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Achieving DemocracyThe Future of Progressive Regulation$
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Sidney A. Shapiro and Joseph P. Tomain

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199965540

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199965540.001.0001

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How Government Fails

How Government Fails

Chapter:
(p.75) Chapter 5 How Government Fails
Source:
Achieving Democracy
Author(s):

Sidney A. Shapiro

Joseph P. Tomain

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199965540.003.0005

Chapter 5 begins by describing the prevailing theories of government regulation. The chapter shows that economically based, private interest theories of regulation, such as public choice or social choice analyses, are insufficient to describe a vibrant democratic state. Thus, the chapter continues the neoliberal critique by demonstrating how neoliberal ideology, which was intended to be an economic argument, was transformed into a debilitating antigovernment political ideology. Neoliberalism can be reduced to two points. First, free markets are good; second, big government is bad. As a result of its antigovernment platform, neoliberalism is responsible for a multitude of government failures ranging from economic inequality to environmental disruption and from increasing poverty to an increase in rent seeking by a favored few economic actors. The chapter discusses these multiple failures in terms of various examples of regulatory capture.

Keywords:   regulatory failure, capture, rent seeking, theories of regulation, public interest, private interest

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