Howard Dean on Re-Regulation

Long time readers know that I am not a huge fan of Bush. I was hoping a fiscally conservative pro-business democrat would run against him so that I could vote for that person. Well that person is obviously not Howard Dean.

THE FORMER Vermont governor said he would reverse the trend toward deregulation pursued by recent presidents — including, in some respects, Bill Clinton — to help restore faith in scandal-plagued U.S. corporations and better protect U.S. workers.
In an interview around midnight Monday on his campaign plane with a small group of reporters, Dean listed likely targets for what he dubbed as his "re-regulation" campaign: utilities, large media companies and any business that offers stock options. Dean did not rule out "re-regulating" the telecommunications industry, too.
He also said a Dean administration would mandate new workers' standards, a much broader right to unionize and new "transparency" requirements for corporations that go beyond the recently enacted Oxley-Sarbanes law.
"In order to make capitalism work for ordinary human beings, you have to have regulation," Dean said. "Right now, workers are getting screwed."

I think it is a very small percentage of workers who are "getting screwed." Most people do pretty well compared to the rest of the world. How else to you explain the various articles I have linked to about how easy it is to command a premium price if you distinguish your product? These same people Dean things are "getting screwed" by companies are the same people who have stock in their 401Ks that will enable them to retire on corporate profits.

Re-regulation. Good grief. Could there be a worse idea? There are two purposes for government regulation of business. The first is to address negative externalities that aren't reflected in market prices. The second is to enhance the transfer of information to all parties involved in economic transactions, so that capitalism can function more effectively. Dean thinks deregulation is to blame for California's energy crisis, but I think fraud and market manipulation are the real culprits.

via Jay SoloUPDATE: Tyler Cowen has some good thoughts on this.