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I know it’s abhorrent to think that some of the many dense regulations and codes that are churned out of Washington might be useless (Rural Electric Program), inefficient (Interstate Commerce Commission), costly (Civil Aeronautics Board), or even deadly (Food and Drug Administration), but could you please write about the Mercatus Center with a gram of sympathy? It acts basically as a nonprofit General Accounting Office, not as a depository of political cranks. It’s important for our democracy to have the kind of independent checks and balances on the national treasury and law codes that Mercatus Center provides.
I am also sad to announce that your story (“Bull Market,” 3/8) is thinly veiled innuendo. You spend most of your time making snide observations about the center and make short shrift of what Vernon Smith, Maurice McTigue, and Tyler Cowen have accomplished. Plus, there is still no smoking gun linking Wendy Gramm to the Enron collapse via Mercatus. The Mercatus Center did receive $50,000 from Enron since 1996, but it was less than 1 percent of total corporate gifts to Mercatus.
Plus, Enron benefited from re-regulation, not deregulation, as advocated by Mercatus. Believe it or not, large corporations actually benefit from government regulatory power. Laws can actually wipe out smaller competitors, leaving room for monopolies and oligopolies. It’s much easier for industry leaders to hire corporate lawyers to help decode federal law than mom-and-pop shops.