book chapter six
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Dr. Yandle,

 

I greatly appreciate your quick reply to my previous e-mail.  I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. As an amateur blogger, I will most likely continue to explore novel applications of the B&B dynamic, both in regulation and in the mundane day to day examples. Not only will this provide me with an endless array of topics to write about, but it will also increase my understand of the B &B theory. I have to say there is something about framing behavior in the Bootleggers and Baptists context that never gets stagnant.  It will make writing about regulation to be dynamic for years to come.

 

Above all I appreciate your encouragement, I will proceed to navigate my way through the murky and convoluted world of regulation. Fully acknowledging that most regulation (if any) does not benefit the general public. Rather, it serves as a form of rent-seeking that is barely noticed by the average voter/ taxpayer due to the costs being distributed through higher consumer prices or taxes. Before familiarizing myself with Public Choice Theory I was already skeptical of regulation. Through theories like the Bootleggers and Baptists dynamic, I now have better precepts for refuting the validity of ineffective and self-serving regulations.

 

Again, Dr. Yandle, I appreciate you taking the time to respond to me. I will continue to expand my understanding of the political decision-making process. An election year is a prime time to do so! There will be a multitude of living examples of Public Choice concepts coming to life.  Animated by the all too human and fallible nature of politicians and interest groups.  I just wish I had been aware of this economic school of thought back in 2016. Considering the impending cataclysm that many pundits were speculating in the wake of the Trump Presidency. Which I can only see as being a form of rent-seeking either from the standpoint of increasing viewership ratings or maintaining the credibility of political factions that the mass media finds to be more favorable. Then again, Trump is awful on trade. However, I am still waiting for the apocalyptic dystopian future many of our friends in the media predicted nearly four years ago. It would be nice to have a more economically laissez-faire president that holds individual rights in high esteem. However, due to invested interests, current public opinion, and the nature of American politics such wishes seem likely a lofty pipedream.

 

P.S.: I also enjoyed your essay The Next Fifty Years: Optimistic or Pessimistic?, published in The Independent Review. Working from home has eliminated my 45-minute commute back and forth from work. Leaving me with more time for reading and research, last quarter I subscribed to the print edition of  TIR. That was a novel and interesting study you conducted. I am not sure if I have the faith to say the next fifty-years will be promising. I certainly believe that material comfort and convenience will only continue to exponentially improve with innovation. In terms of moral development, it is difficult to say. While technology has provided us with a lot of positive developments it has also been correlated with social decay. A steady decline in civility and decorum. Then again, correlation does not necessarily equal causation, having the third-variable problem rearing its ugly head. I could potentially be unfairly singling out the technology. The COVID-19 epidemic seems to have only compounded this issue as people are staying home and becoming more atomized. Don’t get me wrong, as a Classical Liberal/ Libertarian  I am all for individual rights. However, the paradox becomes as people become more individualistic they drift away from the private institutions that previously held communities together (such as church, I am personally not religious, but I have nothing against religious observance). The surrogate that fills this vacuum almost always ends up being government.  As we become more individualistic our affairs end up becoming more collectivistic. I want to remain hopeful that the human species flourishes not only materially but morally and socially. As a society, we need to figure out how to reconnect again.

 

Thank you again for your time Dr. Yandle,

 

Peter C. Clark.

 

 

21 thoughts on “My Response to Bruce Yandle

        1. That’s great. May be it’s because I don’t have kids, however, prior to hearing about your daughter’s birthday party I never considered how the pandemic was impacting kids.

          While COVID-19 is dangerous , kids need to be kids. We need to find a middle ground where they are safe, but can still have fun. There is already enough nonsense out there that robs children of their childhood.

          Hats off for finding that middle ground for your daughter!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I was considering posing a similar question on my blog ( fully citing Dr. Yandle’s article of course) just to see what everyone came back with.

      The irony is in my opinion as we become more materially comfortable we become less civil. With the decline in civility there is a correlation with government growth. As social institutions decay they are supplanted by government programs.

      I am not conservative socially ( fiscally I am a budget hawk) , but here is where the old-timer right-wingers start to make sense. We are so focused on the larger microcosm of society we no longer solve our problems at the local level. Not only making affairs more impersonal, but also making state intervention a necessity. Especially when private economic agents and local governments are more than capable of resolving these issues.

      The communitarians of the old-right may have good points about government constraint, community, foreign policy, and fiscal responsibility…. there is plenty of other topics they get wrong. Free trade, civil liberties , immigration, drug policy, marriage , etc.

      In many regards, their sincerity towards the notion of limited government is severely tested by these issues.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Finally read it. Culture B is without a doubt represents my current work environment.

          I have never spent a enough time in Culture A to be able to make an honest assessment of it. However, it is safe to assume that both cultures have drawbacks and benefits.

          I have seen the dark side of Culture B. The rumor mill, co-workers bottling up their animosity, etc. It creates the illusion of civility, but it is contrived. The harmony is artificial and thin due to the implicit cohesion of the company’s policies and societal norms.

          The irony becomes everyone knows it’s a farce. No one in my department at work really likes each other or truly gets along. It’s all fake. Almost like a twisted application of. Nash Equilibrium Theory, no one can openly admit its all a lie. If we do, our actions are no longer in accordance with the rules of the game. Making such decisions less than optimally strategic.

          Personally being something of a heterodox in social interactions, naturally,I have adapted my own compromise to this social dynamic. I never overtly express my opinions because I opt to avoid social interactions at work. It simultaneously avoids directly violating the rules of the game while allowing me to indirectly dropout. Through following my mother’s advice ( I was raised to follow the old colloquialism “ If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.) Through omitting social interactions I find a means of being neutral and an excuse to catch-up on my podcasts.

          Many people have told me, through being anti-social I will lose out on career opportunities. I personally disagree. There is a reason why there is only one boss. Out of 15 people there is only one person who had the right proportion of complimentary skills, leadership qualities, soft skills, and brown-nosing abilities to obtain the position. The purported subject matter expert never gets promoted for two reasons. First off, they are too knowledgeable to remove from the day-to-day business. Second off, having a large amount of technical knowledge doesn’t necessarily translate into administrative and leadership skills.

          After reviewing my odds of career advancement, I came to the conclusion that the potential of the average worker climbing the corporate ladder is illusory – I believe my approach is more realistic.

          Such a policy protects me from being viewed as a menace by HR. If I was ever honest about my “feelings” it would only serve to get me into trouble.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. True. One thing I would add is that the original blog post, though insightful, is a bit misleading in painting these two extreme A and B type cultures. In truth, there is a fluid continuum of cultures and that most workplaces fall somewhere inbetween these two A and B extremes.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. That is a great way of thinking of it. A matter of degree rather than a conclusive dichotomy.

          I would argue that either culture in its pure form is unhealthy. Culture A would be too hostile and aggressive if its essence was unfettered. Culture B would be constant onslaught of passive-aggressive hostility. Neither fosters morale. Both are counterproductive.

          Liked by 1 person

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