By George J. Stigler
Citizen and the nation: Essays on Regulation
Author. George J. Stigler
Read or Download Citizen and the State: Essays on Regulation PDF
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Extra resources for Citizen and the State: Essays on Regulation
It was the irnplicit verdict of the many economists aûd political scientists nho had studied the regulation ofelectrical rates during the last half century that a study of the effects of rtgulation was 28 Traditional Regulatory Approach: Absence of Evidence unnecessar1. The bounteous literature implicitly asserts that the influence of the commissions on fates was obvious. The experts knew that of course rcgulatory bodies are not always competent or honest, but even so the experts were confideat that on overage the commissiors hold down the pdces below what the elechical companies would be able to charge because of tleir monopoly position in each commua§.
Herc economists have made studies of shorter episodes in the history of the sytem; it is widely acc€pted, for example, that the rcstrictive monetarÿ policy of 1931-32 contributed g€atly to the financial collapse of 1933. But my colleague, Milton Friedman, collaborating wittr Anna Schf,,artz, has rec€ntly published the tust full-drcss study of the effects of the Fedetal R€serve System upor the stabil§ of prices and banking institutions throughout its historÿ. By now you may feel able to predict the resulb: that the Fedefal Resêrve System has had no effect on moretary stabili§.
Where the individual does not know, ot does not have tlre pox'et to advanc€, his own intercsts, Smith feels remarkably free to have the state intervene. Thus Smith says that to restrain people from entedng voluntarÿ transactions "is a manifest violation of that natural liberty which it is the proper business of laly, not to hfringp but to support"; yet he continues: But those exertions ofthe natural liber$ of a few individuals, which might endangei the securi§ of the whole society, are, and ought to be, restrained by the laws of all governments; of the most free, as well as of the most despotical.
Citizen and the State: Essays on Regulation by George J. Stigler