses--all these and others have induced me to try to generate resources not just from productive work but at times from borrowing against anticipated income.

And so on several occasions I have done what millions have, namely, refinanced my house, mine in Southern California. I even experienced the bail-out phenomenon when I have taken over some of the credit card debts of one or another of my children.

This all has slowly subsided, of course, as they have become more productive and thus reasonably self-supporting but it has left me with fairly hefty debts which I keep paying off. (And I am now nearly where I would like to be, leaving me with just my mortgage and car loan payments.) Of course, it also means that retirement is out of the question, at least so long as I am fit to keep working and like my work reasonably well to keep me interested in it. At 70+ now, this is all a bit iffy but not beyond the pale.

In all this I believe I have behaved pretty much as most people would, given the information they possess about market conditions, public finance, etc. Once the extortion by government has transpired each year--taxes forked out on time so the dastards cannot nail me while I am relentlessly hammering at the ideology that supports their policies--I am still in a position, given the excellent management of at least one of the places where I work, to carry on, although not without constant maneuvering through the financial maze of my life.

And let’s not forget, the role of good luck in all this! I am reasonably fit, with but a few manageable maladies--back problems, sciatica, etc., and so forth--so I don’t have to shell out gobs of funds for medical care (apart from the insurance I carry through my place of employment). Not everyone has such luck and while that certainly obligates none of us to submit to servitude in their behalf, it should encourage some understanding and maybe even generosity toward the deserving unlucky among us.

In any case, if one multiplies my situation a couple of hundred million fold, leaving aside for now out and out corruption and shady dealings, it is not difficult to see that all that would lead to financial disasters, what with the government creating a political-economic environment of false signals and phony incentives which to most ordinary citizens who are trying to navigate their economic lives isn’t fully disclosed. (Who among ordinary folks knows why housing prices rose and why one could refinance on such welcoming terms? Does anyone but a small proportion of the population realize that President Clinton, among others, had foisted upon the country financial policies that made borrowing money so easy? And what about the influence of past decisions, such as making mortgage interests partly deductible from one’s taxes? Who but experts or especially savvy lay people realize the impact such policies have on the long term economy of the country and, indeed, on most of the citizenry?)

As with regular junkies--or even with people who just like to do certain things a lot and will do it more if the cost isn’t prohibitive--those who are trying to improve their economic situation will take the opportunities around them at face value and not normally realize that they often flow from the minds of tricky politicians and all their little helpers throughout the bureaucracies of the country (not to mention the academic apologists supporting them)?

That is, at least, one way to make sense of recent economic and financial undulations in America. But this is a work in progress for me, so I keep on thinking about and studying just how to make sense of it all.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Tibor R. Machan

There have been plenty of studies, economic analyses and investigations and related work showing that government regulation is harmful, stifling, inefficient, and otherwise destructive. Despite this, the actual regulatory onslaught continues full force, and more is to be expected. Why is this so?
The research has shown that the regulation rarely achieves the goals set for it by Congress. Studies indicate that it has undermined productivity and competition and increased political favoritism and corruption. Market failures or imperfections, so called, have not been eliminated by way of government regulation. Why do millions still continue to believe in the desirability of this discredited system?
Even those few prominent individuals who have come to doubt that regulation is useful consider it a proper function of government where it can achieve its goals. Many more believe that even where government regulation has proven to be ineffective and harmful, the task is simply to muster up greater effort, to “clean up” the agencies, to tighten regulatory specifications—never to abandon the task. In an article in Commentary Magazine several years ago, Paul H. Weaver points out that Americans overwhelmingly support “the full range of present-day public programs to which [the New Deal] has given birth. Indeed, something like half the population would like to see the government provide even more benefits and intervene in more areas of social life than it already does…. Yet by almost equally large margins, Americans also say that the institutions responsible for creating and running the New Deal state are currently in the hands of liars, cheats, frauds, and profligates.” Never mind that economists and social scientists have produced an enormous body of evidence that discredits the very activity of regulating!

Why More Regulation?
Some solutions have been offered to the resulting puzzle about the persistent belief in regulation’s desirability. Since it is mostly economists who study regulatory activity, they are also the ones interested in why their studies fail to alter policy. The explanation usually offered is that regulation has not been discontinued because the legislators and regulatory bureaucrats are like all other people- they work to benefit themselves. It’s self-interest that accounts for the continuation of regulatory activities.
This explanation, however, is vacuous. We can’t get anything from it, any more than we can from an explanation of animal behavior by reference to instincts. It doesn’t explain anything. Why do cats swim in water? Well, they have the instinct to swim in water. What does that mean? It means simply that if you throw them in water they will swim. Why do regulators continue with regulation? Well, because they carry out their regulatory schemes. This is not at all enlightening.
Of course, this misrepresents the complexity of the theory that underlies such explanations. But instead of dwelling on this here, let’s consider an alternative explanation.
People often act as they do because they are guided by certain ideas and ideals. Ideas have consequences! And many of the central ideas guiding people in their personal conduct are moral or ethical ideas. Ralph Nader, for example, often makes reference to justice. He insists that it is unjust not to prevent product failures. He insists that certain people are being victimized. He argues that certain kinds of corporate activities are evil. Freely using these concepts to explain political and economic affairs, he reflects the views of many in our culture.
These kinds of ideas and ideals are powerful guidelines and motivators of human action. And there is something distinctive about moral or ethical ideals–as opposed to, say, scientific, technological, or legal ideas–as principles of human action.
A moral idea (and idea and ideal are interchangeable here) is one that provides guidelines to human beings simply as human beings. Why should I be honest? Because by their very nature human beings as such ought to be honest. Why should I be just? Because human beings as such should be just; if an action, policy, or entire institution recommends itself on the grounds that it is just, any human being in the community should support it.

Moral Reasons
This is very different from offering an economic explanation for what I do. “It paid well” is not comparable to “It was the just thing to do.” Nor is it the same as referring to my preferences. Why did I select that ice cream) Well, I prefer it. That I selected it or that I prefer it does not imply that everyone should do the same thing.
Why then is government regulatory activity continued? Because, despite what economists and many others have demonstrated, people believe that the goals that regulation aims to accomplish are just goals; they are morally justifiable goals to strive for. A person who believes that to defend his community or to educate his children is a matter of justice is not likely to be moved- and, if his belief is correct, he shouldn’t be moved- by the fact that these will be very expensive. He will say: “I’m sorry. Those sacrifices are justified because this is a moral goal; it is one’s duty to do it.
We can talk endlessly to Mr. Nader and Co. about how costly and inefficient government regulation is. If he believes that the goals are morally superior to the other goals that have to be sacrificed so as to pursue them, he will insist that economic concerns can be discounted. This view has been voiced by David Ferber, solicitor with the SEC, in a reply to free market economist Henry Manne, both writing in the Vanderbilt Law Review. Commenting on the regulations imposed by the SEC, Ferber observed, “Since I believe Congress was attempting to improve the morality of the marketplace, I think that the economic effect is largely irrelevant.” Edwin M. Zimmerman, assistant attorney general with the antitrust division of the Justice Department, made the same point in his essay in Promoting Competition, a Brookings Institution volume. He denies that economic efficiency was ever the impetus for regulatory laws.
Plainly put, many who support regulation believe this to be the correct way to try to achieve valued goals. They are dead serious about this. And if they are right, they are also on target when they counter that objection based on inefficiency and high cost are trivial, if not outright callus.
So moral ideas are important in this area, so important that there are some who even feign moral reasons for supporting government regulation. When lobbyists and corporate executives appear before Congress and ask for handouts or subsidies or tariffs, often the bottom line is that these would be in the public interest, the public good, rhe national destiny- or for God and country, as the old saying goes. Those are usually ornaments for shortcuts on the marketplace. But unless people took such ideas seriously, those asking for favors would not bother even to mention them. These are crucial moral terms that count. There are enough people everywhere motivated by just such moral ideas.
Can anyone doubt, then, that deregulatory policies would also require moral support? It’s not enough to say, “Well, regulation costs too much and it’s inefficient.” An alternative moral perspective is needed to conclusively establish the propriety of deregulation. Economic arguments alone do not suffice. But is there anything in the way of ethics that might support deregulation?
If we look at prominent and widely articulated beliefs about what is right and wrong, we find that altruism is pervasive. Altruism literally means “otherorientedness.” This morality is a sort of grab bag for all the various moral systems the bottom line of which is that one’s life must be led so as to secure the welfare of others, either today or tomorrow. It is the view that every person’s prime purpose is to live for others—humanity, one’s country, and one’s race. There are variations on this view, but they all come to this.

Just Helping Out
When made to apply to political policy, the altruist ethic implies that government must try at all costs to achieve the goal of helping people, however bungling, inefficient, or otherwise objectionable such efforts might be. In a debate in an old issue of Analog magazine (April I975), we find this attitude well illustrated in the words of Alan E. Nourse, a fervent defender of national health insurance. He tells us that it is “not a new concept nor is it a particularly efficient concept as far as health care delivery is concerned, because many many precious dollars will be dribbled away to administration.”
Does this suffice to dissuade Mr. Nourse? Do such economic considerations lead to the conclusion that national health insurance is a bad idea? No, counters Nourse, because “‘it is a concept that might—repeat might—meet some of the desperate health care needs that exist today.” If the primary responsibility of government is to engage in helping other people, then trying, even in the face of evidence that it will not do any good, is quite justifiable. People who share those values will simply continue in the face of disastrous performance records.
But we need to consider whether altruism is really the system that should guide us in our lives. The question is not whether certain of our virtues are other-oriented, nor whether in certain circumstances we are obligated to look out for others. The question is whether we are to live our lives primarily for other people.
In a few paragraphs, all the issues involved cannot be covered. There is one interesting point to be raised against altruism, however. Why is it that everyone deserves this prime consideration from others, but not from themselves? Why is it supposed to be this daisy chain of my doing benefit to you, your doing benefit to him, his doing benefit to her, etc.? It clearly engenders meddlesomeness in human affairs. It invites more rigorous attention to other people’s circumstances than to one’s own; because if one is first morally obligated to benefit other people, then their circumstances, their needs, their aspirations, and their wishes must be known. One must obtain the maximum amount of information about those people, and one must do everything possible to find out what will indeed benefit them.
This explains why there is such widespread government information-intrusion in people’s lives. Government, too, must know about others in order to help others. It must be able to walk into private homes, for example, to make sure that welfare recipients get the right care. It is its obligation, according to altruism.
Although altruism claims that individuals should live their lives so as to benefit others but not primarily to benefit themselves, they would, just on the face of it, seem to know much more about themselves to start with. So if people do deserve a lot, why is it that others should do it for them as opposed to their doing it for themselves? This is a puzzle, and it’s worth considering. But let’s leave aside the full criticism that could be offered against altruism and take up as an alternative moral theory that, not surprisingly, is going to be called ethical egoism.

Now ethical egoism—in ancient Greek moral philosophy known as eudemonism—is not egotism which is an excessive concern with one’s image or at least with one’s reputation or power. Ethical egoism, in contrast, is a rational concern with one’s own bona fide happiness. It holds that every human being’s prime moral purpose in living is to achieve happiness in life- the fulfillment, throughout one’s life, of one’s potential as a human being. Happiness is the result of excellence at being human. Here, a person’s primary responsibility is not to do good for others, although it may still be true that on many occasions human beings should do what is good for others. The primary moral responsibility of individuals is to achieve their own happiness in life.
So we have an alternative ethics. Is it possible, in terms of this ethics, that in the process of regulating our commercial and many other activities, government is violating certain moral and political principles?
Government regulation usually involves the following. Some activity by some commercial agents, manufacturers, or industrialists might be of harm to someone who is going to buy their product. If it is possible- just barely possible—that these activities will produce some harm to others, the activity is prohibited or regulated. As Senator Javits once put it in a personal communication on the subject of vitamin C, the government must protect citizens against potential possible hazard.
Now watch those qualifiers: potential, possible hazards. Even a hazard is only a possible harm. A hazard doesn’t guarantee harm. A lot of people have hazardous jobs, meaning that the likelihood of getting hurt in those jobs is considerable. Now imagine a possible hazard. What then is a potentially possible hazard? To be safe in life from “potentially possible hazards,” one must be protected in everything.
If, however, one’s primary obligation in life is to achieve happiness, and if one shares this obligation with other people- so that they should achieve their happiness- then, what must first of all be protected and preserved in a social context are the conditions that make it possible for people to strive for or to pursue their happiness. For example, the Declaration of Independence refers to the protection and preservation of rights we have as human beings—the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
If these were indeed rights that we have and that ought to be protected, then in the pursuit of our happiness, someone else’s interference would be wrong, morally wrong. Not just inefficient and very costly, but morally wrong—wrong because human beings should not act that way. In most of the criminal law this point is observed carefnlly, even if not fully consistently. The burden of proof rests with the prosecution-those who believe they have reason to impose burdens on citizens. Unfortunately, the same principle goes by the wayside when it comes to administering government regulations. If members of an industry, profession, or trade engage in “potentially possible hazardous” activities, there are now legal grounds for placing heavy burdens upon them.

A Risky Business
The most persuasive argument in support of this practice involves what Ralph Nader never tires of citing the famous thalidomide case. Many European women took the drug during pregnancy but the FDA barred its distribution in the United States. It had tragic results in Europe; but in America, almost no one was hurt from the drug. Nader constantly remarks this upon, in his numerous talks and essays in support of federal regulation of the food and drug industry.
Now it is clear that if guaranteed safety is the highest value we should aim for in life, then Mr. Nader and Co. are on the right track. If it is our prime duty to make certain that other people are safe, then we should never profit from nor allow others to profit from selling them some goods or services that just might be hazardous. But if freedom to seek our own well-being, the political and economic liberty to make our own way in life, is the highest political good, then even the tragic events associated with the thalidomide case do not suffice to give support to government regulation.
Life is undoubtedly a risky business. Those who want to accept risks may not be prevented from doing so regardless of how convinced we are that they are foolish to take these risks. We may not prevent mountain climbers, auto racers, horseback riders, firefighters, and even plain, ordinary consumers of voluntarily acquired drugs and foods from doing what they have chosen to do. Nor may we gather into majorities and legislate these wise prohibitions for them.
We can, however, point out how life can be made safer! Hazards can be overcome in a free society, even when other people pose them by their sloppiness, negligence, greed, or stupidity. Government regulations preempt a crucial human virtue: the willingness of industrialists, manufacturers, professionals, to do well at whatthey have promised themselves to do well-their jobs. By usurping the field of morality, by forbidding the risky business of people’s developing themselves and getting on in society through mutual self-development, government regulation is a gross denigration of human dignity itself.
Altruism is the main moral game in town. The only place it is not advocated very much is in psychotherapy sessions and books on self-help therapy, because in these areas people have come to face up to the debilitating consequences of living by such a moral point of view. Entire political institutions, however, are built on the doctrine of altruism. Among these, governmental regulation of people’s productive, trading, or consuming activities is just one. Others include all the victimless crime laws, “blue laws,” involuntary mental hospitalization statutes; and the list could go on.
But altruism is a view that does not prepare one for coping with life on earth. It stifles personal growth, ambition, self-development; and it encourages deceit. We must claim that everything we want to do will be good for others, just so we can “get away with doing it.” And it also gives perfect excuses for our failures- “I did it for you. I lied, killed, maimed, stole, and cheated only because I meant well for you.”

Stopping Meddling
Without affirming, with utmost confidence, the alternative moral position—so that each person can realize that the prime moral goal in life is to excel as a person, to become the best one can become in life, given one’s human nature and one’s personal potentials as an individual human being-the case for stopping all this meddling in people’s lives cannot be made conclusively. Sure, governmental regulation is inefficient, devours our income, breeds corruption, centralizes enormous power, stifles production, leaves people overburdened with bureaucratic trivia; but if its goals are morally superior to others, so what? We must be heroic; we must sacrifice for the great good that we might- “repeat might”—achieve. We must toss aside this materialist concern for efficiency, thrift, and prudence. We must march on the noble trail of doing good for our fellow human beings, whether they want it or not.
If, however, we should aspire to our own happiness, if this is our primary moral task, then others should abstain from interfering with us; then regulation is not just uneconomic, but wrong. Government regulation violates our rights—period. And we have those rights because it is we, individually and in voluntary cooperation, who should strive to live, produce, trade, and consume, Only by realizing that this is a matter of profound moral truth- not merely of convenience, efficiency, cost, or pleasure (although not without rewards in these respects)—can we overcome the intellectual and basic moral force of the case for regulation.
That will not lead to instant deregulation. But it will have robbed the meddlers of their most potent weapon—the appeal to people’s frequent, even if not fully consistent, concern for doing what is right in personal and political matters. Even the famous Nobel Laureate (Princeton University) economist and columnist for The New York Times has come to see that the case for interventionism needs moral backing, so he has gone out of his way—in The New York Times (Sunday, January 8, 2011) to present what he takes to be such backing. (That he doesn’t succeed because no moral case can rely on coercion—men and women must freely choose to do the right thing for it to have moral significance.**)


* This essay is based on Tibor R. Machan, “Deregulation is a Moral Issue,” in Ellen F. Paul and Philip A. Russo, Jr., Public Policy, Issues, Analysis, and Ideology (Chatham, NJ: Chatham House Publishers, Inc., 1982)
**See my discussion of this point at http://tibormachan