John Kenneth Galbraith wrote in 1954 concerning regulators:
…regulatory bodies, like the people who comprise them, have a marked life cycle.
In youth they are vigorous, aggressive, evangelistic, and even intolerant.
Later they mellow, and in old age – after a matter of ten or fifteen years – they become, with some exceptions, either an arm of the industry they are regulating [regulatory capture] or senile.
I thought of my friends in Australia when I read this yesterday.
- I wonder if Galbraith, as a agricultural economist, would view re-invigorating the ACCC as akin to adminstering Viagra to a gelding?
Sure: Lots of pawing the ground and snorting going on. Even some lofty aspirations.
But when the parliamentary inquiries end, will it be Business as Usual or a few more years of pretense management?